I’ve been working with our business development team on a big project. The HR proposal portion is an amazing exercise, because it’s all about us forcing ourselves to quantify the impact that we have on the organization. Sitting there and discussing what differentiates our organization from others in terms of recruiting, retention, etc. opens your eyes to the opportunities that we have to drive change on a high level. It’s helping me to see that our part of the business can be as powerful (or not) as we want it to be.
I’ve touched on the Results Oriented Work Environment (ROWE) in this post on working naked, but that applies to work in general. The basic idea behind ROWE is work when/how/where you want, as long as the objectives are met. There are two main pieces in my mind when it comes to ROWE:
- The “fun” part of doing whatever the heck you want to do
- The “hard” part of really, truly, seriously being responsible for some actual results
When people discuss ROWE, they often look at the first piece, but the second one is discussed less often because it actually demands some level of accountability. It requires that you ask better questions, for one. What are real results when it comes to HR? How do you measure that? Are those measurements comparable to other companies in your industry or geographic region?
Take a look if you dare
When I sat down with the team to discuss the HR/recruiting portions of the proposal, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I quickly saw opportunities to bolster our proposal by calling out comments on previous employee surveys, analyzing our Best Places to Work employee responses, and plugging in metrics for recruiting and retention. By the end of the meeting, I was excited not only about our prospects (we’ve clearly differentiated ourselves from the average HR team with some of our practices), but also about having a clearer picture of what our contributions mean on a larger scale.
The little things matter. It’s not just working with a manager to coach an employee through tough times. It’s not just going the extra mile to ensure that when employees do have to leave, they are treated with all the courtesy and respect I would afford any other star employee. It’s not even having an amazing retention rate for our industry that really makes a dent in the company’s performance. It’s a little bit of everything. All of those pieces flow together to paint a picture of success for our organization. It certainly isn’t true solely due to our people practices, but a strong focus on those since the day the company was established means that they play a key role in our continued upward movement.
As an HR professional, you are in a unique position to make your organization better. Maybe it’s taking a little extra time with job candidates to help them understand why they weren’t chosen. Maybe it’s picking up the phone to call a remote employee to talk them through a tough time in their life. While those “small” actions might not seem valuable on the surface, they touch more people and build more goodwill toward your HR team than all the doughnuts and party planning you could ever accomplish.
Take some time today to think on it. What results can you point to that measure your value as a piece of your organization? Are you contributing to, or detracting from, your company’s success? Are your inputs clearly visible? Why or why not?