Policies, startups, and small HR departments

Pants policyTwo great comments stood out to me when I attended the session on running a small HR department recently, but they prompted a related question I need a little help with.

Don’t create a policy just for the sake of having one.

Fantastic. We have too many policies as it is. Totally agree.

Don’t create policies to deal with outliers.

Another good one. Use coaching and one-on-one feedback to handle issues with onesies and twosies; don’t punish the bunch because of one bad apple.

So… When do you?

The question I have is when do you create a policy? When does it go beyond personal one-on-one coaching and become “official?” One of my friends has a saying, “Don’t make me create a policy for that.” :-) While it’s said in jest, there has to be a time where a policy is necessary (right?).

So… When?

Let’s hear some thoughts and suggestions!

The proper care and feeding of employees

Managing employees is tough, but there are some fundamental principles that weave through the manager/employee relationship we can all benefit from remembering. Check out the short video below (transcript below that if you prefer reading) to learn more.

(Email subscribers may have to click through to view the video.)

Proper care and feeding of employees

  • People come to work for the money, and leave because of their manager (the research backs that often tossed-around phrase) .
  • All of the data comes from research done by the Corporate Leadership Council. They\’ve found that providing fair/accurate informal feedback has a 39% impact on performance. (The problem? We don\’t know how to give feedback for the most part!)
  • Never really thought of it this way, but the manager acts as a conduit whose primary role is to connect employee with company. They can directly shape the employee\’s perception of the organization, their team, and their job. (I\’ve really noticed this a lot when I didn\’t get the right tools and attention from my manager.)

Anything else you’d like to share that goes along with managing better?

Managers-four questions to manage better (Video)

Managers and employees have an interesting relationship. Despite the time they spend together and the need for solid communication, it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. It takes work to make communication happen, and I like to use four questions to jump start the process.

(Subscribers may need to click through to view the video) Continue reading

An Open Letter to HR on Policies, Regulating, and Training

AKA An open letter to HR professionals who think it’s a good idea to regulate the snot out of everything

Dear fellow HR professionals,

Hey! So, I’m not sure if you know much about me, but I’m a different kind of HR guy. I like being open and honest and treating people like… Well, people. Our employees aren’t children (and if they are, that’s a whole other issue!), so why do we treat them that way?

This ain’t my first rodeo

I talked about this before in a video. I attended a supervisor training where we spent two whole days listening to people whose favorite phrases were¬†don’t do this and don’t do that. I can understand setting those minimum standards, but I don’t understand why there’s no attempt to reach higher. Why aren’t we giving our people lessons on coaching and leadership in addition to the rest of that stuff?

Think about it Continue reading