Monday, February 25, 2013

Transparency: HR's New Best Friend!

3 years ago we may not have even known about Glassdoor. Nowadays, it is the first place potential employees visit to get a sense for the cultural vibe of any given company. Remember when Facebook was a stupid site for Paris Hilton to display her tanning schedule. That twitter thing hasn't gone away and it appears a random Junior High Schooler with a blog has as much influence as Mick LaSalle. The world has changed. Nothing is off the record.

The villagers now have more power than the Queen. I would suggest that the best way to combat bad press from the trenches is to be boldly transparent.

Don't Marginalize the Middle
In the extensive studies I have done on Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture there is a prominent fly in the ointment: middle management. Those who are superstars are able to progress from Manager to Director in far less time than it took them to break the "contributor" title. Then again, a lot of middle managers choose to marginalize themselves. Too often managers hold back their top talent because they want to benefit from their results. Many managers adopt team ideas as their own. Some managers choose to use their authority as a barometer for individual success....the aforementioned tactics produce one of two results:
1. You get fired
2. You stay in middle management forever
...through this process, marginal talent becomes the norm and your company culture decays.

Not any more! You can no longer hide behind closed doors, performance reviews, or empty promises. In this day-and-age, if you attempt to attack your talent for the sake of self preservation; 1 million  people will get the news via facebook. The reviews you write will be turned back on you with feedback from places you didn't know existed. The slightest of your peers now has the ability to call your bluff.

Address Feedback
Surveys alone do not tell the whole story. When a survey comes across our inbox we ask ourselves:
- Where did this come from?
- What's the intent?
- Who will see the results?

...with our guard up, we answer as we expect we should. Ask yourself: do you really give your candid opinion when HR sends you a survey?

We need to do more....interview the Executives, form a focus group with middle managers, get out of the board room and walk the floor....then you can perform a survey (if your really need the analytics).

Still, the worst thing you can do is ask for feedback and take no action!

Take Action
The kids would like a PrinciPAL more than a PrinciPULL - we can make HR cool if we're out celebrating achievement instead of policing the hallways.

The opportunity is here....

Now is the time to make the HR team an empowered group of strategic culture creators! Break down the silos, empower feedback by building trust, drive the company mission (and if you don't believe in the it!).

Do this...and next time you walk into a bar to find the sales team doing shots...they will invite you over instead of running in the other direction!

Don't Forget to Remember!


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