Friday, July 15, 2011

Social Awareness

As a Human Resources Strategist, there are 2 requests that are consistently reiterated to me:
1. How can my company be more like Zappos?
2. How do I write an iron-clad Social Media Policy?

The enquiries of competing ideologies are a microcosm of the double life delegated to HR Pros.

The Great Tony Hsieh recently address the question of social media policy at Zappos. I will paraphrase his feedback:
Our social media policy is pretty simple, we hire people for reasons that would validate that we are comfortable with them using social media under the Zappos brand.

Zappos is a great organization because they understand that people come first. Zappos is a company driven:
1. Individual Personalities
2. Core Values
3. Great Customer Service will note that policy and/or organizational process are not listed in their drivers to success.

So, I can't "make your company like Zappos" if your position description is driven by words like: governance, regulation, policy, performance reviews, exit interviews, etc....

HR has been commoditized to corporate police. Do you think HR at Zappos faces bet they do...they are HQ-ed in Vegas and have a bunch of 20 somethings working for them!!!! However, Tony Hsieh, his senior leaders and his legal team would don't heap said liability on said 20 somethings when they enter the office on any given day. Zappos remains an exemplary corporate culture because they keep their policy in the ivory tower and let the natives play. They celebrate what's great about their talent and leave the "legal implications of one's behavior" to the lawyers.

Too often in HR we focus on protecting our brand instead of sharing it. We regulate behavior instead of rewarding it. We write policy instead of educating of core values. We focus on performance reviews instead of service celebration.

Tony Hsieh also commented that you don't need to be a start up with a young workforce to be like Zappos...all you need to do is to align your people with your core values. Question: do you know your company's core values? Can you recite them? Do you live by them? Core Values are the only thing, in any company, that promote uniform purpose to all people regardless of title. Unfortunately, they have been reduced to words on a wall covered by dust in most places.

I know HR Pros want to focus on hiring not firing. I know HR Pros want to spread culture not regulate behavior. We just can't seem to shake the commodity we have allowed ourselves to be reduced to.

Want to be like Zappos? Trust your talent and align them with your uniform organizational that so hard to do?

Don't Forget to Remember!


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