For some, feedback may seem a lot like going to the dentist.  It happens once a year and we dread it or avoid it as long as possible (despite espousing its benefits to others!).  

But then, there's others who embrace feedback, seek it out and seemingly thrive on it.  

The big difference between these two types of attitudes to feedback is in their mindset. Let's look at some prevalent mindsets around feedback that are holding people back from being the best they can be in the workplace (and beyond).

If you’re part of a People and Culture (or HR, for the traditionalists!) team that is about to embark down the road of implementing a suite of HR technology and can’t answer that question, then now is the time to quickly revisit it. Before it all goes horribly wrong.

How often do organisations start with the solution first, and then never really work their way back to why the solution is needed in the first place? Or if they have done so, the message has never really permeated beyond the confines of the People and Culture (P&C) team? And then we wonder why the project never really got any traction in the business.

From the moment I took my seat at my first ever HR lecture as a uni student some (gulp) twenty years ago, it hit me that my new profession was one much more likely to be chosen by women than men. In more recent times I have attended or heard of HR events with very little attendance by men and have observed that in HR teams men are often very under-represented.

This piqued my curiosity, so I set about finding out the facts regarding the gender composition of today's HR profession.

I tapped into data from the 2011 Census and found that just fewer than two-thirds of employees (65.6%) who work in Human Resources in Australia are female. This includes recruitment, HR, L&D, employee relations etc.

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AuthorMichael Sleap
CategoriesHuman Resources
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As HR practitioners we frequently recommend, develop, implement and monitor policies, programs and procedures and provide advice that has a potentially large impact (positive or negative) on an organisation's people and performance. As professionals going about our work how much of what we do comes from a sound evidence base? If challenged, could you provide defensible evidence as to why a current or proposed HR or L&D program or practice will be of benefit to your organisation and its people and why that approach was chosen over other possibilities?

I see that many HR Teams and practitioners are conscious of evidence-based HR and espouse the need to underpin their HR practices with it. And I doubt that many people (although there's a few out there) would dispute that basing HR practices on sound evidence generally leads to more efficient and effective HR practices, which in turn positively impact the organisation's performance.

 

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AuthorMichael Sleap
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I often hear or read about how difficult it is for companies to attract, recruit and retain high quality HR professionals.  The cause of this is often attributed to a hot market for HR professionals and insufficient size and depth of the talent pool. Yet it is the HR profession itself which often limits the talent pool from which it will consider recruiting an external HR professional into an organisation.  Look at a sample of job advertisements for HR vacancies and it is astonishing how frequently industry specific experience is listed as a mandatory criterion for a role, often with a minimum number of years working in that industry also specified (e.g. at least 7 years experience in an operational Mining role).

By defining the selection criteria so tightly for HR roles the potential talent pool from which a candidate may be sourced is dramatically reduced.  No wonder it is hard to attract high quality HR professionals to roles in your company – you are battling all your other industry competitors for a share of a small and relatively finite talent pool.  The result is upward pressure on salaries for HR professionals within that industry and employers lamenting the quality and quantity of HR talent in their ranks.

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AuthorMichael Sleap
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Businesses across the world are experiencing some of the toughest operating conditions for many decades.  Currently it is difficult for many companies to maintain let alone grow their profits.  What might be overlooked in some organisations is the critical role that HR can play in boosting profitability.  In its simplest form: profit = revenue – expenses

The two main ways to grow profits are to increase revenue and/or decrease expenses.  Focusing on profit growth is often seen to be the sole domain of accountants and operational business leaders. However this should be an aspect of a business in which HR provides leadership and makes a tangible contribution.

Think about it.  Labour costs are usually the largest (or near largest) expense item for a business – and this is a cost that can be planned for and managed.  Every dollar of expense that is saved goes straight to the bottom line (profits).  On the revenue side of the ledger, the performance of people is a major determinant of business revenue generated.  So HR, often considered to be focusing on the ‘softer’ side of business, is critical to hard business outcomes.

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AuthorMichael Sleap

There are many valid reasons for choosing a career in Human Resources as an Advisor, Business Partner, or HR Manager.  However, there are a number of common reasons for choosing a HR career which can sometimes result in a poor fit between a person’s capabilities and interests and the role requirements.  Let’s take a look at them. 

1.  “I am a ‘people person’ ” So you love talking with people, meeting new people and helping people?  Well, that’s great.  But it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be good at or enjoy a HR role.  

The HR function exists as a partner to the rest of the organisation to support the achievement of business strategy. Therefore HR Business Partners need to have strong business acumen and an interest in business performance (profits, growth, sustainability etc). 

Sure, HR professionals need to communicate well with, influence and have a genuine interest in people (but hey, doesn’t the same apply for most jobs?) but they certainly do not need to fit the stereotypical ‘people person’ mold*.

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AuthorMichael Sleap
CategoriesHuman Resources
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