I sold a used car the other day. It was surplus to our needs, and it was just sitting there, so it was time for it to go.
Also, unlike other cars in our family, this used car was starting to give me problems. The reason it was starting to give me problems was simple. I didn’t take care of it like I should of. I neglected to take care of the multitude of moving parts and mechanics that gave it that sweet ride when I first purchased it.
This got me thinking. It very well may be that a healthy approach to a well-oiled HR function isn’t too far removed from how you should maintain a smooth running vehicle.
- Staff aren’t clear about what their jobs are, they can’t see the direction of the organisational goals? Perhaps you should keep the headlamps and windscreen clean so the direction they need to go lights up and they can see the bigger picture of where the driver and passengers are going.
- Is dealing with the poor performance of new starters during the probation period not akin to taking advantage of that warranty or roadside assistance package? (Maybe you should hire with a six month rather than three month probation period, getting yourself that extended warranty package!)
- I once had a client who would confide in me that he had to pump up the tyres of his staff. What he meant was that his staff were motivated from continuous positive feedback when he caught them doing something right.
- Are you hardly putting any kilometres on that vehicle? Perhaps staff have to be better managed and given stretch goals so you get better mileage.
- Not sure what’s happening amongst the staff, fear that some issues could be developing? Is not sticking to that vehicle log book requirement list so you know how things are going like doing staff satisfaction surveys?
There could be many other comparisons, and I realise this is all a bit left field, but those organisations that I am aware of that are approaching HR as if they were keeping a vehicle running smoothly seem to be travelling along very nicely indeed.