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HRM – drop the shopping list and give me the information I need!

The psychology and HRM that we are teaching is not good enough

We, psychologists and HR Managers do ourselves a disservice. We train our students in technicalities. Psychologists learn to run laboratories and do stats. Future HR Managers are taught the steps of recruiting, selecting, and paying people who work as employees.

We produce drones, who have enormous difficulty communicating with other people in an organization.

Even our blogs tend to drone on-and-on as shopping lists of what to do when. People hate us – for good reason. We concentrate on forms and procedures. We know the price but not the value. We know the answers and not the questions.

I want my HR Manager to know

  • Who I am
  • Where I come from
  • What is important to me
  • Where I am going
  • Why I am here
  • What specific things I bring to the party
  • The things I want on and off-the-job
  • And not least, where I can find people elsewhere (outside the organization) who can meet my needs – including ex-employees!

As a manager, I want to hear from HR

  • How many people are interested in the work I am doing
  • Where they come from and where they are going to
  • Whether interest in our work in the ascendancy or in decline
  • New interests that are emerging
  • How people in the field relate to each other and how their inter-relationships are changing
  • And some ideas of how I can build my interests on the interests of others as they come and go, morph and change.

HRM in fast moving industries

In fast moving industries, our interests and motives are continuously changing and quite fast.

HR has a large challenge to come up with a report structure or dashboard which keeps abreast of changes and opportunities in the labour supply.

  • As a player inside the organization, I have needs that come up very quickly. Is the organization able to meet my demands in time to create value?  What does the organization need to do in the background to have that readiness?
  • Equally, the people who work in my field and who could create exceptional value if we worked together have needs which come and go. How do we detect that it would be a good time to approach them and can we negotiate a deal before they move on to other opportunities?
  • Can we get ahead of the game by making a place where people come together to discuss their ongoing and ever developing needs? How do we invite them to join in, how do we help them to influence discussions, how can we show them how to extract what they want, and how do we help them to decide when they should move on?

Should we decide to work together in for a longer period and should we need a formal contract, what structures will facilitate the mutual journey?

Our role is to facilitate the interests and motivation of people who are moving very fast. That is what we must understand and that is what we must shape.

  • Do we hold up a mirror so they can see themselves change?
  • Can they see patterns in how every one else is changing?
  • Can they see ahead and position themselves to take part in the most lucrative join ventures that are emerging?
  • Can we keep the information up-to-date in near-real-time because the opportunities change as people react to each other?

Please drop the shopping list approach to HR! Organizations will not exist to amuse us.

We must make organizations that allow value to emerge in specific industries. Anything else is just clerking.  It is close to worthless and utterly dull.

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