A currently topical title I guess, but to meet the challenges and emerging issues, it’s time for HR to change – “you must be the change you want to see in the World” said Ghandi. In many areas of HR, it has gradually dawned on me that we are doing the same things (perhaps with minor tweaks), yet expecting different results – a sign of encroaching madness! Whether it is in the areas of performance, change or absence management, or any area of HR work, we seem to be doing much of the same activity as when I started in HR over 30 years ago! Yet the results seem to show people are less engaged, not as motivated, still going off sick, raising grievances and now increasingly threatening or going on strike.

We think the problem lies with the people (the hint is in the title of our function), and yet the reality lies with the system, the way the work works and the way leaders think about organisations, management and human nature. The system governs behaviour. To get enthusiastic, motivated and engaged employees is not about working on the people, but acting on the system. “If you want people to do a good job, give them a good job to do” said Frederick Herzberg. It sounds obvious and so like common sense, yet it is anything but common practice in many of our organisations.

Andy Lippok

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