No, I do not mean the HR department. I literally mean the Human as a Resource. I recently read a quote from a Fortune 100 CEO that said, “Everyone is trying to come up with the right plan, the right plan to grow and prosper, but truth is there are 100 different plans, all of which could work. It’s not the plan that matters as much as the people! We have to get the right people and give them what they need if we are going to succeed.” I have the very distinct pleasure to work with HR professionals on a regular basis and after several years of working with them, all across the southeast, I am concerned that for many companies the HR department has been transformed into a crisis management and staffing department and not what it could or should be.
As companies grow it seems their HR teams get so bogged down with the requirements of keeping the firm running that they no longer have time to actually develop their second most valuable resource, the people working there! Checkout the blog post “The Details” to hear what the number one most valuable resource is. We work for a lot of companies that say, “We went to bed small and woke up big.” They feel kind of like Tom Hanks in that movie BIG. They wish and wish and wish then instead of going home they put their nose to the grind stone. They hustle for years and then when they look up they are big! I had one CEO owner say in a 401(k) review meeting, “Wait! We have 104 employees? Since when? Geez I guess were not so mom and pop anymore.”
This is happening all over. Companies are growing so fast that HR professionals are having to work like staffing and benefits firms and not like developers of the human resources (employees) and I have stats to prove it! NERD ALERT! Sorry but you should’ve known that you were not getting through an entire post without some nerdy stats. In a Harvard Business Review study from 2015, 61% of over 2900 company leaders’ interviewed said that Training and Developing was one of the most important tasks required of their HR departments, but when those same leaders were asked to rank HR job tasks in order of priority, Training and Development came in 11 out of 16!! Anybody see a problem here? Above that when the same study ranked above-average companies in growth, it recognized they were all engaged in some type of training and development program.
This is what I want you to think about today. If we acknowledge that training and developing your Human Resources is so important, but we also see that most HR teams are too busy or pulled in too many different directions to implement the needed T&D, then we have presumptively left it up to our new hires to “better themselves”. Effectively, this means two things, both of which are problematic for employers.
- By skimping on training and developing your employees, you are saying to them, “We are not invested in your long-term success. We needed a widget builder today. We will see if we need a widget manager tomorrow and maybe you’re the girl. We’ll see.” You are demotivating them by communicating that you don’t have a long-term plan for them as employees. What they need to hear from you is that you appreciate what they are doing and you want to give them ways to grow within YOUR company.
- It leaves employees then to their own devices. Not all of your employees want to be the widget manager or even Widget CEO, but the ones that do are the ones that you want around for a long time. If they are not offered ways to get better at work, they will look for ways to get better elsewhere and the side-effect of that can be decreased loyalty. I know this sounds bad and stereotypical but it’s true and I can say it because I am referring to your Millennials and I am one. – I was 3 when BIG came out!
So as we grow, it is easy to push training and development of your employees down below hiring and crisis management, but I fear that is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Lack of training and development leads to higher turnover rates, which leads to the need for more hiring. Untrained employees lead to more crisis which take more HR time in crisis management and on and on and on. In conclusion, we know that this does apply to all companies, in fact, I know some companies that read this probably only have a one-person HR team and they may conveniently also be the owner, but it’s time to focus again on Human Resource – the individuals. You have challenges today that your predecessors did not have, having 10,000 millennials entering the work force every day, but you also have a beautiful opportunity so take advantage of it. Mine your resources. Protect them. Value them.
Caleb Bagwell/Employee Education Specialist
John Maxwell Certified Leadership Coach
Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial
Toll-Free: 866.695.5162 / Office: 205.970.9088
1950 Stonegate Drive / Suite 275 / Birmingham, AL 35242