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Know What Your People Bring in Their Baggage

"Why do you hire Gen Z?" I asked a senior HR person the other day, and there was no answer apart from "They are young, and that goes with the brand. You know we are dynamic."


This is how far we go with workforce planning, and we wonder why we have problems. We have a wish list of characteristics to bring into our organisations, but we have no idea what it means, looks like or what we need to do with them.


In fact, we should ask this question with everything we do. What do you want to achieve by hiring Gen Z/X/Millenials/Boomers? What do you want to get out of your engagement survey? What is the ultimate aim of hiring critical thinkers or developing your managers?


We rarely have clear and specific answers to anything we do, and that's a problem. But we have an even bigger problem. We don't understand the consequences of bringing people with certain characteristics into our organisations.


  • We want leaders with high empathy but fail to understand that those will avoid necessary conflicts that would help the teams and the organisation function and progress.

  • We want empowered, young, and creative people while forgetting that they will not be concerned abiding by the clock, so we discipline them for lateness.

  • We want Gen Z but completely fail to adjust our emotional nature to their transactional one.

  • We want critical thinkers, but we label them as negative or not team players when they start thinking critically.

  • We want to hire people with high ethics or incorruptible and encourage them to report unethical behaviour, but we remove or victimise them the moment they do. Read here.

  • We want to hire high performers but punish them for it.

  • We want leaders but hire or promote managers because we don't understand the difference in behaviour.

  • We want team players, but we misunderstood what it means and hire the wrong people.

  • We want trust in organisations, but we have no idea what we want employees to trust us.

  • We want strong leaders but fail to understand how we can manage them.

  • We want experts but fail to understand that they will not go along with wishy-washy solutions organisations often opt for to tick that box. They will want to go and address the root cause of the problem. This means a longer period, in-depth analysis and understanding, and many uncomfortable truths.


The list goes on......... Knowing what we want is one thing. Understanding what those characteristics bring with them is another; this is where we fail. Organisations are ill-equipped to understand individual differences, and this is where the problems lie.


HR and Talent Development professionals must be educated on each characteristic the organisation aims to bring in, whether they are from a certain generation, experts, intellectual or economic group, or personality characteristics. They will all have an impact on everything we do.


We all know how to build companies from the financial, structural, and processes point of view. But what about building companies from people's point of view? Now that's a difficult one, and this is where the real diversity & inclusion is.


If you need help understanding your people or build a company from the people's experience point of view, let us know.


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