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Strong HR = Strong Employees, Weak HR = Weak Employees

HR is not about entertainment! It is about tidying up areas that impact employees' experiences that directly impact business results. Why do we keep seeing circuses organised by HR? Why can't we treat work as work and define good HR based on the quality of employees? Strong HR = Strong employees. 

Strong HR means processes that strengthen employees. You might use the word support, but it is about strength. Are HRs strong enough to make the organisation strong? Or are they weak, so they make everyone else weak by allowing poor-quality leadership, not keeping the workforce's skills and knowledge up to date, or not having sufficient information about their people's needs? This is what weak HR looks like; entertainment crew. 

Weak HR entertains because they have no power, competence or resources. Unfortunately, it is a waste of their time because: 

- An employee of the month event will never compensate for shouting at employees (poor leadership). 

- A doughnut Friday will never compensate for a lack of staff (lack of resources).

- A lunch will never compensate for an unfair warning letter (incompetent HR).

- Pizza parties will never compensate for low salaries (no power). 

- A birthday card will never compensate for the narcissistic behaviour of the leader. 

- A team outing will never address incompetent leadership. 

- A welcome gift will never compensate for poor onboarding training.

- A worthless certificate and a clap will never compensate for the employee's effort to be the best up-seller. 

- And an annual staff party will never compensate for stealing employees' money by asking them to pay for recruitment fees (which is illegal). 

Entertainment will never compensate for poor people management practices. Fix these areas, and you won't have to be the entertainer of the workplace. 


But as long as "Organising monthly and annual events" is in their KPIs, what do we expect them to deliver? They will provide show after show. HR KPIs need to be redesigned because, as much as we love to call them the "Business Partners," they fail to prove their value to the business.

Retention rate, hiring speed, employee engagement, and all the nonsense tell us nothing about HR's strength and contribution to the business. The quality of people within the business is a good starting point for measuring their competence. However, looking at organisations, they fail at that. The level of incompetence in businesses is just a scary sight. Each time I see a business, I look at the employees. When they are strong, I know HR is in good shape, and when I experience poor service, it always leads to poor leadership and weak HR who fails to put their foot down with the CEO and business owners and influence them to build strong organisations. 

My latest example is the head of HR, who happily supports taking the team to Italy for a few days as the end-of-year present but is hesitant to invest in the development of her supervisors and managers. What's more, she doesn't have any development program, and despite being in this large business for around two decades, she just recently introduced performance management. 

I rest my case. That is what weak HR looks like. Focus on these areas to start with instead of entertaining people. 

Exciting news! My second book, "Blind Leading the Disengaged - From Kindergarten to Employee Experience," is dropping in April! It's a treasure trove of solutions and cool ideas to shake up your people management game. But before we get there, let's chat about where we're at now—The Corporate Kindergarten, as I spilt the beans in my first book. Check it out, and let's transform your workplace from a daycare to an awesome employee experience hub!:

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