Anyone who has ever been deeply involved in the wonder that is Human Resources knows that HR is essentially a relentless effort to bring human beings to the very important conclusion that the work that they dedicate their lives to is, after all, worthwhile. As HR people, the onus lies on us to find innovative methods to ensure that employees feel appreciated, motivated and committed. These methods then take the form of well-defined HR programmes to effectively engage employees.
However, as experience and anecdotes would no doubt tell you, it’s not the easiest job to keep up a consistent track record with HR programmes. It is possible for certain HR initiatives to not work out, miss the mark or even outright fail. However, there could be certain patterns in these failed initiatives that can be easily corrected. If you find yourself relating to this dilemma, here are 5 common mistakes that your HR initiatives could unwittingly be making:
Clarity Of Purpose Or The Lack Of It
An often-overlooked point about a particular HR initiative can be the “why” of it. As an HR programme gets laid out on the drawing board with its specific parts being fleshed out, it is common for the larger objective behind the initiative to get lost in the process.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, the bigger picture should always be the focal point around which the specifics get drawn instead of working the other way around. Don’t launch an initiative because you’ll win an award but rather think if what you are doing will really make a difference.
Lack Of Sustainability
Who doesn’t like to start things off with a bang? After all, the grander the opening, the better! However, it is not uncommon for grand initiatives to eventually fizzle out as people gradually lose interest or enthusiasm. It could be due to a change in circumstances, or perhaps just the idea inherently being a short-sighted one.
At the end of the day, if your employees are not on the same page as the HR, the point of an initiative can easily turn moot. Bottom line: make sure to always focus on the long-term impact of any idea.
It is no secret that people have a tendency to develop a motivation towards something they are deeply invested in it. Participation is a prime success factor for HR initiatives and the key to boosting it, in any event, is to take efforts towards the consideration and inclusion of the participants. A common mistake often made is severely limiting its scope by only focussing on a particular level of management or region instead of making it an all-inclusive program.
Action Before Thought
As much as efficient planning benefits your HR initiative, failing to account for the unpredictable is like asking for things to go wrong. From the time that an initiative is planned and designed to the moment of its final execution, there are a host of opportunities for circumstances to change. True, certain things cannot be foreseen, but certain things can. During the planning stage, setting more time aside for brainstorming on possible “things that can go wrong” list, can go a long way in improving the durability of an HR programme.
Lost In Translation
Perhaps the most tragic case of all is a situation where despite the presence of commendable clarity in concept, purpose and implementation, an HR initiative fails due to the lack of effective communication. Remember to create content for the reader and to come up with an effective communication strategy to skilfully convey its objective and importance.
The lack of proper communication during HR programmes eventually leads to a lose-lose situation where not only is it a loss for you – the HR professional – but for the employees, who resultantly missed out on an opportunity designed to benefit them.
In parting, what one does need to remember is that while creating any people-centric initiative, a degree of ‘faith’ is needed. Don’t let rules determine the outcome of ‘an experiment’ that may just work with employees. Try new stuff and stay relevant while you take necessary action to carrying out the perfect HR programmes. What’s that? It’s the one that employees truly appreciate.