Entries in HR (2)


Line up for Review!

On Performance Reviews:

It's a repugnant process. It's insulting to people and unnecessary. I'm more in favor of open accountability against previously decided criteria that everyone agrees upon. Light is the greatest disinfectant in nature and also in organizations. If you have real-time information, against the goals you've established together, then people can evaluate their own performance, and you can become a source of help to them.

You talk about the need to treat employees as people rather than things. How do you feel about outsourcing jobs to other countries? Doesn't it treat people as things that are disposable?

If you're up against global competition, you go wherever you can find core competency. Sometimes if you're going to really compete, [outsourcing] will happen. But that doesn't mean you don't constantly do everything you can to invest in your own people and involve them in the decisions. Outsourcing is inevitable, and I don't think it's necessarily treating people like things.

Stephen Covey, The secrets of his success, "Fortune" November 2004

Yes, review season has come again, a process that in the context of the employer-employee relationship *SHOULD* be a process that has both parties actively involved. Sadly, today many corporations, and most Wall Street analysts view employees as a liability - salaries, raises, training and benefits are annoying expenses to be kept to a minimum. This view however is inevitably short sighted – it burns up long term viability by eliminating the fuel, desire, and goodwill for future growth.

Am I right? Wrong?


...the protection racket

...what kind of Human Resources organization do we have to ensure this shared awareness of and commitment to the common purpose? None.

Most of us have observed the damage caused by addictive HR organizations. In the beginning, they relieve stress. Soon, they insinuate themselves into every aspect of corporate life and withdrawal pain becomes impossible to bear. Not unlike some welfare programs, HR becomes an end unto itself, a means of existence for a group of individuals whose sustenance depends upon their clients' problems. Decisions are laden with their intervention. Straight- forward processes are gummed up with their arbitration.

In a way, HR is a protection racket. A process must be put in place, a study must be made, a task force must be set up; thus management is protected and absolved of political responsibility, and HR gains power.

One of the benefits we offer at Be is that there's no HR and there won't be any. Personnel, yes. Forms, benefits, insurance, 401K -- these are all healthy and regular paperwork movements. If we ever need HR work, we'll bring consultants to help. And then they'll leave. Just as we want our employees to own their work, so do we want an unobfuscated (and minimal) management to be fully responsible for its actions.
Jean-Louis Gass e, "Working at Be", Be Newsletter, Issue 25, May 29, 1996