Working as I do with small organisations, I’ll often read an article about some great new HR initiative or theory and wonder why we make things so complex. It seems to me that we frequently get so caught up in the processes, jargon and big picture stuff that we neglect what we are really all about. Employment is a relationship and we need to be clear about what it is that we are committing to, as our side of the ‘deal’. After giving it some thought, I’ve distilled it down to 15 points that define what HR should be doing to create a successful relationship (and where there is no HR, what senior managers should make sure they have in place)
1. We’ll pay you correctly, on time, and at a rate that is ‘felt fair’ by both sides.
2. We’ll make sure that you have a safe place to work, with the right equipment and any required protective clothing
3. We’ll make sure we comply with the law around employment
4. If you apply for a job with us, we’ll make sure the process is clear and easy to follow, and keep you informed about your application.
5. If you need training or other support during work, we’ll make sure that it is organised for you in a timely way.
6. We’ll keep you informed about what’s going on in the organisation and how it affects you, and we’ll listen to your views
7. If you do something that’s not right, we’ll make you aware of what it is and why – and do what we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
8. If you think we’ve done something wrong, we want you tell us (and feel comfortable about doing so)
9. If we do get something wrong, we’ll make sure it is put right (for the future, if we can’t correct it now).
10. We recognise that there may be times when what individuals or groups of employees want may not be the same as what the organisation wants. We’ll always discuss the best way forward and try to reach a consensus if we can
11. We won’t tolerate a culture where individuals are abused, belittled, harassed or insulted – whoever this is by.
12. If we need to end your employment, we’ll make sure this is done with respect, professionalism and understanding.
13. We can’t promise that every day you work here will be enjoyable. But we’ll try to make sure that the unpleasant ones are the exception, not the rule
14. We understand that you may have things going on in your life outside work. We’ll do our best to support you and, if we can, accommodate them.
15. Above all, we recognise that you are a person too.
I’m conscious that I might be accused of coming up with a ‘best practice’ list – anathema to many modern-day HR practitioners. But I prefer to see it as a core set of principles – which can be adapted to virtually any business size, structure or sector. One thing’s for sure – could you say your organisation is doing all 15 currently?