I (like many folks) have been trying to simplify my life in the new year by getting rid of all the things I no longer need/want/use. It’s not as easy as it sounds because I tend towards being sentimental (remember the summer I got this shirt?) and a bit of a pack rat (you never know when I might fit in that again). I’m in no danger of being on “Hoarders” but probably need to intentionally go through my stuff with a critical eye a bit more often.
I suspect many HR departments function in a similar way. Each year we add a few more programs or processes or policies that make complete sense at the time, but after several years we end up with a mish mash collection of offerings that don’t really go together, support each other, of fit well any more. Sure, they’re still a good thought or worthwhile effort, but they’ve become dated, frayed, or a little too – how to put this delicately? – snug. Yesterday’s fashions move to the back but still stick around. Old policies and documents linger on the intranet. Formerly exciting programs have become a bit moth eaten. We hang onto them because we have them, not because we need them or because they still make sense. Does it make sense to got through our old HR stuff with a critical eye a bit more often?
In my quest for a less crowed closet, I came across a bit of great advice. I wish I could remember who said it, but basically the question we should be asking ourselves when going through our clothes is: Does it look great on me? That sounds obvious, but the question I tend to ask myself is: Might I wear this someday? The intention is similar, but the questions are actually very different. Different questions that yield very different results.
Do we do the same in HR? Should we hold every program, process, and policy under the harsh and ruthless light of: Does this fully support the culture we are creating, help people work better, support better decisions, or truly improve the employee experience? Not “might it”, “could it”, “should it”, or “did it used to”. Does it. Does it do that right now?
Is your HR closest getting too cluttered?
The same question can be usefully applied to presenting. How many gigabytes of storage space, both physical and mental, do we consume by hanging onto old presentations just because we might need them again one day. The risk is. that one day, in a rush, we grab that old presentation out of storage and show it in public, only to find out, too late, that those old styles and colours no longer suit us.