I’ve just spent a week working with a few of my Actionable colleagues on the other side of the world. This gave me cause to reflect on both the obvious and intangible elements that contribute to our exceptionally collaborative team culture. It also meant that I had a lot of time on several airplanes to catch up on my reading list. Something that had been in my Pocket list for awhile was this short article by Olivia Godhill about employee happiness. I wrote about this topic years ago, and have since mostly ignored the employee happiness hype, but it continues to be an alarmingly popular aspiration for many in HR.
Posts tagged ‘Talent Vanguard’
If you had to choose between two employees for your organization, both solid performers, one deeply passionate about their work and profession but who will leave within 3 years, and the other who is looking for a long-term career with your company but sees this work as “just a job”, who would you pick? .
If you chose the passionate employee who’s likely to move on soon, why? I’m not suggesting that this choice is wrong. But I am curious about the reasons behind it.
When I joined Actionable at the beginning of this year I had never worked remotely, aside from the odd day over the years when I worked from home to spare my colleagues from a particularly vicious cold. I’d worked in organizations with remote workers, and had handled plenty of HR challenges and questions related to those arrangements, but I’d never experienced it first hand. Joining a fully remote, distributed organization was daunting: it meant that I needed to figure out how to work remotely for myself, while also understanding the particular needs of a remote and distributed team.
Feedback. It sounds so basic. So obvious. It’s easy to get distracted by the latest HR tech, the robots, Uber’s garbage fire. But feedback deserves our attention. Mostly because we’re terrible at it, and that is at the root of so many problems and missed opportunities in our organizations. We think we get it, but I have my doubts. You can tell because so many people talk about feedback like it’s a chore.
This week an old post of mine, HR’s Sloppy Thinking About Culture, was shared on LinkedIn and then Twitter (thank you very much Simon Jones and Rob Briner). Once I got over the initial shock that five years have passed since I wrote it, it seemed like a good opportunity to revisit the topic of organizational culture.
This week I noticed an eye-catching stat making the rounds again. You’ve likely seen it as well:
“65% of today’s elementary school students will do jobs that do not yet exist”
Although it sounds believable, the claim is actually quite suspect. You can read a thoughtful tale of its history and context in this excellent essay from Benjamin Doxtdator: ‘A Field Guide to ‘jobs that don’t exist yet’’.
The underlying message this stat conveys is that education is failing to prepare our next generation for the economy of tomorrow. And hey, don’t we already have a digital skills gap?
The perils and promise we imagine the future to hold are like a mirage on the horizon, reflecting a time that never really arrives. It is the perfect canvas for us to project our hopes and fears onto, always ahead, ominous or inviting.
The result is that we fail to attend to the present and our recent past, and the clues they might offer to validate or diminish our fears and hopes.
Are you as productive as you want to be? Me neither. And although it fills me with self-loathing, I still occasionally succumb to the lure of those click-bait articles about productivity hacks based on the words of “wisdom” some sublimely productive human has shared with a business or lifestyle writer, presumably while also shaving and spending quality time reading poetry with their children and beloved pets.