What’s all this Human Resource ‘stuff’ anyway?  Well the best person I have come across to explain this is the management writer, Jim Collins. He describes people management as: –

“Getting the right people on the bus,
Getting the right people on the right seats on the bus,
And sometimes assisting them to get off the bus.”

So what did Jim mean by this: –

“Getting the right people on the bus

So often we don’t get the fundamentals right – ‘start as you mean to go on’ was a phrase my dad used to tell me. The ‘start’ in HR is understanding our business, our culture and our mission and then letting this filter into our recruitment practices, such as, job evaluation, advertising, assessment, interviewing, selection and induction.

“Getting the right people on the right seats on the bus”

Once we have them recruited we often leave them alone to get on with their jobs.  Sometimes for years without ever asking if they wish to change seats on the bus or encouraging any development to consider other more suitable seats! Performance management, facilitation of learning, one to one’s with managers, coaching and training and constantly evaluating the needs of the business against the requirements of a job role all assist our organisations.

“Sometimes assisting them to get off the bus”

Decisions to ‘get off the bus’ usually fall into two categories.  Sometimes decisions being ‘dictated to’ people and sometimes ‘dictated by’ people.  ‘Dictated to’ decisions should follow company procedures and should be carried out with integrity and professionalism.  ‘Dictated by’ decisions from individuals will leave valuable clues about our organisations and we should evaluate exit interview reports and staff turnover figures.

One of the main reasons given for leaving is being under utilized and de-motivated in the role performed.  Exceptional organisations aim to understand not only the job task but the individual performing that task.  Exceptional organisations learn to communicate better with their people and find ways to ‘assist’ individuals in ways that will encourage them to find the best fit for their skills whether within the existing organisation or elsewhere.