2019 is just around the corner and HR leaders everywhere are making their New Year’s resolutions.
I’m not talking about false promises to lay off gluten, flatten that spare tire around the midsection, call grandma in Sheboygan more often, eat more kale, blah blah blah. That’s all well and good, but how about making a collective resolution to your employees and organizations to give your HR policies a nip here and a tuck there?
- Committing to protecting your organization beginning with a more top-down approach, using your strongest tools–your leadership team.
- Tightening up your HR compliance by training your leadership team on the latest and greatest in EEO, interviewing for success, etc.?
- Seeking new ways to create and entrench a culture consistent with your organization’s mission statement and service commitments?
- Building a strategy to create a culture so remarkable that it defines your organization?
OK, OK, I’ll go first:
I will provide quarterly training to my to managers and to re-assert EEOC laws and regulations on discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, American Disabilities Act, etc. The more leaders know, the more aware they become. Given how prevalent harassment and discrimination claims are in the modern workplace, front-line managers are the best defense in preventing workplace behaviors that lead to claims in the first place.
I will re-visit my HR policies to make sure they are up-to-date based on the current workplace climate. The world is changing rapidly, and so is our workplace. Some things I will consider are:
• Does my dress code need to be modified for transgender employees for positions that require a uniform?
• Does my social media policy need to be more specific?
• Should I create a political affiliation discrimination policy since it is indeed a protected class in the state where my organization does business?
• Are my managers versed on our HR policies enough to recognize a policy violation?
• Is this the right time for an anti-bullying policy? Does the state I do business in require this as a part of our legal compliance requirements?
I will make sure that policies are routinely communicated beyond new hire orientation, and make sure that leaders know how our policies impact the culture of our organization. I will also resolve to review my reporting process to make sure that my employees do not fear retaliation or that their career is in jeopardy should they report a violation.
I will re-invigorate the service commitments of my organization and create a plan of action that not only encourages my leaders to model them, but also encourages their staff to apply and practice those service commitments so routinely and consistently that they become woven into the fiber of my organization; and the employee’s experience from candidacy to retirement.
In my commitment to providing a safe space for people to do their best work, I will consider the merits of an anti-bullying policy even where it is not a compliance requirement. This could not only go a long way in creating that culture of competence, collaboration, and compassion, but it could also set the expectation that certain behaviors are simply not tolerated.
Get the picture? Consider ways that you can strengthen and protect your organization all while building your 2019 service commitments and strategies in a way that will change your organization for the better, one resolution at a time.
Happy New Year!
William has held consulting and strategic HR roles at Virginia Mason, Mercer Human Resources Consulting, Kaiser Permanente, and Williams-Sonoma. He has a proven track record for building employee satisfaction through building leadership competencies and strong collaborative HR partnerships with leadership teams that focus on the staff retention and fostering cultures of engagement. William regularly shared his insights and experience though for a number of Talent publications including Fistful of Talent, Career Crossroads (CXRWorks), and The HR Gazette and believes that an organization’s human capital is their most valuable asset.