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The HR Challenge: The Importance of “While”

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The HR Challenge: The Importance of “While”

“While” can turn a challenge into an opportunity. Quite a lot of kerfuffle hit the HR blogosphere in the last few weeks after the appearance of KMPG International’s “Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World” report.

“While” can turn a challenge into an opportunity.

Quite a lot of kerfuffle hit the HR blogosphere in the last few weeks after the appearance of KMPG International’s “Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World” report.

Without going into all of that, let’s look at HR’s three core challenges as defined in the report (and admirably summarized on TLNT by John Hollon):

  1. Balancing the global and the local – managing, hiring and identifying talent globally while retaining important local insights
  2. Managing a flexible and virtual workforce – but not at the cost of loyalty and career development
  3. Retaining the best talent – maintaining employee engagement in the face of a less committed, more flexible workforce.

Let me reframe those challenges in terms that make more sense to me:

  1. Honor the unique talents and differences (cultural or otherwise) in all employees while integrating them fully into one company culture of recognition and appreciation
  2. Let employees work how (and where) they work best while creating opportunities for building interpersonal relationships and advancement
  3. Reward your top performers as they deserve while recognizing and praising the continued day-in and day-out commitment of your middle 70% “Steady Eddies.”

Did you notice that one little word “while” in all three challenges? “While” is that little hook that turns a challenge into an opportunity – and, very often, into a solution.

Let’s look these challenges again through the lens of the “while” solution:

  1. One culture of recognition and one language of appreciation and praise, applied strategically so that local cultural expectations are honored globally, brings the balance needed in today’s widely distributed workforces.
  2. Though we may work in scattered locations, we all need to know that what we do matters and contributes to a bigger picture. Building interpersonal relationships with our colleagues through frequent, timely positive praise helps those who are physically disconnected from their coworkers reconnect through the knowledge that their efforts made a difference.
  3. We can no longer focus on the top 10% of performers and expect everyone to be engaged. We must focus on the 80-90% of performers who do their best every day. We must never forget it’s those middle 70% who make it possible for the stars to shine. When you expand the “winner’s circle” to the vast majority, you make it far easier for employees to choose to engage in your culture of recognition.

How can you incorporate “while” to change challenges to opportunities or solutions?

About the Author

Derek is Vice President, Client Strategy & Consulting Services, at Globoforce, the world’s only provider of truly global, strategic employee recognition and reward programs. Their management team blogs regularly on Globoforce news, products, customers, and industry insights at the Globoforce Blog.

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Derek Irvine

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