Are we missing the message?

We recently offered to present a breakout session for a state SHRM council and was told thanks but no thanks. When we questioned the reason, we were informed that feedback from the membership said it was just not a topic that generated must interest. The presentation was entitled “In Plain Sight: Hidden Wastes that Affect the Vitality of Your Human Resource Organization.”

So here is our question if we know that every process within our organizations have hiccups. We also recognize these hiccups can have a very dramatic affect on the organization. This could be as small as missed deadlines to as large as huge wastes of resources.

So lets pose another perspective on this scenario? What if we knew that on the premise of it all that there are hiccups in the process but we have never sought to identify them, does that lessen the impact on the organization? Because the non-value added activities flounder just under the radar does that make it any less real as to the impact on the organization?

We have peers who cringe every time they hear one of our HR professionals talk about gaining a seat at the partnership table. We can understand their frustration, but I would suggest it is not so much taking a seat at the table as it is a manifestation that as HR professionals want to to be judged based on what we deliver to the organization.

So when we hear that the subject matter does not interest the HR audience we are confronted with a couple of thoughts. First, are we as a profession so entrenched in the  idea we are there as administrative gate controls for the organization that we do not care to hear about ways to improve the operations  or we so afraid of being ineffective that we we will fight any opportunity to make the changes necessary to sustain our organizations?

Here is the message as plain as we can state it. Every single organization in the world is performing process steps which are directly holding back the organization in the long run. If human capital professionals can’t see that or choose not to look at them then the outcome is of their own doing. Every process has its hiccups and it is the hidden one that will come back to bite in ways that can cause great harm to the organization.

We recently heard one of our colleagues talking about how the organization she works for had moved an employee’s desk from the second floor to the first floor but left all her necessary files on the second floor. In order for the duties of the position they had to go bakc to the second floor to recover the filed required at any given moment. To get there, they had to walk the entire length of the office go up stairs and bring the file back downstairs to their desk. The result was a loss of 25 minutes in productivity each time the task was performed. If we figure that the task is performed about four times a day, that means over the course of a normal work year the organization has lost 30,000 minutes or 500 man hours, If we figure that the professional is paid $24 per hour, this means that the organization has lost $12,000 annually in time spent working on non-value added work.

So are wearing blinders or did we not hear the message? If we are so ingrained in the way we do things then we are wearing the blinders that will never get us beyond where we are and a small part of the total organization. If on the other hand, we just missed the message than we need to go back and listen again about how HR can play a vital role in the sustainability and the success of the organization.

The choice is yours. The choice as to your future is yours. The choice as to where the organization is headed is yours.You can either be the ostrich in the sand or you can be the strategist who really considers the role of human capital within the organization.

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