The Employee Engagement Network

Why is HR rarely mentioned when the continuous improvement/Lean community writes or discusses topics concerning people development, employee engagement, or cultural

What’s the disconnection?

My guest blog post on the 7 Wastes of Human Resources.

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The paradox is that HR is focused on training and generally not focused on organizational improvement kinds of things. They do headcount for a specific budget and are often not even allowed to show up on the "shop floor" to followup on whether the training was even effective or if the manager followed up! So, there is little transfer of learning actually expected in many cases.

Line managers, seeing that training has not really generated a lot of impact on their measured results and expected outcomes. So, they tend to see training as a waste of time (and their budget).

Heck, we've been talking about this stuff since I started consulting on performance improvement back in 1978.

Some things just never change, like "Interdepartmental Collaboration." It's why I like Square Wheels and team building so much!

We need to engage people for a variety of reasons, including

For the FUN of It!

Our lean-to-the-point-of-anorexic company recently merged with another that carries an old-school HR department. Slowly but surely (and sometimes painfully), our new management has come to appreciate how critical our HR group is the to the company. They are getting it, and as a result, our little group of 11 can now develop even more value added stuff. Can't imagine ever going backward....shudder.
Hello Jim - Personally, I believe that HR is TOO visible during Employee Engagement Survey efforts - while it is nice to have people assist and lead, in this case it shifts ownership away from where it should be - with Management. Research has actually shown that organizations that have HR take the lead on managing the Employee Engagement Survey are actually (and ironically) posting much lower engagement levels than those organizations tyhat have Executive Team members lead and champion the effort. Kevin
If people are not engaged, what are they?

Can we really expect good performance if people aren’t involved and included? Apparently, from what we see.

And you know who puts the NO in Innovation, right? For the most part: Management.

A 2010 study from The Nielsen Company found that consumer products companies with acknowledged, successful innovation practices also have limited involvement from senior management. The teams are guided, but freed of many controls. “Manage Ideas Lightly, Manage Process Precisely” was the outcome, with the study finding that ideation and new product development must be structured, but unconstrained by senior management. Even being near the company headquarters was sufficient to somewhat stifle innovation!

The companies enjoyed 80% more new product revenue when senior executives were less involved in managing innovation.

So, I don't want to guess how to best manage the information and think that depends on corporate culture as much as anything else. The data "belongs" to management, but who can give it the framework and hold people accountable for making improvements? So many times, nothing gets done with it and that sure sends a message to employees about the value of their ideas...

I have seen managers go on a quest to find the individual who wrote something, asking me to see the actual survey so they can look at the handwriting (really!). So, maybe having HR review takes away the accountability that management feels, I don't know.

Engage and Involve them, because, “Nobody ever washes a rental car.”

And long ago, I gave up the idea that I might know The Answer.

My fav quote: "Nothing made sense, and neither did anything else." (Catch 22)

I think Kevin's Key Word is "Champion" -- so much different than "ignore."



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