Are we just counting cows?

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Here’s a situation retold:

Imagine that you work on the 18th floor of a building. One fine Monday afternoon, a fire breaks out on the 7th floor and it is fast spreading. The people on your floor are in danger and most exits are cut off. Then one little bird comes along and tells you that if you jump out a particular window, you will be saved. That it is the fastest way out and you have to spread the word. The question is – will you be able to spread the word around quickly enough and when you do – will they trust you?

This one little question is something we really need to reflect on. What is our credibility on the floor? What are we doing to build that kind of trust? In fact, what it is that we are doing at all to add value.

As I talk to more people, I find that transactional roles are given more importance. We are fast running out of ideas. The only thing I hear people talking about now is either data analytics or employee engagement (read activities). We’ve been reduced to people who count cows. We are so involved with numbers that we’ve stopped seeing people as people. How many did we manage to hire? How many left? What is the attrition percentage? How can we bring it down? Who need to be fired? How much revenue are these people bringing in? This is all most of us are really thinking about.

They call us the ‘People Specialists’. What is so special about us? Much of what we do can be done by any intelligent college graduate. Why hire someone with specialized degrees in Human Resource Management? Should we not be able to decide who it is that should be promoted and who not? Do we know our resources?

I know these are a lot of questions and I will leave with one final one:

Are you counting cows or working to build stallions?

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