You can’t run until you can walk

It’s logical isn’t it? You can’t run until you’ve learned to walk. But how is this relevant to HR? Because the principle is exactly the same.

Over the years, I’ve come to think of two different approaches to HR – the approach that’s grounded in employment law and policy, and the approach that’s all about employee engagement. HR professionals seem to get attracted to one or the other, depending on their personalities. However one cannot exist without the other, as policy is the foundation on which engagement can grow. Up&Up is the embodiment of this concept – with five clear stages, designed to work sequentially and cover all bases.

Setting the baseline

Recently I heard Peter Cheese, the current CEO of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) explain that he thought HR had lost some of its focus on measurement of employees. In order to have a measure, you need to have a baseline to measure from – and this is where you need HR policies and procedures to set those boundaries.

These boundaries can vary from business to business, shaped by the nature of what they need their employees to do. Google’s free spirited and playful approach wouldn’t work in a highly process-focused manufacturing environment such as Toyota, and visa versa. Equally the measurements for both are going to be VERY different – but still measurable.

Moving in the same direction

Once you have set the boundaries, you can start measuring against them to ensure that the business is getting what it requires. This also helps individuals, as they now know exactly what is expected from them. As such, they start to move towards the same goals as the business.

Once everyone is walking in the same direction, we can then push further into the realms of engagement and begin to ‘jog’. We pick up the speed by supportive actions which increase motivation – clear advancement, development and benefits for highly productive employees – rewarding great work and contributions, using a meritocratic approach. The result is a more motivated and focused business.