Book Review: HR on Purpose!!
This was one book I was “geeked” to read. I have been following the author, Steve Browne, on social media (LinkedIn and Twitter) for quite awhile and always have appreciated his insights and focus on being very intentional it what he does and says, and you can definitely see this through his book.
The main idea that I took away from this book was exactly that, we need to be intentional in everything we are doing (personally and professionally). Steve uses real-life examples from his past and present ot drive home the points that he is making in a real and impactful way.
Chapter 4: Ask Me Why
This has to be one of my favorite chapters, for a couple of reasons. First, it reminds me that my soon to be four year old isn’t trying to annoy me be constantly asking me why. But it also reminds me that employees aren’t asking me why because they are trying to be defiant.
People want context to what they are doing, they want to try and understand the purpose behind the changes that you may be making. Change is hard, especially if it’s big change. We need to be able to explain and have a conversation about the why behind change, and how we can see this change as a positive idea. Ideally, we would want to have these conversations before any decision is made and during the implementation process to build buy-in, commitment and excitement to the change.
Steve also goes at it from another point. Why are we in HR and how do we feel about it. He has a set of questions that he wants the reader to think about, and they make you ponder the reason you are doing what you are doing. If you don’t have answers to those questions, maybe it isn’t the field for you (yes, he takes it there and I love it). The theme throughout the chapter is having purpose, and how people need and want to have a purpose that they believe in. Hence, needing to understand why something is happening.
Chapter 9: Where is He?
Another personal favorite in this book. Steve was out working with employees and trying to connect and understand each person as an individual. A lot of us would argue that this helps him do his job better and should be a part of his working day being in the same location as the people he is working with. Is that what his bosses thought, spoiler alert, not at first.
They questioned him, almost mockingly, about how the employees were doing, and when they heard his answer that employees weren’t doing well, they got upset and asked an employee. That employee, of course said everything was fine (as he went ghostly white). However, Steve was able to explain exactly what was going on and what the issues were with the situation for that employee.
This shocked the executive that he was speaking to, but in a good way. Steve had been in his position for three days and was able to tell him information that the people around the executive wouldn’t tell him or didn’t even know about.
I think this is an important aspect of HR. We are in our roles to help support not only the leadership, but the employees that we work with. To help make them successful in the roles they are in; however, we get buried in transactional HR and then there is the question, do we really want to know how people are doing? How can we do our jobs to satisfaction if we don’t know how people are doing. Sometimes we need to get out from behind our computers and check in on the pulse of employees and make those connections.
I could truly go on about this book because it brings light to a lot of things, we, as HR professionals need to think about. But instead, I will recommend that you just read the book. You can buy it on amazon here!