Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.
A couple of things happened to me recently that got me thinking about whether we have apples and pineapples in our HR and management processes.
Let me explain (it will make sense I promise!).
Last month I was watching Great British Menu, where top chefs compete to cook for an annual banquet. In the London heat there was Oli against Kim. Now Oli is Executive Chef at two Simon Rogan restaurants – in London and Hong Kong – and has previously worked at 3 different 3 Michelin starred restaurants. Kim on the other hand is a Senior Sous Chef who has worked only at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants.
At one point Kim said to Oli that it’s been an honour cooking with him (he scored the highest points ever in GBM history). Oli just nodded. But actually it should have also been an honour for him to cook with Kim. Because Kim was almost as good as him, without anywhere near the experience he has. She is way ahead of the normal performance arch and maybe will be better than Oli once she had the same amount of experience.
Then last week I watched the Euro’s Football final – with England against Italy. Italy – a team with experience in playing finals, and with an average age of 28. England in their first final in 55 years and with a much younger team (average age 24), with some still in their teens. The fact that they almost, almost beat Italy is another example of players with far less experience competing and almost beating players with far more.
So here’s where HR and management come in.
With performance reviews and goal setting – do we think about the level of skill/experience of each person and adjust how they rate based on that? If a team goal is to sell XX widgets, and the new person with only 1 years experience almost gets the same result as the top salesperson with 8 years experience – shouldn’t they be recognised as having done exceptional well? But often because they didn’t get the best result, or didn’t get the goal set based on top performers – they aren’t recognised. I’ve only worked in one company ever that had lower performance goals for people in their first year – to recognise they hadn’t had the experience and training of the rest of the team.
At elephant – with our HR certificates, we have some of the same topics apply in several different programmes. While the webinar is the same, the questions asked in the assignment are adjusted and the depth of answer we are looking for is different. We know that an HR Advisor with 2 years experience will answer differently to an HRBP with 8 years experience.
I think we should try and recognise apples are different to pineapples and make sure we apply this to HR and management processes.
So ask yourself – are apples and pineapples happening in your business?
And are there ways you change this so apples get compared to apples and pineapples to pineapples.
Angela Atkins is the co-founder of Elephant Group who now operate in NZ, Australia, the UK, Canada and the US. She is the author of the Bites series of books and the Management Bites training programme. She now lives in the south west of France, renovating a 200+ year old house. She has played the apple pineapple game and it was one of the stupidest games she’s seen. Yet she kept playing it!!