I love the character Dory in Disney’s Nemo and in her own movie Dory. She’s a beautiful surgeonfish who has some minor memory issues. It seems she can recall long-term memory but tends to forget anything her friends tell her only minutes before. As one could imagine, this can present a significant problem if you’re trying to save your friend’s son Nemo or find your parents at an aquarium.
In her second movie Finding Dory, the forgetful fish is determined to find her family. In one scene, she is given directions through a complicated maze of pipes within the aquarium that would take her to the majestic tank where her parents are thought to be. Not long into her journey through the winding pipes, she begins to forget the directions to her destination. As anxiety overwhelms her, Dory begins to swim in circles until her friends use the pipes to communicate step by step instructions to her final destination.
The complicated politics and silos residing in many HR departments can leave employees feeling a lot like poor Dory. We tend to forget that most employees do not daily operate in our complicated world so when they have to venture down some winding maze of pipes known as HR, they tend to have the same reaction as Dory: anxiety, fear and ultimately mental shut-down.
Step 1- Define the Path!
Always keep your employee at the center of your design process. Remembering their needs and the frustrations they may encounter while interacting with HR will help you define the communication paths employees have available to them.
Step 2- Trim the Processes
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are there ways you can combine steps within the process to make it more efficient and take less time?
- What is the employee experience during this process?
- Do they (employees) question the validity of the process?
- Are there too many confusing steps?
- Are there ways to honor the process but streamline it?
Step 3- Trash the Unneeded
Evaluate what needs to stay and what should go. Think of this as Spring Cleaning that will benefit your employees as they interact with HR. You don’t want them to view interacting with your department as they would interact with the Department of Motor Vehicles (I hate that place). Here are some questions to ask during the design process:
- When you examine the process, are there redundancies that should be eliminated?
- Identify processes and ask if they are needed to satisfy some law or regulation? If not, do you really need it? (If so, can you make the process easier?)
Don’t let your employees wander around aimlessly like poor Dory in the Nemo movie franchise. Give them a path to follow that will encourage them to interact with you more as a partner and advocate rather than a necessary evil.
I talk more about this in my book, NakedHR-the 7 Deadly Sins That Make HR Departments Suck. If you’d like to join the mailing list to get sneak peaks of chapters as I release them AND to be notified when the book is available for preorder, please complete the form below!
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