I cannot put into words the vile feelings I have when I hear someone in my profession say, “According to policy” or “Policy states”. It’s almost like a nuclear explosion erupts in my head and manifests itself on my face. I typically have to count to ten before responding and even then my response is usually laced with acidic language.
I guess part of my guttural reaction comes from how many times those types of statements were said to me by someone in HR when I was a manager in the business. As a manager, I had shit to do and decisions to make but often worked for firms dominated by an HR department afraid of its own shadow. Rather than looking at a situation and determining the best course of action for the firm, employee and me, HR typically regurgitated some policy as the reason we could not do this or that. It nearly drove me mad.
When someone tries to quote HR policy to me, I instantly deduce they have an inability to claim responsibility for a decision. Saying that an inanimate object dictates a course of action tells me you are too scared to think for yourself and would rather be chicken-shit and hide behind a policy.
Before all of my traditional HR peeps get their panties in a wad, I am not advocating throwing policy out of the window and letting the asylum take over. I am merely challenging all of us to take ownership for any decision they make. Rather than hiding behind verbiage invoking the all-powerful POLICY, use this situation to think through the situation with a business mindset.
After all, the first step in becoming a NakedHR professional is to know your business and become entrenched in it. If that has been done, you should be more willing and able to make business sound decisions without the need to quote from the excellent book of policy.
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