Kick Over Some Rocks in HR

It’s time to kick over some rocks in HR.

When I was a kid, my brother and sister and I would play in the wooded area behind our parent’s house for hours at a time. We avoided piles of rocks and dried up branches because we knew that that’s where all kinds of critters hung out (snakes, spiders, etc.).

If one of us had suggested that we spend an afternoon kicking over rocks to see what was underneath, none of us would have taken up the offer. We knew better. We were just kids in the woods and we were completely unprepared to handle a crisis if it happened.


And while I think our mindset was appropriate for the time, we eventually grew out of the mentality that danger is to be avoided at all costs. We learned that sometimes we need to move that pile of rocks or brush to clear an area for other things. Sometimes, we NEED to take steps to mitigate risk so that you can build something better.

In HR, we occasionally get stuck worrying about more about what’s hidden under the rocks in our organization than the opportunities to succeed if we move them. We think long and hard about what danger awaits us should we choose to kick it over, but almost never consider the consequences of NOT moving it.

  • What if the survey reveals that everyone is unhappy?
  • What if we find out people are being treated poorly?
  • What if we discover that we are way below market in terms of compensation and benefits?
  • What if the data implies a problem we don’t have the skillset to address?
  • What if we find out we’re not getting a return on investment on that new platform?

It’s scary, I get it. But not as scary as the consequences of inaction.

Will your organization ever become the kind of place that it aspires to be? Will it fulfill its mission? Its vision? Will you be fulfilling yours?

No? Well then, I think you know what you need to do.

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