Sal, Solo and Sally were chatting over a coffee, which they did from time to time after the train journey back from the city. They took the same train to work every day and often met to travel home together or enjoy some diversion in the city. They had become good friends and particularly after they discovered that they all worked in Human Resources and were quite passionate about their work. They were still relatively early in their careers and still very idealistic about the meaning of Human Resources, and its benefit to business and people in general, if given a chance.
Halloween was just a few days away and they discussed how their different organizations planned to celebrate or, more accurately, allow its employees to celebrate. Employees were permitted to dress up on the day and there may have been some prizes awarded, but HR had little involvement apart from sharing some of the fun, but not usually dressing up themselves.
“We should get more involved this year” said Sally, “Maybe dress up, but something that symbolizes HR more than graveyards, skulls and severed arms”. They all thought it was a great idea and explored several themes. Sal suggested adopting the French national motto, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. They agreed that it was a great motto, but maybe did not accurately describe values that directly inspire and drive business.
The HR three agreed that although business owners may like freedom to operate how they wish, they did not promote freedom for employees, who were paid to work in a specified way, in return for pay. There was some freedom, for example to be innovative in finding ways to do the job better, but not too much. Equality was important, between employees in general, but their businesses were quite hierarchical and the call for equality was not normally proclaimed from the boardroom. Fraternity, they interpreted as friendship and although a great social value did not seem to be as relevant to business. Harmonious workplaces were important, cooperation, courtesy and open communication, but not quite the same as friendship.
TRUSTING, CARING, SHARING
After considerable discussion, more coffee and festive donuts, our three HR friends finally decided on “TRUSTING, CARING, SHARING” as their personal HR Halloween motto:
- TRUSTING seemed important in so many ways. People said what they meant and followed through with what they said they would do, both employees and bosses and particularly HR. They could be trusted to do what is right and fair and following the spirit of what it was, not just the word
- CARING was relevant to almost everything. A safe and supportive work environment, the way employees did their work, the way their bosses supported, encouraged, praised and rewarded employees for a job well done
- SHARING was particularly important when people were committed to helping one another and were willing to mentor, give advice, share experiences and communicate positively together in every way. Sharing was particularly relevant in management being precise about work expectations, giving feedback and letting people know what was happening within the business and what they were all collectively working towards. Particularly nice is sharing success and milestones together, but not unfairly sharing blame when things do not go quite so well
Sally, Sol and Sally were very happy with their Halloween motto and planned to display it prominently in HR with maybe some treats (not tricks) to welcome Halloween visitors. They may dress up in some way or may expand on the theme with the cooperation of their bosses, but even if not, they felt really good that they had found a Halloween theme that seemed so appropriate to business and HR.
Our HR friends recognized that there were many other key words they could have selected, but felt very satisfied with their choice. What do you think? Are there theme words that you consider more appropriate, or suggestions about how we may best celebrate Halloween? I look forward to any thoughts and suggestions you may have.
Wishing you all a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN!