Busy HR professionals can solve dilemmas through hard graft, but Sue Weekes suggests an alternative guide - the route to 'quick and dirty HR
According to HR consultant Paul Kearns, the HR function can learn a lot from the shopfloor engineer. "Their pragmatism tells them they have to do whatever it takes to produce enough products by the end of the shift. And if quick and dirty methods are the way to get there, then that's fine with them," he explains.
Procedures and processes have their place, but the time they take up and the associated administration they bring often renders HR incapable of ever being reactive to a situation. Why wait three weeks for the board to sign off a bonus when a crate of choice Chablis from the local Majestic would arrive while a job well done (and the extra hours they worked) were still fresh in your employee's mind?
And while there is a time and a place for textbook HR, it isn't 10 minutes before a line manager is about to do a short-notice appraisal of a staff member. In such a case, they need some swift side-of-the-desk coaching from you on the kind of questions they should ask.
Quick and dirty may not come naturally to many HR professionals - after all, you didn't study hours for that CIPD qualification only to fly in the face of all its best practices - but being spontaneous and reactive can be an asset. To assist you, we've lowered ourselves to produce the quick and dirty guide to nine key HR functions.
Recruiting a new member of staff
Forget Spending hours assessing the core competencies for the job and dreaming up your set of killer questions.
Quick & dirty route Find out when you last advertised for a similar position; dig out the outline job description; make a few necessary tweaks; and compose a set of six or seven questions about the job that you want to ask in an interview.
Forget Personal development plans (PDPs) and defined career paths.
Quick & dirty route Sit down with the employee and ask what they want out of life and what they expect from their job. You can even chuck in the hoary old: "So, tell me, where do you see yourself in five years' time?"
Forget Competencies and laborious appraisal forms.
Quick & dirty route Sit down on a regul