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Oct
23 2011

Job Security is a Two-way Commitment

Syndicated from: balance-AND-results

While it’s true that organizations benefit from creating an environment in which jobs are relatively more secure than in other organizations, the story doesn’t end there. To achieve maximum security an employee has to be flexible and prepared to transfer to other roles or departments where their services are needed in the event of a downturn. The two elements fit nicely together. Transferrable, prepared employees are the most valuable to any business. They don’t have to be jacks-of-all-trades, but they will be looking at what else they could be doing that the company needs and what skills they need to develop to do that. Good bosses will be identifying such employees routinely as those who could take on more or different roles and encouraging them to prepare, to try them out through cross-department projects and assignments. Clearly this breaks down if any element, the employee, the boss or the organization, refuses to participate in such a program. But that’s how some companies come to have great reputations for protecting, nurturing and promoting their employees and some employees come to have great reputations for being ready to take on tasks the company needs. All this is even more important as the pace of change and innovation continue to accelerate. Yes, it’s still possible to find organizations that don’t change. much. But even government, which used to be counted on never to change much at all is faced with having to keep up with changing expectations of the public for new and better services. Just take a look at how many things can now be done via the Internet and are often done better, faster, cheaper and with fewer staff. Imagine what happens to staff numbers in particular departments. A close relation worked for many years in the cataloguing section of the National Library. In time his personal interests motivated him to study data base management and move to the computer systems site of the department where he survived quite nicely through a number of downsizings. Cataloguing just isn’t done by hand much any longer. Not everyone has to move into IT for safety. In fact, IT can have considerable turnover as well when new systems and approaches are introduced, so it would be foolish to assume it always represents a safe haven. The plan for individuals needs to be that they keep an eye open for other things they could do and request opportunities to learn and take on some of those types of work so they’re ready when things change. Everyone, in other words, should participate in the on-going growth and change that every organization must foster in order to ensure it survives and thrives. Not paying attention may leave you high and dry when change overtakes your type of work. Are you ready? That goes for HR as well. The move toward measuring results and managing HR by measurement, for instance, seems to be catching many HR professionals flat-footed. When a shift in employment numbers comes within HR, it won’t wash to say, “I don’t know much about computers, I joined HR to work with people.” There’s nothing wrong with doing both and nothing stopping anyone from becoming more computer literate as systems become easier to use and understand. These are skills you can work on even at home or in spare time in various ways. Everyone benefits as more and more HR managers develop a more sophisticated understanding of what capabilities exist for enhancing current HR practices even if many of those individuals are never called upon to actually tap a keystroke on any program. In fact, if you aspire to be the boss in an HR function, at least understanding such capabilities is quickly becoming an absolute necessity. Yet how many HR people do you talk to who have “learning more about systems” on their development plan? Bookmark and share this post More »

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