The shortness of time
It has been a while since my last blog – 28th February, to be precise. Since then, I have started developing a second business, finished a successful HR project for a global company, and started dealing with a not-wholly-unexpected family bereavement, and everything that comes with that. My good intentions to write a monthly blog haven't transpired – I am human after all. During this time of reflection, my favourite quotes from Seneca's 'The shortness of time' have been springing to mind.
We know what it feels like for our senses to transport us back in time to a precise moment. When we hear a familiar song on the radio, lean-in to inhale the scent of a blossoming flower, or thumb the lines of a favourite piece of handmade pottery. So many senses which guide our intuition are somewhat dampened as we create paler versions of ourselves, fit to carry out the different roles we have. We have one mould, yet we behave quite differently in different situations.
To illustrate this, the way in which you think and feel as a mother or father, no doubt differs to the way you behave as a neighbour, colleague or friend, sister, son, brother or aunt. In our formative years we learn how to adapt to our environment in order to be accepted and integrate, and this may have meant some degree of conformity and compromise.
How we measure acheivement and success in ourselves, and in others, changes as we age - as does it's significance. We spend great efforts understanding the gap between how we see ourselves, and how others see us, and this helps place and stabilise our sense of authenticity.
In the different roles, masks and identities we have, there is a need to conform, particularly in work places where frameworks, boundaries and rule books govern how we behave. In all social environments where variance in values and beliefs exist, it is only natural that conflict occurs and behaviours are challenged, and perceptions taken on board. Judgements are made, determining what is acceptable, and what is not.
Employers have a tough ongoing challenge to create ways of working that are accessible and inclusive to an increasingly diverse demographic with fast-changing expectations. Engagement strategy must place equality and wellbeing at its core, and across all people practices, an organisation must provide sufficient flexibility to cater for variance. Being fair and consistent does not mean treating people in exactly the same way. It simply means treating people with dignity, respect and care. Rigid, prescriptive policies can be disasterous for a company culturally, financially and reputationally.
KCHR can help you develop HR frameworks that are designed to be practicable, and allow you and your managers to have the knowledge, skills and confidence to apply flexibility and discretion when it is appropriate and proportionate, in a variety of circumstances.