September 19, 2014
Charles Dickens famous story, "A Christmas Carol," is about embracing the spirit of the season. But it's also about one employer's (Ebenezer Scrooge s) relationship, or lack thereof, with his employee (Bob Cratchit). It took some prodding by the Ghosts of Christmas, but Scrooge eventually became, to quote Dickens, "as good a master, as good a man, as the old city ever knew." Here are some HR lessons to take away from the tale—no ghosts required.
- Pay competitive market salaries.
- Consider work/life issues from the standpoint of significant others, as well as employees.
Poor Tiny Tim could have used the services of a decent HMO, and Bob Cratchit needed some time to take care of his ailing son and celebrate the holiday. Make sure employees have access to the resources they need.
- Every once in a while, spot-check employees environments.
Are they comfortable? Productivity-enhancing? Just think of how much more productive Bob Cratchit would have been if Scrooge had allowed him to buy more coal during those freezing London winters. The firm of Marley & Scrooge could have used some sprucing up, too. Try to provide an inviting environment to encourage better work.
- Show genuine interest in employees careers.
- In your strategic planning, take into account the organization's past, the present situation between management, employees and HR, and the bright future both for your organization and you, the new breed—as long as you don't let the dark shadows of ineffective practices send HR to a nameless and ignoble death.