Let’s make simlpe HR
“The most complicated skill is to be simple.” - Dejan Stojanovic, Serbian writer, philosopher and businessman.
A few days ago, quite accidentally while scrolling on LinkedIn, I read this and somehow it made me think and ask myself, how true is this and how much we make our work difficult and consciously or unconsciously we are guided by the famous "Why to be simple when it can be complicated? It seems that we all at HR try to make things simpler, but in the end, we have organizations that are filled with complex processes. Why is that so?
According to Harvard, we are the ones who make things complicated because they make us feel good. Read:
From the Harvard Business Review: There are several deep psychological reasons why stopping activities is so hard to do in organizations. First, while people complain about being too busy, they also take a certain amount of satisfaction and pride in being needed at all hours of the day and night. In other words, being busy is a status symbol. In fact a few years ago we asked senior managers in a research organization — all of whom were complaining about being too busy — to voluntarily give up one or two of their committee assignments. Nobody took the bait because being on numerous committees was a source of prestige.
Managers also hesitate to stop things because they don’t want to admit that they are doing low-value or unnecessary work. Particularly at a time of layoffs, high unemployment, and a focus on cost reduction, managers want to believe (and convince others) that what they are doing is absolutely critical and can’t possibly be stopped. So while it’s somewhat easier to identify unnecessary activities that others are doing, it’s risky to volunteer that my own activities aren’t adding value. After all, if I stop doing them, then what would I do?
The final reason that unnecessary tasks continue is that managers become emotionally attached to them. We see this often with “zombie projects,” activities that are seemingly killed or deprioritized but somehow keep going because managers just don’t want to let go. Once people have invested in creating projects, committees, or processes, they feel a sense of ownership. Getting rid of them is like killing their own offspring.
Interesting, right? I am sure that after reading this you either recalled a situation when you hadn’t given up on some activities, which of course you could have, either it came to mind a colleague, friend, manager who persistently does not give up on some things, yet again-he can. We started to see people who work overtime as "rock stars" without wondering if more means better, and do we work more because we cannot work better. And now I guess you reminded of a colleague of yours who always works, stays overtime and goes from one colleague to another to tell how many responsibilities he has and how long he stays after working hours. Well, according to Harvard, then instead of saying "Good job, well done", we should ask ourselves, why is that so? Doesn´t he/she know how to delegate? Does overwork make him fell happy and satisfied? Doesn´t he/she know how to work in a team?...Do we all have a psychological problem and the feeling that we are needed feeds our ego and pride, and thus unconsciously complicates things in our daily work, to finally get companies that have too complex processes and of course, frustrated employees...?
I guess the answer for many is yes, and that you recognized yourself at least a little bit in what was written.
If so, then let’s do a simple HR, simple recruitment, simple performance management. Let’s be guided by: "Why be complicated, when it can be simple?". Or at least try!
P.S. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”- Leonardo da Vinci.