The Crux of Human Resource Development

switched_on

For time poor readers, take 30-seconds right now to read and think about the bullet-pointed questions below and reflect on the model pictured above.

If the questions and model spark your interest, return for the whole post or get in touch with me to explore what you or your organisation can do to address the crux of human resource development.

  • What are the implications if 20% of your key performers are burning out and becoming depleted and disengaged?

  • Do you think it is more valuable to develop your high-performers by 5-10%, or invest in the middle 60% of your workforce?

  • If employees with greater wellbeing are more productive, are wellbeing interventions and practices 'nice to have' or essential?

'The Crux of Human Resource Development' is linked with the above questions and illustrated in the title image. 

Addressing the crux requires that an organisation effectively draw on both performance psychology and wellbeing science to develop a system for concurrently building high performance and high wellbeing. When done well, the result is a ‘Switched On’ workforce where employees, leaders, and organisations are able to sustainably build and bring out their best.

Science-based solutions including The Performance and Wellbeing Academy program promote a systematic approach to developing high-performance while concurrently supporting, promoting, and cultivating wellbeing. The crux of human resource development presents a challenge to leaders, employees, and organisational cultures more broadly because investment and commitment to the process of transformation is a job for everyone involved.  

 I'm interested to discuss your responses to the following important questions?

  • Which quadrant best categorises you right now? Switched On, Burnt Out, Charged Up, or Shut Off?

  • What proportion of the people in your organisation are in each of the quadrants?

  • What would it mean for your organisation to address burnout, rebuild or release those who are shut off, and connect energised people to important work?

Email me at adrian@dradrianmedhurst.com

 

For the extended post, read on...

 

Performance Development

When organisations invest in their ‘Hi-Performers’ or ‘Emerging Leaders’, they may be overlooking the opportunity to unlock and leverage the potential of a larger section of their workforce. If effectively developed, the middle section of a bell curve presents a massive source of potential for improving productivity. 

Consider the following:

  • Rather than just extending the top performers by 5-10%, what additional value can be realised by developing the middle 60% of the workforce?

  • What if the productivity of 60% of your workforce could be sustainably lifted by 3%, 5% or even 10%?

I know - the value you would create internally and for your customers would be phenomenal! The strategy is called 'moving the middle' and this recent piece explores links with performance management.

Side note: You may not have confidence that the design and delivery of your current capability building interventions are having a positive and sustainable impact on important metrics and the bottom line. As Deming said "In god we trust, all others [must] bring data". Organisations with this challenge needs a systematised methodology for obtaining important data AND identify and report data insights. This is not the post for addressing this issue in more depth, though it needs to be sorted pronto and I recommend you read my white paper. Tip - search for and read about the 'Exploration' phase. Back to the story at hand...

 

Wellbeing Development

When performers burn out!

This is where we find the crux of the issue. The intersection where we need performance development as well as wellbeing development. We must meet the needs in both areas concurrently if we are to have any chance of creating a culture where high-productivity is sustainable over time.

Organisations secure investment for performance development. Whilst that is great, it is an incomplete strategy for human resource development. Organisations still fail to acknowledge the link between employees with high wellbeing and their bottom line. As such, they continue to neglect to secure the investment needed to build and sustain employee wellbeing. What is at stake if this is not addressed?

Consider the following:

  • What are the implications if 20% of your key performers are burning out and becoming depleted and disengaged?

  • If employees with greater wellbeing are more productive, are wellbeing interventions and practices 'nice to have' or essential?

  • From an organisational and leadership perspective, can we start seeing wellbeing development as the opportunity for improving productivity that it is?

Organisations and leaders still wrestle with the idea that they can be an important source of wellbeing promotion for their employees lives inside and outside of work. As a result, we often see an imbalance in the equation required for sustainable productivity. Organisations miss the opportunity to leverage wellbeing development as a strategy for improving productivity. Organisations who fail at this run the risk of burning out employees in the process of their focus on high-performance development.

 

The Crux of Human Resource Development: Building a 'Switched On' Workforce

Building a ‘Switched On’ workforce is about leveraging performance psychology AND wellbeing science to help employees, leaders, and organisations bring out their best - their full potential.

We need organisations that can do good and be well.

By simultaneously cultivating the performance AND wellbeing of employees, people become Switched On. They are better equipped to capitalise on their strengths AND better able to maintain the fitness required to endure and learn from the challenges they encounter along the path to achieving key objectives.

Switched On employees are in a more sustainable zone of productivity because they are enabled to do their best while being supported to be at their best.

We have introduced the alternatives, and they are not as appealing. To complete the model, let's build on the issues raised in the introduction.

 

Burnt Out

When people and organisations are high-performance focused but low in wellbeing, they are burning themselves out (lower right quadrant of the model). Plus, when leaders and organisations target the high-performance part of the productivity equation without enabling and promoting wellbeing, they are in large part responsible for burning out their employees.

So, what are the cost of burning out your employees - the implications of employee burnout?

Employees feel exhausted, get sick, disengage, and become cynical. The result is problematically high levels of absenteeism, stress claims, disengagement, and greater flight risk. But that's not all, is it? The high performance goal gets replaced by a critical need to rejuvenate morale, engagement, wellbeing and satisfaction so that people can recover and get back to a positive and productive performance zone.

So, what is the upside of addressing burnout - supporting employee wellbeing to enable your people to keep kicking goals and to feel well in the process?

Charged Up

People in the Charged Up quadrant are high in wellbeing and feel fit, energised and strong. However, they lack a performance focus - either because they lack focus and purpose, or because leaders are not currently leveraging their full potential. This is where a great deal of productive capacity is being neglected in organisations and it presents an opportunity for improvement. There is a key role for leaders and human resources departments to find those who are well and to identify roles and craft work tasks that fit their strengths and will draw on their positive energy levels. 

What value can be obtained by more effectively leading and leveraging the potential of employees with high levels of wellbeing?

How can you allocate roles that fit the strength and talent of Charged Up employees?

How can you craft tasks that will capitalise on the capacity of Charged Up employees? 

Shut Off

Completing the puzzle, organisations can have teams and employees experiencing both low performance and wellbeing. Shut Off people are actively disengaged. Sometimes they unwell or absent due to sickness, frustration, or psychological injury. Sometimes they are so fed up that they are desperately looking for an escape route.

What is the loss associated with a workforce that is unwell, underperforming, and shutting off?

 

Supporting people and organisations to sustainably bring out their best – without burning out - is my passion. Addressing what I call the crux of human resource development - building systems for sustainably developing high performance AND high wellbeing concurrently - is my mission.

Science-based solutions including The Performance and Wellbeing Academy program promote a systematic approach to developing high-performance while concurrently supporting, promoting, and cultivating wellbeing. The crux of human resource development presents a challenge to leaders, employees, and organisational cultures more broadly because investment and commitment to the process of transformation is a job for everyone involved.  

If you're game to address the crux of the human resource development challenge, I'm game to give you everything I've got!

So, in restating the important questions from the introduction below, I'm interested to discuss your responses to the following?

  • Which quadrant best categorises you right now? Switched On, Burnt Out, Charged Up, or Shut Off?

  • What proportion of the people in your organisation are in each of the quadrants?

  • What would it mean for your organisation to address burnout, rebuild or release those who are shut off, and connect energised people to important work?

 

Get in touch via email to adrian@dradrianmedhurst.com and visit the Performance and Wellbeing Academy website to learn more.