Hello from the world famous Peabody Hotel in
Memphis Arkansas. Yes, Virginia, there is a Peabody Hotel in Little Rock. It’s quite lovely with mallards and very friendly employees. The hotel lobby bar is great & has wicked-fast Internet access. (FYI: The room wi-fi is not so fast.)
I recall reading an article about The Peabody chain that emphasized the success of their in-house training program. I googled the article and found a reference to PATS–Process Activated Training System. This is a program that has employees training other employees. It’s described as the following:
Led by SMEs, employee teams carefully examine each job process to create training session plans. They not only work together to identify and describe each step in a process, they also evaluate how that process fits into the big picture of their department’s purpose and their company’s mission. They can even determine ways to improve the work process and reduce cycle time.
This program sounds similar to programs at most Fortune 500 companies and other service companies. Basically, these organizations are driving change through the employees and not through external consultants. This is brilliant. Who knows his job better than the guy doing it?
Where most companies, including my former employer, get stuck is bringing the process of change itself into the organization. For example, most programs (including PATS) still rely upon external vendors and consultants to lead organizations through the change management process. You still have consulting fees when it comes to process development and leadership training because in-house resources are so slim.
How awesome would it be if Human Resources could stop wasting time on mucky administrative nonsense and start jumping into the business of reducing inefficiencies? What if Human Resources championed a brand — like Talent Development or Workforce Empowerment — and trained our leaders and employees in the art & science of working better?
HR would work itself out of an immediate job of listening to payroll complaints and maintaining employee files, yes, but the long-term impact to the company and its shareholders would be tremendous. If we could ask people with financial and business backgrounds to join & lead an effort to revitalize and rethink the workforce, we would have HR departments around the country that would be tied into & leading corporate strategies instead of photocopying the agenda for those meetings.
Unfortunately, I’ll check out of the Peabody Hotel on Sunday morning and check the HR job ads on Sunday afternoon. I’ll read job descriptions that describe positions that are looking for someone who can multi-task and perform administrative overview of important ‘morale boosting’ programs like BRING YOUR CHILD TO WORK DAY.
You know what would improve morale? Improving stock prices and an engaged workforce.
Does anyone here me out there?