Who are our customers?
I ask this simple question, because for some strange reason for the first ten years of my HR career it wasn’t so simple.
It seems a very sorry state.
I got confused; it was of course about doing the best for the business, but from a people perspective, was it the CEO, the managers, the employees?
Because, for some reason it felt like each of these groups had different needs.
I “grew up” in HR working in traditional, hierarchical organisations (finance and insurance anyone?)….
So why was it hard to work out who my customers were?
So I’ve been doing a lot of pondering, and I’ll put it out there – I think it’s because management not leadership was king.
So let me quickly define management (courtesy of Kevin Kruse), and don’t for a second get me wrong, good management is needed. Managers need to plan, measure, monitor, coordinate, solve and so many other things.
Typically, managers manage things.
Leaders lead people.
It occurs to me when you have a “management culture” not “leadership culture” it turns into them verses us mentality very quickly, and the HR team sit somewhere in between. Or in many cases on one side of the fence.
Even the name "Human Resources" implies a big lean towards the management side; calling people "resources" implies they are things that need managing.
And that doesn’t help anyone really.
The business and growth suffers. The employees suffer, the customers suffer.
It’s all about the people that make your business. The customers, the owners, your team, your future and past team members, and the people that you’re yet to meet that will grow your business to new heights.
Treating people as people. Richard Branson’s unlimited holidays fit perfectly.