If you last chatted about HR a decade ago, you likely think HR pros are all about compliance, cracking down, and ominous impromptu Friday “meetings.”
I won’t lie; that’s all still part of the job, and it’s all important – there are laws, payroll, performance management, and benefits in play, after all – but it’s not my focus. If it were, I’d be doing JDM and its employees a huge disservice.
HR pros are also critical stewards and proponents of a company’s values. This, unquestionably, is my favorite part of the job, and it’s something I integrate into my daily work. In this post, I’ll take a (probably incomplete) look at the ways HR pros like me help drive company values.
HR-related decisions related to personnel are almost always complicated and layered. When I discuss these decisions with the leadership team, we make a point of referring back to the company values – which, for the record, are:
- Remote first, remote always
- Commitment to excellence, with an entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial spirit
- Methodical planning and execution
- Radical transparency, both internally and externally
- Act like an owner; spend money like it’s your own money
We have found that doing that, and communicating that to the employee as part of our process, helps reinforce the values and builds trust with employees.
Every interaction HR has with employees is a chance to help shape the employee experience and instill the company’s values. This means Slack messages, 1-on-1s, reviews, All Hands, retreats, offboarding, and every step of the hiring process, from posting to onboarding.
Speaking of onboarding, ensuring a smooth recruiting and onboarding process takes methodical planning and execution, especially for a remote company. This is our single most important chance to make a great first impression and introduce our co-workers to the company’s values and the way we live them every day.
Policies and Procedures
When I discuss new policies and procedures with the leadership team, it is my job to make sure they are aligned with the company’s values. What does being a remote workforce look like at JDM? How do our company values impact decisions regarding flexibility, PTO, etc.?
With new employees and new managers come new ideas to digest, which is great – as long as we filter them through our core values and the original ethos of the company (remote first, remote always).
Talking about benefits can be boring – or an opportunity. Being an advocate for the employee and transparent about the benefits and relative areas of weakness for things like healthcare plans is a chance to embody one of the company’s values of acting like an owner (spend money like it’s your money).
So is all of this working? It seems to be! In a survey we conducted last year, 91% of employees said that they felt that their values were aligned with the company’s values (which means we’re hiring and promoting the right people!). When we’re all pulling on the same set of ropes, we’re a more powerful team – and that’s something I keep in mind every day.
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