4 Ways HR Can Overcome Your Shitty Workplace

HR Strategies to Make the Workplace Flourish

Human Resources is often charged with the tasks of improving employee morale, human capital management, eliminating negativity, and developing employee engagement often for the entire organization.  And depending on the size of your organization and where your offices are geographically located, this can be a tall order not only for human resources but the managers and leadership you are indirectly responsible for managing this task day to day.

According to John P. Kotter in Leading Change, any type of organizational change, positive or negative takes 18-24 months to become engrained into the company’s culture.    Whether you are leading change for a Fortune 100 organization or your five-person team, your experiences and positive leadership can have a life-lasting effect.

4 Ways HR Can Overcome Your Shitty Workplace

  • Communicate.  In 2010, SHRM published their Employee Job Satisfaction Study and communication was listed as the third most important factor for employee satisfaction.  It’s important to sit down with your teams and talk openly about goals, plans, and the methods in which to complete even the most straight forward tasks.  As a manager you have years of knowledge and experience, don’t assume someone else thinks and sees the world the same way you do.
  • Dialogue.  Sometimes as managers we forget that a communication is a two-way conversation.  Allow your employees to ask questions, provide input, and give opinions.  A dialogue facilitates the relationship and leads to employee buy-in and empowerment.  Schedule regular employee one on one status meetings, encourage employee development plans, and brain storming sessions for your entire team.   Not saying you have time for a dialogue is a billboard sign that says, “Please look for a new job.  I don’t value you.”
  • Gratitude.  Most any marriage counselor will tell you that the majority of relationships loose their luster when a partner is taken for granted.  As a leader in your organization, you have a relationship with each and every employee.  While the relationship varies, it is important to remind your colleagues, peers, and employees that you value them and appreciate their hard work.  Schedule time in your calendar each day to call a colleague, write an email, and engage your workforce in a new and unusual way.  Sometimes the littlest of thank you can make the biggest impact.
  • Survey the Troops.  Without proper bench marketing and focus on where your employee moral opportunities lie you can’t properly craft a strategy in which to address the problem.  Employee surveys can be a small or as strategic as you make them.  If you organization is not leveraging an employee engagement survey, consider creating your own using the web as your guide.  In 2003, the survey company Gallup created a 12 question survey that 8 years later, is relevant today.  Online survey tools like Survey Monkey present you an opportunity to create inexpensive employee engagement surveys as well as online exit interviews.

Using simple strategies can pay off in a big way to turn your employee work place into an environment where people flourish instead of perish.  Subtle suggestions and small changes can help take your talent management strategies and workforce succession plans to another level.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Lacey Elaine Dillard says

    Although we met at Trichology Salon way back in 2009, I must admit that I only recently starting reading through all of the valuable info that Blogging4Jobs provides. Thanks to you and the other contributors for putting all of this out there! I pick up some new piece of advice or insight every time I spend a few minutes on the blog, and it’s greatly appreciated. Job well done!

  2. Derek Irvine, Globoforce says

    Great post – This is an exceptionally important point on gratitude. I would suggest the manager’s responsibility is to also encourage employees to recognize each other – to pause in their work long enough to notice the excellent efforts and behaviors of those around them and say “thank you.”


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