Why We Fail & Intentionally Forget the In Betweens

Want to learn more about how HR technologies can help the in betweens?  Check out our HR technology webinars on demand by clicking here.  

The In Betweens

I’ve noticed a pattern as of late when it comes to the world of work, HR, and technology.  We really suck at the in between.  The in betweens are transition points where you are not really one or the other, but you are generally moving in a certain direction.  Relationships get lost, employees forgotten, and we lose business because of the in between.

In betweens are often grey areas that aren’t cut and dry.  There isn’t always a formal process in place or a standard for getting things done.  We don’t like doing them.  Or maybe, we’ve just lost interest.  We landed a new big client, received our bonus, and are able to relax truly being ourselves during the in between.  In betweens are also often uncomfortable points we avoid like performance converstaions with our employees or marriage counseling with our spouses.  We avoid, we loathe, and we ignore the in between.

Lazy Managers & Bad Bosses Living in a Business World Based on Results

Because doing the work is hard and we live in a business world focused on results.  And I like work based on results.  It’s where I thrive but lazy managers and bad bosses survive and thrive in the in between.  It’s the land of workplace politics where taking credit for others and passing the buck is king.  The inbetween is where I am at the moment when it comes to my own personal fitness and exercise goals.  Having made progress and losing 2 pants sizes, I’ve worked my ass off.  I’m proud, but in my mind I have a long way to go.  I’m stuck in the inbetween.  It’s the land of transitions, almost goals, an empty wasteland filled with little reward and I want nothing more than a bowl of ice cream.  It’s the in between.

As employers, we spend a great deal of time engaging talent and wooing them with fancy employer branding strategies and shiny online job postings.  These are important things, but where we fail to engage the now employee is at the most critical point.  It’s that in between moment when they are an employee and are transitioning to the role of ex-employee.  Once that transition is complete, meaning that a two week notice is given, we begin the outboarding process filled with checklists, employee meetings, and exit interview surveys. Imagine if we spent this amount of effort during the in between.  There wouldn’t be any need.

HR Technologies Designed to Aid in Workplace Transition Points

HR has used technologies to help improve transition points during in betweens for things like on-boarding, training, and administrative in betweens where employees transition from your applicant tracking system (ATS) to your human resources information systems (HRIS).  These technologies are big business growing 22% to a $4 billon in 2012 alone according to a recent Bersin & Associates study.  Different technology and tools help with the in betweens, but it isn’t always a guarantee.  HR technologies are bought because of their success in managing the in between.  Helping employees to not be forgotten because we really loathe the inbetween.

In my life I’ve found I avoid those things that I don’t like, and I’m drawn to those that I do.  The in betweens are more about the person who is responsible for the process, that in between performance conversation and their lack of passion, enthusiasm and interest in doing the job.  Technologies can help nudge us along in the process and remind us what needs to be done, but this is why we fail at the in between.

Want to learn more about how HR technologies can help the in betweens?  Check out our HR technology webinars on demand by clicking here. 


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.


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