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I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do, I binge watch. I admit it. I’m far too busy with life, work and family to watch things when they happen live. But oh, when I am desperate for a bit of mindless programming, entertainment and personal sanity, I make the time…and I’m talking 4-5 hours of it! It’s amazing how I’d kill for 4-5 hours to get stuff done during the week and can’t muster it, yet I can find it when I really want it.
This TV binge-watching phenomenon that has taken over this world got me to thinking about some folks. You knew it was coming, right? I began to think about decision makers and “important” people at my job that never have time for briefings from my department…the execs that won’t spend a dime on initiatives unless it advances their agendas. That is of course until the proverbial s%!^ is hitting the fan and we have a lawsuit or reporters standing outside our gates. Queue the on-demand HR and the binge.
It also made me think of managers I deal with on a daily. Those managers that can’t seem to find the time to attend training, sit down to discuss team performance improvement or hone their leadership and communication skills…but magically have all the time in the world to call and cry when they have an employee mutiny and uprising. Queue the on-demand HR and the binge.
My attentions then focused on many of my HR colleagues that are far too busy to stay abreast on what’s going on in the industry or with current legislation. Never taking advantage of many of the resources that are available to them to continue their education and to stay informed and sharp…until they’re called upon to make serious and immediate changes, ensure government compliance or even when their certification is nearing renewal and they’ve missed out on all of the HR conference credits. Queue the on-demand HR and the binge.
But just like speeding through a series just to say that you did it, binging on all of our critical info doesn’t bode well for retention. We have to be committed not to only consuming, but to understanding, living and practicing it. I mean I know technically how to make meth in an RV and how to stab a walker in the head to kill it, but would you trust me to do it just from spending a few hours ingesting it? The quick and dirty doesn’t make me an expert. It actually makes me a liability; because I don’t know enough to be effective…I actually know just enough to be dangerous.
In reality, the stuff we deal with as professionals ain’t convenient. It ain’t pretty. It also ain’t something that we can turn on and off whenever we want to. Employee safety and peace of mind don’t care if I have a 2-hour block of time carved out to “watch” it. Diversity, inclusion and fairness can’t be paused and picked up a week later. Compliance and consistency don’t have cliffhangers that we can afford to put off for a new season. Engagement and education, in order to be effective, must be a part of our regularly scheduled programming. Otherwise, it might be best to turn it off all together and find something else to occupy those precious hours that we complain so much about not having.