The ingredients of success
In a conversation last night, I was discussing the frustrations of working in HR one of the key ones I believe is that we cannot solve peoples problems. We can proffer ideas, influence, coach, develop, but we cannot “do” to an individual or more commonly a relationship between two or more individuals. This often requires significant effort without visible results and is, in my experience, the biggest demotivator for HR professionals. Some people would say this is because HR is ineffective, some people would say it was because it is not a real profession. My personal view is that it is just damned tough sometimes.
I was talking about this last week too when discussing my love for cooking. Given any spare time and I will try to place myself in the kitchen whether it is making cakes, biscuits, or a three course meal. Why? I don’t eat a huge amount myself but enjoying the process, I enjoy the simplicity and I enjoy (hopefully) the pleasure that it gives to others. It is the complete antithesis to my work. The goal is clear and simple, the steps to be taken prescribed and easy to follow, the outcome tangible and the feedback immediate.
Of course there is an upside to the kind of work we do, when we get a result after all the effort it feels fantastic, when we get positive feedback it feels wonderful. And this is the moment when you see HR professionals at their highest peaks, but in my experience these moments are few and far between.
Psychologically, we all need to feel that we are achieving, that we are delivering, progressing, however you wish to term it. That effort in is equal to output. If you don’t get it in your job, you look for it elsewhere. We all have our ways of achieving this, me I find it in the kitchen.