Premise: Unlearning basic HR happens when a critical mass of both supervision and workforce is so new to the organization that they have no knowledge of what is and is not acceptable behavior.
The CEO of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon, stated in a recent interview that 60% of his 40,000 employees are ≤ 30 years old. In such extreme situations, over-managing this loss of organizational learning is essential.
Culture can be destroyed by diluting it out of existence. Maybe work-processes can be codified in algorithms, but human interaction is still a dynamic process. Basic organizational culture is defined through good HR practices. Respectful behaviors, time management, performance management, engaging people, interviewing skills, ethical decision making, and policy enforcement are a few examples of the complexities managed by HR. But, when 60% of your workforce turns-over, all the years of building capability is lost and the organization goes back up the learning curve as if the last twenty years never happened. Talent retention, productivity and legal action are the consequences if not addressed.
What to do?
- Centralize the critical knowledge and decision making in HR;
- Create a cadre of trained and vigilant people who know the historical stories of trouble and disperse them across the organization and start moving-out the HR knowledge;
- Start coaching supervisors;
- Develop a dissemination plan and over-manage the re-skilling transition.
Be alert to this quiet erosion of skills and the risk it presents. Take corrective action today.
(Ref. 1 Unlearning Organization) Click for copy
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