New Year’s Resolutions in the Organization

“New year, new me” – a saying that is probably familiar to each and every one of you 😉. The New Year, even though it may sound like a cheap cliché every time, is an opportune moment for reflection and making changes. Social motivation can work wonders and offers a good chance for success. So, let’s get to the point. Today, we want to discuss the combination of ‘private’ goals and the possibility of utilizing them professionally.

In the Past

As far back as I can remember, I observed employees adapting to upcoming changes. I’m not referring to business or organizational transformations, but rather the adaptation of staff competences to new or future market needs. Those of us who did not take English language classes because it was a job requirement, raise your hands.

Or consider an older example – the introduction of computers or new systems as primary working tools. Those unwilling to let go of their attachment to typewriters, unfortunately, but sooner or later – let me use a popular phrase from the Squid Game series – got eliminated.

It is perfectly legitimate and unavoidable for employees to adapt to continuous smaller or larger transformations, but what if we reversed the situation or outsmarted the pattern?

Is My Work My Passion?

Society revolves around stereotypes, which, of course, may have some scientific justification. As a progressive HR team, we can admit to having conducted some social research. If you gather information on the passions, activities, or hobbies of people in your companies, you could receive very interesting feedback. From our observations, we have learned, for example, that we have people in technical positions who, after work, engage in creative activities such as working with wood. There are also individuals in our creative department who are professional plant breeders or fitness trainers. Certainly, in many cases, these skills may not seem to fit the business or seem absolutely unnecessary. However, there are some ‘buts.’

The first “but” – since practically 100% of the people in our organization sit at their desks for 8 hours every day, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a team-building activity combined with health care? This could involve introducing a break for physical exercise led by an experienced trainer.

The second ‘but’ – since we buy plants for offices to enhance employee comfort or simply to decorate rooms, isn’t it better and more useful to get the plants from a reliable source and have someone on board who knows how to look after them professionally?

The third ‘but’ – when looking for gift ideas for employees, outsourcing the production of gadgets from random providers, isn’t it better to use the services of someone who has a passion for this, understands the needs of employees from the inside, and knows what will match the company image?

Certainly, the above examples relate to slightly different competences than those our employees use professionally, but let’s continue digging. If a company plans to expand its business to all other continents, for example, can employees who have a communicative knowledge of other languages and a passion for other cultures be considered valuable from a business perspective? Well, by all means, they can! This opens the door for the sales team. Even if such a person works in another department, he or she can be a valuable consultant for the sales department.

Let’s keep looking. An employee who is a graphic designer in our company, whose private passion is portrait photography. Can they be used in some way to take staff photos, since such a need has arisen? Why not give it a try? 😉

Should I Make a Confession?

The above examples are just a small sample of the talents we can find among our people. The question remains – are they willing to share them with us? Well, we live in the 21st century, so I would recommend collecting consents for access to such private knowledge. After all, not everyone may feel like sharing their space.

To put it colloquially – is it worth sharing your additional, not necessarily job-related skills? We are not going to coach you – it is YOU who has to feel whether you want to talk about it. However, well-built communication and mutual respect can get us to a place we never even dreamed of. What do I mean? It may be that we will inspire managers and the HR team to create an entirely new hybrid position where you have the chance to fulfill yourself in two or more fields. Are we talking about the ideal job? I think we can call it that.

What Can the HR Team Do with Such a Talent Base?

In fact, it can do quite a lot. Certainly, the first thing will be to discuss such skills with the person’s manager and with the employee themselves. If the employee shows willingness and the manager finds the space to use this in the business, we create a new position (the aforementioned hybrid).

Next – the employee can use our training budget to broaden their skills that will be helpful from a company business perspective. Whether within the scope of language learning, certificates, or professional qualifications.

Challenge – employees who are pursuing similar education or professional development motivate each other. Just a simple example: there are apps for learning languages or for monitoring physical activity, where the people invited can challenge each other with motivators! For those of us who are natural-born athletes, this is a perfect solution. Okay, maybe physical activity and the achievements associated with it won’t directly affect the business, but indirectly they will because employees who have their stress relief hobby will come to work with more energy.

Sharing passions means building relationships, and as we all know, a good relationship is the key to developing a social group, which means good team building! Especially people who work in close contact understand each other better, know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and, importantly, complement each other better.

Summary

As can be seen from the examples above, each person in a company is not just an individual who fits within the tailored needs of the position but an unexplored persona with many interesting secrets. It is up to us as an HR team and managers to be able to exploit this in a dignified way and provide opportunities that others have not yet discovered.

text written by:

Aleksandra Lipowska-Rochalska, HR Director