Legal pillarYou cannot really teach maturity: it is a gradual, personal, process of enlightenment and the getting of wisdom. Describing your teenage son or daughter as immature is not being judgemental; it is a simple statement of fact. But telling them how immature they are does nothing to help them reach maturity sooner: if anything, it just exacerbates the situation. The caring parent knows the best solution is the unconditional love and unflinching patience needed to support their child through a difficult patch; all the while knowing their forbearance is not really appreciated. Nevertheless, if the teenager feels deep down that you are acting in their best interests it should all turn out fine in the end. The same goes for employees.

Something that got caught in my junk email filter this morning was a PR release about a new service called “hronline” launched by “Peter Done joint founder of Betfred (online gambling) and owner of Peninsula Business Services (employment law consultancy)”. Apparently ‘hronline’ is a “tool to detect fraudulent absence” and “links directly to the employment law consultancy.” According to Done it should enable “employers (to) manage all their HR issues remotely.” This begs many questions about what type of employers would choose to use this service. They must already believe some of their employees want to defraud the company and would rather manage this remotely than address the underlying issues themselves, face-to-face. What signal does that send to the honest employees? What does it say about the HR function’s capability for attracting and retaining people who want to come to work every day?  Is this the sort of relationship we should be fostering?

The 2nd of MI’s 10 Pillars of Maturity is all about really valuing the people who work for you. The reason MI tends to use the term ‘human capital’ is not because it is the latest jargon but because it is the most accurate and honest way to describe the employment relationship – valuable capital being encouraged and supported to produce the greatest value. If you value them you are more likely to reap value in return. When employees see a direct connection between their contribution and the value of the enterprise they are more likely to find profound satisfaction in their workplace. Implying they are capable of criminal activity does nothing to enhance a sense of common purpose.

Fortunately the vast majority of parents would never dream of resorting to the law to sort out their adolescent children. If they ever do it will rightly be regarded as a retrograde step for society. The more employers feel the need to resort to remote legal advice, to sort out their relationship with their people, the more their business will miss out on the financial value that comes with maturity.

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