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Field Trip!

When’s the last time you took your HR team on a field trip?  Has each person on your team actually spent time at the point of delivery or on the “shop floor?”  And I’m not talking about a “walk through”.  I’m talking about a hands-on experience.  We’re in the business of providing refractive laser surgery (Lasik) to tens of thousands of people every year.  I urge each of my people who wears contacts or glasses to experience our services in the most intimate way possible…as a patient.  So far everyone who is a candidate for Lasik on my team has actually had surgery or has at least been in for a consult.  It surprises me, though, how many people in our corporate practice have never even set foot in one of our centers.  And unfortunately HR is notorious for not wanting to get its hands dirty – for dancing only on the fringes of what really goes on out there.

Walking the halls is one thing.  Rubbing elbows is another.  So ask your boss for the chance to shadow someone out in the field; become an apprentice; volunteer your time; watch, listen, ask questions, show interest…be interested!  Not only will it teach you a ton about what actually makes your job as an HR professional possible…and neccessary…but it will also demonstrate your commitment to partnering with the business better than anything else could.  And by the way, it’s HR’s responsibility to make sure there’s a lot of this going on in other functions too.  Cross-pollination is the only way to explode the flora and fauna of the workplace.

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  1. January 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    The year was 2001. The time was December, right after 9/11. The place was a mall in Deerfield, IL.

    My boss decided that HR needed a field trip. To Build a Bear. For team building. To make stuffed animals for sick and homeless kids.

    That was my last field trip.

    • January 11, 2010 at 9:39 am

      Build-a-Bear sucks enough when you’re doing it with kids let alone when you’re doing it as an adult team…how awful!

  2. January 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Eight years in retail and I spent three days a year working in a store meeting customers. It really was fantastic to see how passionate customers were and I have to say gave me a sense of pride in what we did…..it also reminded everyone how bloody hard working in a store was compared to sitting behind a desk in the Head Office.

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