Maybe HR should be called Hippocampus Resources

The latest neuroscience research continues to transform what we know about human behavior. Queue one of my favorite online shows — Radiolab — and one of the episodes titled Lost & Found.

The first segment is about a woman with a newly discovered cognitive disorder called Developmental Topographical Disorientation, affecting the hippocampus of the brain and spatial navigation.

Wait, what?

DTD patients get lost in very familiar surroundings, such as their house or neighborhood, daily. This disorder could stem from a lack of experience in navigation during development and could present in different degrees of severity.

Now let’s segue – it’s one thing to be newly hired at a company, excited for a new career and ready to make an impact.

But when you’re dropped in a maze with your pay and other extrinsic rewards on the other side of a wall, it can be tough to navigate by intrinsic power, alone.

Employee spatial navigation and company-wide orientation can be severely limited if you don’t have a guide.

That would be Human Resources (maybe it should be called Hippocampus Resources).

This means that whoever is in the talent hiring and developing role/s at a company really holds the key to unlocking the maze walls of where to go and what to do and who to ask.

  • A thorough onboarding process over the first few months is critical to employee success and retention, not just a one-hour “here you go, now go” session.
  • Cross-functional introductions (including the leadership team), training and incorporation into various teams (when appropriate) should be part of the mix.
  • Developing virtual (online) and easy GUI access to all things employee handbook is important.
  • Developing a formal (or informal) mentor “shadow” program — otherwise known as the buddy system would help with continued assimilation and stability.
  • Implementing regular one-on-one sessions — beyond the annual performance review — with HR, direct supervisors, even colleagues and peers are critical to retention.
  • Holding regular meetings with leadership to discuss the state-of-the-company-state can keep everyone anchored to the same bottom line.

Now, let’s go help your employees find their way.

(Kevin W. Grossman, Guest Blogger)