My local churches have come through again. One of them has a sermon posted for this weekend titled Get off the Bench. It made me think for a moment about how that would apply to HR. When you think about it that is where HR is today. We are on that bench. We as HR professionals seem to be complacent with staying in one position even if that leads us to be marginalized within our organizations. We get a request from management or an employee and unless it is in a narrow realm, our immediate response is that is not my job or something of that nature.

The global marketplace we are now facing will not allow you to stay on the bench any longer. It calls for you to look at new ways of doing our jobs or it will shove us out the door. So how do we get off the bench?

Put on a new hat – We are no longer able to sit off in a corner like a child in time out. Today’s work environment requires you to get out and see what your customers want and need.It requires you to understand that you are part of the total organization notjust HR. Silos are beyond their lifespans

Expand your vision – With the wide array of educational opportunities available booth on line and at local educational institutions learn about new ways to do things. One of the most rewarding experiences for me was to go back to school and gain my training in Six Sigma. Learn this discipline. Learn about finance. Learn about positive psychology. I do not particularly care which direction you go in, just do it.It will make you more valuable to your organization.

Collaborate – Instead of sitting at your desk and vegetating get together with your co-workers from other departments and seriously discuss the organizational problems and greatness. Talk out the possible solutions to the problems including all the different stakeholders and their role in improvement. Get off the bench and get involved in active cross-functional teams.

Think out of the box – Orin the box, don’t care. But go into the organizational setting with an open mind as to where solutions can be found. Just because the organization has either never tried something or did and it failed, try again. Come up with suggestions which are not confined to a “this is just the way we do things around here mentality”. If we had done that we would not have post it notes(what would HR professionals do without those ever present sticky pieces of paper?)

So on this eve of the end of the Jewish New Year celebration, start off the New Year with a commitment to get off the bench that you have been sitting on. Get into the trenches and reexamine how we perform our responsibilities so that we have a more global perspective. How are you getting off the bench? Do you see other ways to get yourself up and moving in a new direction?

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