Six steps to avoiding responsibility, ensuring your company’s failure

Many senior executives know the right way to manage their company’s human capital, but fail to follow through in their actions.

Other executives are clueless, or lead with a value system that leaves employees feeling devalued or expendable. If you want to ensure your company’s failure, follow these six steps:

Step No. 1: Make managing human capital your last priority.
Better yet, delegate it to HR and let it be their problem. Tell HR that they can recommend leadership successors, but since human capital is not that important in your ongoing management, ignore their request to hold quarterly talent review meetings.

Go with the idea that adding leadership successors to the list is good enough for now. Don’t worry about tracking human capital metrics and, by all means, don’t discuss human capital issues with the board of directors.

Step No. 2: Let HR consider its strategy, but don’t tie it to annual strategic goals.

Minimize hiring unless absolutely necessary, even if your business strategy offers compelling information to the contrary. Since your HR/talent management leader is not part of your senior leadership team, that person won’t have an in-depth understanding of business trends anyway.

It is probably best that you communicate with them only on a need-to-know basis. They don’t speak the same language you do; avoid the waste of time in the end.

Step No. 3: View performance goal setting and feedback discussions as burdens that get in the way of real business needs.

Devote little time to preparing your feedback, if you choose to give it at all. Ensure that these performance discussions are one way, and demand improvement without a clear action plan for success.

The best workers will figure it out themselves — meaning there is little need for ongoing coaching meetings to help your direct reports develop.

If they can’t do it themselves, they probably aren’t the best talent anyway. Just refer employees to training, and let the director of learning and development worry about it.

Step No. 4: Talk about the value of culture, but let someone else handle its day-to-day maintenance.

Follow the phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do.” You are likely a senior executive, so it is OK for you to be demanding and even dictatorial, but expect others to follow the company’s values.

Step No. 5: Keep employee feedback/survey results contained to a core group of managers.

Make some effort to communicate findings to employees, but don’t track outcomes for improvement in key metrics. Don’t develop a strategic improvement plan or a strategic communication plan for managers to follow when discussing results.

Managers will know best how to discuss the results with their employees.

Step No. 6: Believe that all companies basically handle human capital the same way you do.

Believe that the competition for talent is not heating up, and that you have ample time to adjust if needed.

Follow these steps, and you’re well on the way to leading your business to failure. ●