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Jason-

A couple of quick points that I forgot to include in my original response to your original post…and I hope you had a good weekend and all that other small talk stuff that is supposed to happen between normal people.

One- The Responsibility Disconnect

Regardless of what the issue or the context, there is almost always a fundamental disconnect in discussions of responsibility, as we each tend to focus on the responsibility of the other. Employees are concerned about whether their employer will “take responsibility, act responsibility,” etc., while the employer is primarily focused on whether the employees will be “personally responsible.” I think that this is just one of those ticks of human nature.

It is significant though, as it commonly stands in the way of solution finding. I think that one of the things that does not often happen is that employees and business leaders sit down together to talk not about how the other could be more responsible, but how best we can work together to meet this challenge (cost of healthcare insurance, employee engagement, changing economy, etc.).

This seems to be one of the things that a new and improved human resources could facilitate…without purchasing any new software.

Two- Hidden Costs and Fuzzy Math

One thing that organizations may overlook when they set more specific boundaries on who can be a part of their organization and who cannot be a part of their organization, is that they are also decreasing the size of the pool of potential talent they can draw from.

If you work for an organization that has a policy against hiring anyone with visible tattoos, then you are decreasing the number of talented people you can compete for. The hiring policy may be right for your organization and your culture, but it does come with its own cost in its impact on the size of your talent pool.

Even if an organization is making changes to its hiring practices to reduce its healthcare insurance costs, it is at the same time incurring these other costs. Until organizations get serious about managing and measuring actual productivity rather than activity it is not even possible to say for sure that decisions based on health related expenses are good business decisions, because there is no measure of what we may lose with our reduction of expense.

This also seems to be an opportunity for human resources to make a difference.

For what it is worth on a Monday afternoon in late July.

-joe

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