I know we abolished the dog policy but can I still keep my fish?

Why, when someone asks an HR question, do they always get a HR answer? It seems we are inclined to just process questions rather than ask ‘what problem are you trying solve’? Maybe, we need to step back and be smart enough to figure out the fundamental business reason driving the conversation.

It’s fundamental to recognize that an HR question is not always an HR problem.

The majority of HR questions impact key business performers such as productivity, retention, revenue, and client satisfaction. The remainder are questions that have black and white HR answers usually derived from legislation.

If we ask the right questions, we will solve the right problems and bridge HR to the business. It makes me wonder, do we need HR people or do we need people with business expertise who have HR knowledge? Either way, we need to make sure that the conversations taking place are exceptional and that the HR knowledge being shared with management elevates their execution.

And if you are curious about the answer to the title question, the answer is yes. Regardless of why the policy was abolished, common sense will tell you that a fish is not a dog. Offering an insane HR reason like “if Sally can’t have her dog, then you can’t have your fish” is a knee-jerk reaction. The real business consideration behind this question impacts productivity. A happy employee who gets to keep their fish will be more productive.

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