Dave's Basic Rules for Human Resources Management




Things I've learned, usually the hard way . . .



Employee Relations


The key to satisfied employees is managing expectations. It's not what actually happens that counts, it's what happens compared to what people thought would happen.

Change Management


People will adjust to practically anything if it's communicated properly, and will get upset over next to nothing if it's not.


Executive Perspective


Executives often underestimate the time needed for an organization to adjust to change, because they have already been dealing with it for a long time before any announcements.

HR Credibility


All HR professionals need to be conversant in basic accounting principles. It's impossible to be credible if you don't speak the language of business.


Mergers and Acquisitions


Communication, transition and integration programs are critical, and their costs are pocket change compared to the other expenses and the total value of the deal.

International HR


It's important to understand cultural differences, but local and regional issues are far more important than global, intercontinental differences.


Talent Management


It's very difficult for adults to change basic personality traits. It's much easier to put people into jobs they are already suited for or to change the job or the organization.

Job Requirements


The things we ask people to do at work are less difficult than the things they do away from work . . . personal finance, family issues, volunteer work, etc.




People often exaggerate, are frequently wrong, and sometimes lie. Check the facts.


Employee Counseling


Keep tissues at your desk. Never leave scissors or letter openers out in the open. This stuff can be emotional!




Extra time and effort spent in the hiring process are nothing compared to the problems caused by a bad hiring decision.


Performance Management


Accurate, useful feedback is rare and valuable. Many people never get any.




Nothing demotivates high performers more than seeing mediocre and poor performers go unaddressed by management. 




There is never a reason to fire someone "on the spot." Suspend if necessary.




The chance of problems after a termination can be greatly reduced by treating the person with courtesy, respect and dignity. A little severance wouldn't hurt either.