Acoustic HR


December 3, 2012

You live in a fast-paced world where technology has quickly infiltrated every part of your life.  You embrace it, even rely on it.  The hunger you have for more information at your fingertips grows at an alarming pace.  In the workplace, many of our antiquated systems do nothing but offer frustration at the lack of speed or ability to access the information we’ve grown to think we NEED.

the hr industry creates new priorities and buzz words that can be measured with technology:

  • Talent Communities
  • Employee Value Proposition
  • Employee Engagement

Companies pop up taunting us to jump on the bandwagon of each shiny, new object so that our organization can BE the best, or at least have the illusion of keeping up with the best.  The interesting thing I’m noticing though is that as fast as technology advances, people begin to express the need for a simpler time.  A time when people stopped to talk, and listen.  A time where the focus was on working hard and providing a full days work, but where once you left the workplace, you were “off”.

This reminds me of the show MTV Unplugged.  You know the one- where artists and bands paired down their amped music to acoustic, natural versions.  The result was often a softer, more intimate and personal version of the song.

Acoustic HR

How can a HR department approach our work and our clients in a way that is less about electronic enhancement or technological approaches?  While technology is still important, could changing focus make a difference?  What if all leaders took an acoustic approach to managing people?  What would that look like?

It would look like conversations and sincere interest in your people.  It would mean fewer emails and not only focusing on reports and metrics.  It would take employees’ feelings into account.

Making a difference

You can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater- in this case, your technology and reporting.  Instead, you can make a point to TALK to your staff, not just communicate via email.  You can pick up the phone  or talk in person 90% of the time instead of retreating to tech connections and platforms.

There is a way to embrace a more simple approach.  What are you doing to capture this in your organization or with your team?  Share your ideas in the comments.


  • I really like these ideas, even as just today I posted about how in the future HR might be able to use augmented reality glasses to improve outcomes!

  • Great Article! I do believe that technology does play an important part in business but a personal approach can also go a long way. The MBWA approach (Management By Walking Around) does have a great impact as managers have an opportunity to create relationships with employees as well as get information first hand.Although it is not possible to cover all departments but a small step can create a positive atmosphere in the office environment.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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