Posted on / Updated on / in Blog & Employee Relations & Human Resources /

Ok, so Lady Gaga is the hippest thing that has happened in the last 10 years, she’s got us mesmerized with her music and themes.  But what does her music have to do with human resources?  Well sit back, read on, and put your paws up because you were “born this way, baby!”

Sure thing, Lady Gaga is edgy, gorgeous, and has a message to share.  And it’s a popular one at that. So if half our workforce is at the club, jamming out to her tuneage, and engaging in the message, what can we as employers garner from that? A WHOLE LOT.  She’s controversial, she’s edgy, she’s not mainstream….but my guess is neither are employees.  AND they’re listening to music that gives them strength, uplifts them, gives them internal power, builds themselves.  So what does that mean for us? Well, we need to think about  what this music says, listen to it, and understand how we integrate the “new rules” into work.

So, what’s the GAGA say about it?  From a work perspective, here’s how I interpret the message (just go with it….):

1)      You’re made perfectly – so love it.  Yes, as employers, we have to recognize that not all our employees  even like each other, support each other and there may be problems in paradise.  So what about this point ? We need to be sure we have great policies in place to ensure we treat people respectfully, particularly if they’re different from mainstream.  We may have specific laws to address this issue federally, state, or even locally.  But from a best practices standpoint, establishing zero bullying policies and work place environments are clearly going to be critical as our workforce embraces change.

2) You’re on the right track, baby – So are we there? Let’s be sure we hire right and hire smart and measure for our success.  If we’re looking for great people, we have to take the time to reflect on our decisions, and be sure to use the right tools to help us. If you’re not in charge of HR and have the tools to make good HR decisions, or don’t have HR resources, you need a partner who can help you do this.

3) Get  a good match – the right people in the right spots – are they matched or not? How do you know that? If you’re not using excellent solutions to help you recruit and retain staff, coupled with tools to be to notch, then you’re missing an opportunity to really find the right people for the right fit.

4) Celebrate differences – they build your workforce.  If everyone was the same, then we’d miss out on a ton of great ways to build our workforce.  Look for people to compliment your dominant style leaders.  Look for people who know how to influence others in sales, and of course we all need team players and those folks who know the numbers and appreciate orderliness. It takes all types to help us build a great work force designed to really yield talent to take the organization to a higher level of performance.

5) Be brave.  Sometimes in HR we have to step out of our comfort zone – make recommendations that may not be popular.  It’s hard, and I know that that every successful, strategic HR pro has done this time after time – to help keep top management on the alert for important issues, and to make recommendations for the betterment of the organization. What have you done to be brave lately?   Going against the grain isn’t easy, but it is necessary. Do you have the support to do this?  Maybe you need support yourself to do this? We need to give permission to be brave, to help yield those great results that ultimately bring higher performance, and fantastic productivity.

So, thank you, Lady Gaga, for giving us inspiration to compare your message to the human resource world.  We need to be grateful for who we have in our staff, be purposeful in how we keep people engaged in our organizations, find ways to embrace and appreciate differences, and support higher performance, and ultimately to demonstrate fearlessness in driving success in our organizations.

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about the author: Amy Letke

Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success.