Herding is a fine art. Sheep dogs do it. Cowboys too. Security at concerts and high profile events use herding as a part of creating order in confusing, stressful, and complicated situations.

“HR Professionals? Nope, I’m not buying it.”

Those were the exact words out of my mouth when I picked up this pin at a vendor booth at the Oklahoma Human Resource Conference. Bacon pins I understand but cat herding, no.

And then I had a thought . . .

As an HR professional, our job is not unlike a cowboy driving employees from one direction to another. As someone who is a mother to multiple cats, I can attest to the extremely fine art of cat herding. And the methodology behind the process is something that can absolutely provide insight, learning, thoughts, and humor into engagement and Human Resources.
  • Scatter. Groups whether feline or of the human variety have a tendency to scatter when times get tough or a challenging opportunity presents itself. Any type of corporate or HR process involves running, ducking, determination, and redirection.
  • Change. George, my cat who is 13 years young detests change. Move his water bowl and there’s moaning and groaning. Did I mention moaning and belly aching and for days? Sound like anyone you know in your office or organization?
  • Incentives. Finding the fabric that motivates your workforce or employee based is often found through the. Cats and employees are no different. A good incentive can motivate and transform a culture or program sometimes on nothing more than a shoestring budget. Tuna cat treats are my feline incentive of choice but only the crunchy variety will do.
  • Love Them. Engagement equals loyalty, communication, and conversation. Love your cats and they love you back. People are no different. The human relationship is the ultimate differentiation strategy. Nicey, who is 4 years old sat underneath our bassinet for several weeks before Ryleigh was born. Even after we brought her home from the hospital she served as a watch cat alerting me to any restlessness by Ryleigh.
  • Boundaries. When herding cats, it helps to have boundaries and a direct plan for success. Anticipate obstacles, plans for exit, and potential pitfalls. A good cat herder prepares for the scatter, teaches and trains their team and workforce to do the same. And sometimes we call for backup.
So what kind of cat herder or HR Professional are you?

Photo Credit Blogging4Jobs and shout out to http://www.thepresimmongroup.com for the inspirational button.

Views: 53

Tags: HR, cat, cats, herd, herding, human, i, resources

Comment by Valentino Martinez on May 10, 2010 at 9:30pm
Cats! Did you say herding cats??

NO way, no how...unless there's a treat involved.

Treat, first!

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