As an HR professional, I cannot tell you how many times over the years I heard “Can I show you my injury?” Someone was injured at work or home and the doctor’s note wasn’t quite enough. They wanted to come into my office to SHOW me their stitches, bruises, and cuts to their body. I am in HR, not medicine…and it’s for a reason. My family will tell you I am a bit squeamish. Medical updates on the news are sometimes hard for me to watch, let alone stitches that are right in my face.
But why would someone be compelled to show their HR person their injury? What is the root cause of that behavior? Attention? Maybe. But, that might only cover a few cases. I would argue it boils down to trust and making sure others believe that they really have an excuse for not being at the office.
Inherently, people want to do a good job. But what that looks like varies depending on the organization you work for. For government employees, it might mean being at the office so the taxpayers don’t squawk. And, if you are going to be away from the office, you need to make sure people understand that you weren’t trying to skip out on work. To do that, they want to show you their injury.
Fostering a culture of trust will alleviate this problem and will set your employees free to make the right decisions for the organization. The foundation for a Results-Only Work Environment is trust. Trusting that employees will make the right decisions to move the work forward and reach organizational outcomes. This mindset alleviates the stress employees can sometimes experience when something does go wrong. Stitches sewn up? Results achieved? No awkward conversations with HR about the details of the injury- which is freeing for everyone involved.
Think about your organization. Do employees want to show you their injuries? Or, is trust in place so you can do without the graphic “show and tell” stories in your office?