Recently we had a question sent to us and I replied with a short answer, but wanted to expound on this a bit:
We are finding that employees may have a negative feeling toward HPI simply based on its name. They sometimes feel that it implies they are what needs to be improved. Have you heard this from others? As we work on implementation we are considering a rebrand but are struggling with what to call it. Do you have examples you could share on what others companies have done in this regard?
A lot of companies are calling it HOP (Human & Organizational Performance). Others are calling it simply Organizational Improvement. You will also find other terms such as Safety II, Safety Differently, or The New View of Safety.
My personal feeling is there is so much reference material using Human Performance terms, I would rather explain to my employees once why Human Performance isn’t a “fix the worker” approach, rather than have to explain each and every time why we changed the name.
Even with HOP and Organizational Improvement–what is the Organization? When you break it down the organization is all of us. Humans. Humans that are each having an influence on the organization no matter what position we hold. Which is why I choose to put the effort in explaining that concept to my employees.
There is a lot of scientific research done on the effect of using certain words. Businesses pay money to consultants just to find the right name or phrase to market a product or idea. So, I understand the desire to find the right name. My only request is that if you do use the name Human Performance make sure you are following the 5 principles of Human Performance Improvement. Otherwise, it stops being HPI.
We had similar experiences in the beginning, not from employees who were actually engaged, but occasionally from the non-involved (aka CAVE employees). Also we found that organizations enrolled in VPP in general had a maturity of employee engagement that made them receptive to continuing education and innovations. One of the often unrecognized benefits of HPI, HOP (or whatever it is called) is that well executed it serves to raise the emotional maturity of the organization and individuals; management and staff.