A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you

Let’s Make A Deal & HR

A Guest Post from Steve Browne


Being a kid of the 70’s, one of the “figures” I remember seeing on my color TV with the 3 network channels and no remote control was Monte Hall.  He was magnificent, funny and always had his audience enthralled with the chance of winning prizes and money.

Let’s Make a Deal was crazy and colorful because everyone dressed up in the most extravagant costumes possible in order to get Monte’s attention.  It was their way of being noticed and getting a chance for fabulous prizes.


When you sit back and look at it, Let’s Make a Deal is a lot like the workplaces of today.

Employees do their best to be seen in the hope they’ll be recognized and possibly move ahead in the organization.  Their supervisor is a personal Monte Hall because he/she controls the future of the staff.

However, most employees get the ZONK! prize instead of the new living room suite.


That’s where Human Resources comes in! 


HR professionals should possess a skill which exemplifies our leadership:

The art of negotiation


You see, we can be the true game show hosts for our employees.  We can call them forward, show them their options, help them understand the consequences and/or results of certain decisions and then ask them to “make a deal”!  This would empower the staff and help them feel as though they have a say in their future instead of them feeling as if the future is simply being dictated to them.


I believe too many HR professionals have a purist bent to them;  they feel their systems are perfect and that ALL people should fall in line with these rules, these policies, these processes with no exceptions.

This feels a bit autocratic – definitely no deal making there!




HR, great HR, is practiced by individuals for individuals.  Great HR ensures people are treated as the game show contestants are treated – with one-on-one attention, with full respect and a bit of lighthearted personification.  In addition, great HR ensures the workforce has the ability to engage with and shape their future with the organization.

Sure, it’s harder to practice HR this way, but our employees deserve it!


My challenge to you?  This week, try to put on your best plaid sport coat, grab the pencil thin microphone and call employees up to Make A Deal!


Walk them through their situations, the possibilities and consequences, and give them the best option behind Door Number 1.

You’ll be glad you did!



About the Series

I have declared May, “the month of fun”!  I’ve always enjoyed watching game shows and I know there are lessons to be learned while watching some healthy competition!  That being said, I’ve asked some trusted colleagues to write a guest post about a game show and their lessons learned as it pertains to their career.  I hope you enjoy them!


About the Author

Steve Browne is the Executive Director of Human Resources for LaRosa’s, Inc. where he is utilizing nearly two decades of HR experience to ensure HR integration and partnership occurs with this 1400+ employee organization.  I met Steve last year at the SHRM Leadership conference…I believe he was stalking me via Twitter!  🙂  Seriously, Steve is intentional – he recognized me from my Twitter Profile picture and made a point to say hello.  I appreciated the fact that he did so and have been appreciative of his insight, kindness and generosity ever since.  Steve helped me with my decision to start blogging and helped fine tune my very first entry, Time for Change.  His blog, Everyday People, is filled with entries that are as lighthearted and soulful as their author.  Should you care to reach out to Steve on Twitter or LinkedIn, be prepared for a phone call, email or DM as he will surely want to get to know you!

Employee RelationsFairnessGood FaithHuman ResourcesLeadershipRetentionRole of HRWorkforce Satisfaction

Heather Kinzie • May 20, 2012

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