The humanization of HR is an increasingly important consideration given that the New Normal has significantly limited our ability to engage our organization’s most prized assets. In a period where uncertainty continues to loom, the noble tenets of our profession will remain firmly centred on our “humanness”. I summarize these in HR’s most important goals - the 3Ds.
o Dignity – we help create livelihoods for people as work gives dignity and meaning to their lives, families and communities they belong.
o Diversity – we help create a rich tapestry of talent to come together to solve problems. Problems which impact the organization, country and humanity at large. Given the issues we see in the world today, being in business purely for profit is no longer enough, or importantly, doing the right thing.
o Development – we help foster an environment of growth, mobility and actualization. This must be our core proposition if we truly believe people are our most precious assets.
Advancing the Trust Agenda
The active ingredient to seal the deal is to inspire TRUST and PURPOSE.
The World Economic Forum in August 2020 believed that 2020 is the dawn of the Trust Economy. Why is TRUST so important in the New Normal?
o Successful remote working demands a greater level of trust, both in and between employees and employers
o In the long-term, organizations that cultivate greater levels of trust will be better placed to thrive in this new era where trust will be the differentiator when it comes to achieving success in business and people.
o Doing what’s right will be a mantra for any thinking and/or progressive organization. Leaders who do not inspire this and only look towards profit motives will put their people and organizations in danger.
Many organizations we have worked with has put trust at the top of the boardroom agenda. In a recent KPMG research on Pathfinding organizations, it was reported that more than 60% of organizations globally are aligning their business and HR strategy around higher-level goals such as trust and an having an enabling culture. This was true even prior to the pandemic.
People are demanding for a higher purpose vision to what they’re doing whether it’s for the environment or humanity as a whole.
“Culture is a living, breathing organism. HR should endeavor to position itself as a thought leader, a guardian and enabler of culture “ says Jacqueline Welsh, the CHRO of Freddie Mack.
COVID19 has certainly hastened us to adopt the new normal by at least 5 years. The World Bank estimates that COVID 19 has thrown around 100 million people into extreme poverty. This has resulted in a devastating situation as it pertains to livelihoods, income disparity and all kinds of economic woes.
COVID19 is an equalizer. Whatever generation you may belong (baby boomer, Gen X, millennials, new millennials and Gen Z), let me state again that COVID19 has made a consequential impact on the lives of everyone, resulting in poverty, unemployment, suicide and the unprecedented rise of mental health issues.
Opportunity of Change
Many opportunities abound from tragedy:
We have instantly become Catalysts for Change.
HR has previously been seen as a backoffice function and ensuring that the processes are well managed.
Our risk of adhering exclusively to purely operational goals may have landed us with the ultimate predicament of all – HR has become process owners and we are held accountable for equally static KPIs such as:
1) Recruitment rankings or quality of recruits;
2) # of training hours achieved; and of course:
3) Staff retention statistics.
These are not by any means unimportant quantitative measures of success or failure. It is the amount of time we spend on these processes is what keeps us as a backoffice function. At the same time, we get criticized for not being strategic enough.
Because of COVID19, however, we are thrust into a new world of strategy and insights. We are now well on our way to become true PATHFINDERS.
We are expected to accelerate our insights on something never seen or experienced before. Managing change becomes the everyday grind and challenges are dynamic – everyday it’s a new set of challenges and realities to work around.
Crisis has added depth and credibility to our profession.
So as PATHFINDERS, our key priorities have revolved around the following:
• Shaping the workforce
• Shaping a purpose-led culture
• Shaping the employee experience
• Shaping insights through data
Many of these insights have been accelerated through the use of technology.
Technology can support us immensely by analyzing massive amounts of data so that we can provide the best guidance and advice to better optimize the skills, experience and expertise in the quickest, most effective, and most importantly, proactive basis. This is the dawn of evidence-based or data-supported HR management.
We all want to work for profitable companies but we also want our companies to have a long-term plan to do good for the people, clients and communities we serve as ultimately we should remind ourselves what we are here.
In conclusion, I believe that it is in these unprecedented times, we find the greatest opportunities. HR may become the most valuable influencers in a period where uncertainty, anxiety and unrest are an everyday occurrence requiring a daily response. More importantly, as enlightened pathfinders, we need to be prepared for what’s to come our way.
Conference video link: https://yadi.sk/i/hlq2laiUZWJORQ