This a great time for HR to create more value
Updated: Aug 18
I have always felt lucky to work in HR and I continue to ask myself: ‘what is our purpose and how can we increase the long-term potential of our customers, our teams and employees?’
Here are three practical ways in how I believe that HR can respond and make a profound impact:
1. Prioritise psychological safety, mental health & well-being
We can add value by building people manager capabilities in situational awareness to help them recognise signs of fatigue in their teams, and provide well-being tools that help our employees approach these ‘hard’ conversations.
The Department of Health confirms that 4.2 million Australians will experience a mental health condition during their lifetime, yet we are still struggling to talk about how we feel.
Speaking up requires immense courage and without doing so problems manifest.
2. Give your employees room to do brilliant work
We can help businesses to increase the pace of execution tomorrow.
Building trust, seeking to understand internal pain points and respectfully challenging leaders to identify and remove non-essential tasks will give employees the space to perform successfully.
In my experience, poor communication, unclear roles, responsibilities and bureaucratic processes are just some of the reasons why great people quit and leaders get frustrated.
Corporate machines are paralysed by silos and levels of hierarchy which tragically suppress collective intelligence and great outcomes.
HR teams can intervene by road mapping SMART solutions and improving the effectiveness of cross-functional relationships that help us make a faster and leaner business. This is a fundamental component of People Partnering.
3. Unlock new opportunities through your employees’ creative minds
This is my favourite and, in my view, authenticity and creativity will be the surest enabler of future growth. For over sixty-five years, 3M has offered its employees 15% of their time to explore and collaborate in pursuing their next best product offering.
Google are well known for awarding 20% of their time for personal research. Bernard Girard, author of ‘The Google Way’, says that ‘Ideas quickly transform into products. Google keep listening because it knows breakthrough ideas can come from anyone’.
We want our employees to feel heard. Creating platforms to enable this will be paramount. Businesses should reward brave and provocative employees whilst encouraging freedom of expression and ideation.
Their moments of discovery and game changing behaviours will deliver your next best product and service offerings - these employees will be indispensable to your business.
North star HR
Author, Mitch Joel defines collaboration as ‘opportunities for collision’. He describes in his book ‘Ctrl Alt Delete’, ‘moments of collision make the world go round - for example when creative designers are paired with software engineers and the results can be astounding, think iPad!’
A people first culture will transpire when leaders collide meaningfully with HR, Organisational Development and Reward specialists.
People will become the best version of themselves, in a safe environment, allowing creativity and collaboration to flourish. All of which will be fundamental in building a better business.
This is an exciting time for HR teams to navigate their own destiny, clear roadblocks and make leaders more accessible. Leveraging HR technology and data analytics will help to quantify our commercial impact.
HR will become ‘value creators’ and I would passionately advocate to replace ‘HR’ with the, somewhat unconventional, ‘VC’ as our new job title.