“We are not perfect human beings, nor do we have to pretend to be, but it is necessary for us to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be.”
With the world of work evolving at a rapid speed; the introduction of new technologies, increased emphasis on diversity and inclusion, as well as a more modern approach to leadership to name but a few. They all present new challenges to organisations, but if businesses are turning to new ways of working, then how can we make better use of our people?
Many HR departments and professionals are debating this very subject. When I first started in HR, my first role was as an HR Administrator, creating contracts of employment and printing off employee handbooks. One of my concerns with increased automation is the lack of entry level HR roles that may be available in the future, how can we attract people into our profession when the roles simply don’t exist? Could HR possibly be facing its own skills shortage in the future?
The answer is well potentially… We all know that HR people can be tricky to please especially within the recruitment stages, so one key element that you can almost guarantee that will be top of the wish list, is customer facing skills. Whilst customer service is not a primary function of HR, those entry level roles will deplete, and therefore a new entry level is created which is most likely to be a people facing role, so they’ll not only have to hot the ground running, they’ll also need to own those people focussed skills.
We often hear the phrase “the future of HR is a people centred strategy.” Whilst this is most certainly true, it is important to remember that this is not just a strategy based upon people within organisations, it is about how the organisation involves everyone within it to work together to fully utilise resources, remain competitive within the market place, maintain good internal and external relationships, and working to continually improve business practices.
Even in 2019, we still see so many organisations that fail to involve their people in the development of their overall business strategy. The lessons that were highlighted in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis should have been the wake up call for businesses everywhere, yet so many fail to see the benefit that employee involvement could bring. Taking the time to fully involve employees means a much more engaged and committed workforce, leading to increased productivity and less employee woes.
With publicity from the CIPD and the Government, employees becoming more aware of their rights and adaptations to employment law, there appears to be a renewed interest in “being human”. This was widely discussed at the Natural HR conference last Wednesday in Dorset, is there a need to strip back all the HR jargon and start to shift our focus on to what is important? Developing new working practices alongside our people instead of the outdated “them and us” culture?
There are also changes to how we lead people, being authentic, empathetic and generating a positive culture are essential qualities that make a strong leader. By understanding every aspect of the employee lifecycle, this creates a culture of trust within the organisation, which leads to reduced attrition levels, being an employer of choice when recruiting and working with the right people around you.
Getting there is an individual journey to each organisation, the key is clear leadership, defined job roles, strong line management, good levels of communication and most of all actively listening to what the employees need or want.