Guys, working in HR in the past year has been a major rollercoaster ride.
As the future of work went from being super shiny and exciting with AI, ML and all sorts of fun stuff in the mix, to murky and uncertain as rolling lockdowns forced companies to close their doors or scale down, human resources departments toed the line between superheroes and villains like a tightrope in a circus.
Financial services company Finfind recently published a new report showing that 42.7% of SMMEs in South Africa had to close as ongoing lockdown measures curbed the conventional ebb and flow of the economy, while, in total, 3 000 000+ South Africans lost their jobs.
Behind each of those layoffs and retrenchment notices was an HR representative. This is one of the worst parts of the job.
However, the news is not all dire. Exciting new trends and best practices have developed in the wake of the economic shakeup, and managing remote teams has actually served to successfully scale the search for talent. Additionally, COVID-19 created digital transformation opportunities for businesses around the world.
Check out our YouTube channel for awesome videos on everything from the science of employee recognition to creating an internal communications strategy for enhanced engagement.
Now, as we look to the future of work, and continue to welcome more employees back to the office while others continue to work from home, the role of HR has shifted once more to help companies to prepare for what comes next.
Here are 5 ways in which human resources practitioners will have to sharpen their focus, and level up to a certain extent, to usher in the brave new world of working:
- Shift into full-on employee advocate mode
As a member of HR, you have insight into the things that impact an employee's experience at your company, and the influence to change it for the better. The goal should be to create a space in which the workforce is enabled and energised to bring their A-game to the table to drive the success of the company.
As such, the aim should be to stand as an advocate for employees instead of simply ticking compliance, attendance and productivity boxes.
- Transition from being task-oriented to becoming service-oriented
In order to shape policies and structures to empower employees, HR practitioners should shift from being task-oriented to being service-oriented. This will require a move away from the administrative skills, towards human-centred efficiencies. I.e. empathetic listening skills, the development of processes that engage employees for optimal results, etc.
- Use tech to your advantage to focus experiential efforts
Alignment is inherent in a well-placed employee, but there are ways to nurture it to bring it to full bloom. A lot of HR tech used today is still rooted in the needs of a prior generation. Driving powerful alignment between your employees and your company goals calls for tech that engages the future workforce by providing frequent feedback and recognition - a solution that aligns seamlessly with existing HR processes to facilitate a happy, healthy, future-proof workplace.
The future of work is developing around a completely new generation of people who have grown up not with email, but with WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. They have grown up with mobile, not with PCs, and when we think about the future workforce, in some ways it will be defined by technology, but in many ways it is going to be defined by the needs, the expectations and the demands these people have when they enter the workplace.
When they come to work, people don’t just demand technology that is as good as that which they use in their personal lives. They have completely different expectations of work itself. They expect to be able to communicate with anyone in their organisation without having to ask permission, and regardless of that person’s position in the organisation. They want frequent feedback and recognition. These people have a voice and they expect to be heard.
So as much as technology will shape how we work and how we engage in the workplace in the future, it’s people that will be the real driving force behind how people want to work in the future. The role of HR will be to find the sweet spot where the two meet.
Keen to find out more about a mobile-friendly platform that combines recognition, rewards, social communication, learning and feedback into a single, personalised user experience? Check this out.
- Become a strategic partner for C-suite
Successful leaders already leverage the reach and insights of HR to help them move their organisations forward. Become a strategic partner for C-suite within your company. This may not be easy at first, but if you can develop a rapport with the leaders of the business, you can make tangible differences to employee experience. It all starts by developing a reputation for getting results.
- Catalyse propose within employees
When employees are not clear about the vision and mission of your business, and the role that they play within the grander scheme, they will always seek validation in the form of raises, promotions and monetary rewards. To create a space that fosters intrinsic rewards, HR should help to galvanise employee purpose to boost engagement and employee wellness.
There you have it - five ways in which HR practitioners have to step up to pave the way for the future of work. Check back soon for more insider insights from the bountiXP team.
In the meantime, remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for awesome video content on everything from addressing common barriers to employee engagement, to creating a communication strategy that brings your team into the fold.