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| 5 min
The Future of HR – How does HR rebuild?
HR’s changing day by day, and the best HR teams are preparing themselves for what’s next. Getting ready for when we do eventually come out of this pandemic and into a new world of...
| 5 min
Reimagine work
It’s going to be a great ride. Are you ready? It was Albert Einstein who said ‘Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere’. The volatile world we are...
| 5 min
The future of work and how HR must do a big pivot
This article is a guest post from our recent webinar speaker, Mark Edgar, a recovering CHRO, who spent more than 25 years working across multiple sectors before taking the leap and starting his own...
| 5 min
Tips to ace your strategic goal planning in 2019
We are now well and truly into the swing of 2019, but have you completed (or started) your strategic HR planning for the year ahead yet? Even if you are in the midst of...

The Future of HR – How does HR rebuild?

HR’s changing day by day, and the best HR teams are preparing themselves for what’s next. Getting ready for when we do eventually come out of this pandemic and into a new world of work.

We’re really lucky to work with over 150 amazing HR teams, many who are pioneering and leading the field in their respective industries. Based on our conversations with them, we came up with 4 new mindsets to help you shift your own for the Future of HR.

 

The 4 Pillars of Rebuilding

 

1. Rethinking Performance: Enabling not Managing

One common question we keep hearing: How do I help my Employees do their work now?

This one question embodies a new approach to management rippling through global HR communities. A mindset of enabling employees to do their best work, rather than managing their performance.

And there’s a reason why this looks like the way forward: it leads to better performance outcomes. When employees feel supported, cared for and encouraged, they’re more likely to produce great work. They show up.

To adopt this mindset, HR should start rethinking outdated performance processes. Trading once a year reviews for continuous feedback. Focusing feedback on development and improvement rather than measurement. Implementing regular check-ins where managers look for ways to support productivity. Tracking goals and progress monthly, not annually.

How to adopt this mindset? Review your reviews.

Check your performance processes and ask yourself:

  • Is this managing performance or enabling it?
  • Are we focusing on metrics or developmental conversations?
  • Does this process evaluate employees or enable them?

Mindset: Enable performance, don’t manage it.

If you’re leaning more towards evaluation than empowerment, it may be time to revisit your performance processes. Especially considering the shift in productivity HR now needs to factor in.

 

2. Rethinking Productivity: Swapping Hours for Output

Hours are out, productivity is in. One thing we’ve all learnt during this global Work from Home period is that employees all prefer slightly different schedules. And the best HR teams have adapted to this by coaching managers to make flexible hours work. And it seems to be working. Which makes sense, as research shows that engagement soars when employees are given the agency over their own schedule.

When it comes to rethinking productivity, the new mindset for HR teams in our community is:

Output > hours. Productivity first.

The benefits of this approach include increased employee satisfaction and productivity. According to a study by Dice, working from home without the usual set hours, employees feel more energized, creative and productive. Simply put, it allows for a better work-life balance.

Don’t be alarmed, this doesn’t mean minimum hours will completely disappear. But as we move into the future of HR, the focus shifts to what employees get done, not how long they spent doing it.

How to adopt this mindset? Be flexible.

  • Allow for schedules that fit outside 9 – 5.
  • Don’t enforce minimum hours where possible, nor set the expectations that surround them.
  • Communicate with and encourage managers to focus on output rather than hours

Mindset: Output > hours.

 

3. Rethinking Engagement: Wellbeing and Mental Health as the New Engagement Metric

One silver lining to the current pandemic is the spotlight on the importance of Mental Health and Wellbeing in the workplace. We keep hearing from HR experts in our global community that workplaces have ‘woken up’. Leaders are now acknowledging how important it is to support Employee Wellbeing.

This is great, but also means HR teams are shifting how they think about engagement and how they measure it.

Besides the usual engagement metrics, HR is now also measuring wellbeing. Questions like “How’s your wellbeing this month?” and “What are you struggling with?” are now appearing in check-ins and feedback.

How to adopt this mindset? Make wellbeing a monthly metric.

  • Ask a wellbeing/mental health question in your monthly  or weekly feedback process
  • Report on wellbeing
  • Track wellbeing as an HR metric to improve

Mindset: Engagement includes employee wellbeing.

 

4. Thinking Unity: Diversity and Inclusion Matters

Moving forward, the best HR teams are adopting a mindset of diversity and inclusion first. Starting at the recruitment process and continuing through internal succession, all the way to the last day of work.

The workplaces of the future are diverse, inclusive and equitable. Equal representation, inclusive practices and bias-combating HR processes. 

Plus, there’s an easy sell for why leaders should support HR’s new emphasis and diversity mindset. Increased diversity leads to better business outcomes. A recent study by Boston Consulting Group found companies that have more diversity in their management teams achieve 19% higher revenue, on average. This is attributed to increased innovation. As the World Economic Forum stated, the business case of diversity is overwhelming.
Having greater neuro-diversity through representation creates a canvas where more creativity and unique problem-solving approaches emerge. 

It’s also more sustainable for talent retention. More and more, employees are advocating for equal representation. The HR teams who get this right not only stand for fairness but also add to their employer branding in a way that attracts up and coming talent.

How to adopt this mindset? Start with Diversity in mind.

  • Audit your hiring process
  • Audit internal promotion processes
  • Audit representation in your workplace across gender, ethnic background and religion. Highlight any gaps or unconscious discrimination that may be inadvertently occurring.

Mindset: Diversity and inclusion is the heart of every HR practice.

 

HR for the Future

The first step to rebuilding as you move into the future of work, the future of HR, could be shifting your mindset. Adopting a mindset of treating employees fairly, equally and with respect. Then integrating this approach into your HR practices and processes.

If you want some help with the transition, this is the exact thing we’ve helped over 150 HR teams across the globe to do. To make this transition digitally, seamlessly and intelligently.

 

 


Reimagine work

It’s going to be a great ride. Are you ready?

It was Albert Einstein who said ‘Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere’. The volatile world we are living in defies logic in so many ways, making imagination one of the critical skillsets required to thrive in the new world of work.

Last month I introduced the four phases to ‘Managing COVID-19 as a HR Department. Depending on the pandemic curve in your country and the capabilities of your organization, the majority of the HR teams I speak to are shifting to Reconnect as they think through how to open up their offices.

We’re approaching the Reconnect phase in a very logical way – the head response. PPE has been issued and new working protocols are being introduced that ensure the safety of our people and meet our obligations for providing a safe physical working environment. The two metre stick is being brandished across organizations to create some distance and we’re thinking through how we get people up to their desks in an elevator two at a time. We’re publishing pages of guidelines so people have all the information they need and we’re asking our people to ‘sign off’ to ensure their understanding. It’s all very logical.

But it’s not straight forward and that’s why we need to make sure we also have a heart response. Some people don’t want to return. They don’t feel safe on the public transport that they are dependent on, or they are enjoying the newfound flexibility and productivity of distributed work. Others are being asked not to return to the office to provide more space for those who really need to, but their mental health was already being impacted by feelings of isolation and they want to get back to being around people asap.

The final phase ‘Reimagine’ provides hope. This is where we get to play. We get to explore what we have learnt during this crazy (dare I say unprecedented) period and decide how we can move forward with the confidence that we’re better positioned to deal with the next event. And have no doubt – there will be another event.

There are five steps to Reimagine that will help you realise the exciting opportunities it offers.

  1. Gather insights

It’s been encouraging to see many organizations taking a proactive approach to gathering regular sentiment data from their people during this period. It will be important to turn this data into insights to understand how all of your people really feel. Avoid the temptation of just focusing on the majority – for example just because 68% of people responded to say they didn’t want to return to work doesn’t mean you should simply continue with your remote working arrangements. If only life were that simple.

 

  1. Create the best environment to Reimagine

I was told recently that HR people don’t have much imagination. It was something of a sweeping statement, but it struck a chord. The Deloitte Human Capital Trends report provides some data to support this perspective. The report identifies that 75 percent of respondents say evolving the role HR was important or very important for their success, but only 11 percent say they were ready to address this trend. Now that 64 point difference isn’t necessarily all down to a lack of imagination, but I suspect it plays a part so we must remember we all have imagination and that we can come up with amazing creative ideas – if you have the right environment.

 

  1. Identify your ambitious destination

Remember what Einstein said – you can go ‘everywhere’ so you need to identify what I call your ‘ambitious destination’. I love working with teams on this step as the possibilities are endless and the approach is unique to every situation. There are no right or wrong answers but it’s important to have an answer. If you don’t know where you are going how will you know when you get there? Avoid falling into the trap of thinking that because we live in such an unpredictable world that we shouldn’t have a plan – it’s more about preparing for that plan to change.

 

  1. Get your flywheel working

For those who aren’t familiar with Jim Collin’s flywheel concept, it starts with you inching forward but you keep pushing and after some persistent effort you get the flywheel to complete one entire turn … and then you start to build momentum and speed. You can use this approach to Reimagine work. Start by using the insights to ideate. Get creative and generate lots of ideas that will improve your employee experience and move you towards your ambitious destination. Take a test and learn approach to implement your ideas and then iterate by gathering insights. That’s just one turn but I promise it will get quicker.

 

  1. Become the coach

As mentioned previously, if the 2008 financial crisis was CFO led, then this was one for the CRHOs. HR Departments have done a fantastic job through the React, Respond and Reconnect phases that perfectly positions them to lead the charge on Reimagine. To obtain buy-in and to increase the chance of sustainable value, I recommend HR taking a coach role by partnering with other key stakeholders to help the organization Reimagine work.

We’ve moved beyond those overused table analogies – earning a place at the table, being invited to the table and setting the table. Now is the time for HR to use their credibility to take a position as integrator, facilitator and collaborator for the business to Reimagine work.

It’s going to be a great ride. Are you ready?

 

This article is a guest post from our recent webinar speaker, Mark Edgar, a recovering CHRO, who spent more than 25 years working across multiple sectors before taking the leap and starting his own business, Goat Rodeo Project.

 


The future of work and how HR must do a big pivot

This article is a guest post from our recent webinar speaker, Mark Edgar, a recovering CHRO, who spent more than 25 years working across multiple sectors before taking the leap and starting his own business, Goat Rodeo Project

 

For those of who don’t know (and there are many), a goat rodeo is a slang term for something being a complete train wreck. Goat Rodeo Project is designed to help you predict and avoid organizational train wrecks.

For the avoidance of doubt, the global pandemic that we are managing is a goat rodeo. A health crisis that has led to an economic crisis with deep and far reaching social implications. In my discussions with CHROs, it is clear that if the 2008 financial crisis was CFO led, then this was one for the CRHOs.

It’s been inspiring to watch the HR community step up to this challenge and provide leadership for their businesses to ensure their people were safe. On the webinar I talked through the four phases to managing COVID-19 as a HR department.

While every situation is unique, the framework is designed to provide direction of travel and some much needed hope for organizations. The React phase is all about crisis management and ensuring your people are safe. The Respond phase is about shifting your people to work on-line and about their mental wellbeing. Unsurprisingly, the poll in our recent webinar told us that the majority of participants (51%) were in the Respond phase and shifting their thinking to Reconnect and Reimagine. We will focus on these two stages, not because React and Respond are not important – they are critically important – but more as a reflection of where the long term opportunity lies. 

 

Let’s start with Reconnect. 

The world is slowly thinking about reopening and while it’s concerning that some territories are doing it perhaps too quickly, it’s an important stage. I see the response from HR folks falling into two very different categories – I’ll call them the Head response and the Heart response.

The Head response is focused around new working protocols that need to be developed to ensure a safe work environment is being created. Guidelines will be produced and should be used to ensure you know what needs to change in your workplace. Imagine the world moving to 100% contactless and that will give you a sense of how seismic this shift will be. 

When you add social distancing into the mix then you need new working protocols that cover the number of people who can be in the lift, the office, the corridors, the kitchen… dare I say the toilets? Many organizations will implement a phased approach and prioritise who needs to come back to the office first. Many won’t come back at all.

Organizations will also need to increase their medical capabilities. This includes testing, PPE and protocols on how to deal with absence.

I’m confident HR departments will take their Head responses very seriously. Risks will be identified, robust plans will be developed and they will be implemented thoughtfully. We’re good at this stuff. Who wouldn’t want to have a HR person by their side in a crisis?

I believe consideration of the Heart response is where you’ll bring long term value to your business. It’s less tangible, but critical and the window is short. There are three elements:

  1. Welcome people forward – this unusual term resonated with many in our webinar. The people in your organization have been through a unique and shared experience. While the impact and their response will be different, the experience has been the same. The idea of welcoming people forward (rather than welcoming them back) is to acknowledge this shared experience and provide your people with the chance to thoughtfully transition to the next phase. 
  2. Gather insights and learnings – the best way to welcome people forward is to get their feedback on how it went. What did people notice during the pandemic? How did the culture of the organization hold-up? How did leaders show-up? All this learning will help inform future plans as you start to think about how you Reimagine your workplace.
  3. Enhanced wellbeing support – our focus on wellbeing needs to continue through to the Reconnect phase and will become a constant capability in organizations if it isn’t already. People will be anxious about returning to work, worried about their loved-ones and depending on their circumstances nervous about their future livelihood. Empathy will need to continue to be a focus as we all continue to all be CEOs – Chief Empathy Officers.

All phases are critical and as a HR professional this is our moment. People have stepped up and will continue to do so. I’d encourage everyone to be focused on where they are today and where they want to be tomorrow – this is about small steps, making quick decisions based on limited information and being ready to pivot.

Welcome to the future – and HR’s big pivot. Stay tuned for my next post which will delve into the reimagine phase. 

 

 


Tips to ace your strategic goal planning in 2019

We are now well and truly into the swing of 2019, but have you completed (or started) your strategic HR planning for the year ahead yet?

Even if you are in the midst of fulfilling a 3 or 5 year plan, in today’s environment things move fast, so it’s always a good idea to reassess your organisational direction at least once a year. What better time than right now?

In this blog we’ll explore the best practice method to conduct your own goal setting for the year ahead.

 

Get aligned with leadership

First, all department managers should receive direction from the CEO or MD to gain a full understanding of where they envision the company going in the next 12 months. This is vital to get all leaders in the business working towards the same outcomes and understanding how they can individually contribute to shared goals.

This could be achieved via one on one meetings in smaller organisations, a group meeting for larger headcount businesses or even through a video call in situations where staff are physically disparate. In any case, with the technology available to us today this step is not only important but very achievable for any type of business to accomplish.

“It’s so important to be on the same page as the leader of the business, so you understand the pain points and where they see the biggest challenges coming through”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO

 

Consider the customer

Placing the customer at the centre of planning and decision making is not just a responsibility for the marketing team. In fact, it takes all areas of the organisation working together to fulfil the customer’s needs. After all, no business can exist without them!

In the HR department for example, understanding customer needs and how they are evolving over time should inform decisions about the skills needed in frontline staff and the training required to get there.

This is just one way the HR team can become more customer-centric. Some additional areas that should also be considered include:

  • Gathering continuous feedback from staff
    • This is a great way to get insights from the front line on what customers are experiencing.
  • Assisting staff to set goals that directly reflect customer outcomes
    • This allows performance to be measured against the results being delivered to customers
  • Prioritise lifelong learning
    • Provide training opportunities and make sure employees receive the professional development required to stay at peak performance.

 

Put the right tools in place

Support for HR technology is growing fast, and it’s easy to see why when we have tools that not only make our lives easier but also have better outcomes. With all the advancements available at our fingertips today, there’s no need to rely on manual processes anymore. These new tools allow you to take a strategic focus, delivering insights and helping drive your business forward, rather than focusing on administration and compliance.

Chances are, some of your goals may relate to phasing out these manual processes, or perhaps something you want to achieve hinges on becoming more efficient or removing human error. If this is the case, don’t focus on converting your old processes into a digital equivalent, think about the ultimate outcome you want to achieve, and then determine if there is actually a completely new and more effective way to reach it.

“It’s about focusing on the actual outcomes you’re trying to achieve and then selecting the right tools that are fit for that purpose. We need to understand that systems of the past don’t necessarily fit in with the tools of the future. So much has changed, even the expectations of staff. We must all step back and look at solutions.”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO

 

Measure your progress

In order to achieve the goals you set, it’s important to be able to measure them and make use of all available tools that can help support goal progress along the way. Having access to accurate and digestible data is imperative to this.

With a people management system like intelliHR, not only can you measure goal progress but also access a range of HR Analytics on important trends within your organisation that can be affecting performance and hence, the customer experience as well.

“HR should be seen as the facilitator of business performance, and it should be about enablement and making things easier for staff to better look after their customers”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO

When choosing a people management system to help facilitate your success throughout the year (and beyond) you’ll want to select an integrated system that includes all of these must-have HR tools in one seamless package:

  • New Team Member Onboarding – Give your team the best start possible
  • Continuous feedback – Understand insights across your organisation
  • Performance Management and Reporting
  • Goal Setting

 

Set goals up for success

Writing out goals in an excel spreadsheet and then forgetting about them is unlikely to help anyone in the business succeed. For goals to have the best chance of success they need to be visible, measurable and adaptable.

Within intelliHR, employees can set goals, track their progress, reassess goals and communicate about them with their manager in one place. When you take this tool and couple it with an organisational culture where goal setting is prioritised, everyone in the organisation is empowered to achieve their goals and get assistance along the way if needed.

 

Remember why goals matter

Ultimately, all of the above practices are important because without having everyone heading in the right direction, organisations will often underperform, rarely succeed – and always fail to reach their true full potential.

“Everyone comes to work to do a good job. Simple things like continuous feedback, setting and establishing expectations, and keeping track of goals and how they are going shows employees that the business is investing in them, and sets them up for success. If everyone understands what they need to do and that is what the business actually wants, then you’ve got everyone on the bus, in the right seats, and the bus is moving forward in the right direction.”

– Rob Bromage, intelliHR CEO