The quintessential office as we know it is being quickly reshaped by numerous game-changing trends. These trends are having a substantial impact on business growth and access to skilled talent with HR at the epicenter. Today’s drastically shifting business, globalization, talent, and regulatory landscape is continuously throwing up new challenges for HR leaders to debate and unravel. In light of these changing trends, the function of HR is shaping into a more strategic, driving role with a greater focus on wide-ranging human capital issues.
As per a report from NASSCOM, 70% of HR leaders say that managing a multi-generational workforce is one of their biggest challenges. And 79% of HR leaders say keeping pace with rapidly evolving technology to enhance workforce productivity and performance will be a challenge.
Owing to shifting trends and disruptive technologies, it is important that you constantly adapt and evolve to stay relevant.
Here are 11 things that really smart HR people do to stay at the top of their game –
1. Results matter, but relationships matter more
“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t have to.”
Sir Richard Branson
This quote is from Sir Richard Branson, the enigmatic founder of Virgin Group Ltd. It’s counterintuitive to the way most businesses leaders think. The idea Sir Richard so often endorses is to train people well enough to leave but treat them even better so that they don’t. Not too complex of an idea but if you have any experience in the business world you know that’s not often the case. Businesses hold onto top performers with a death grip. Always ready to counter any company trying to snatch them away.
However, it is advised to take a more positive approach to employee cultivation. Instead of reacting chaotically each time a top performer is set to leave — be proactive. Encourage open communication and schedule regular chats with top performers. Don’t wait until the water boils over, and they’ve had enough.
2. Value your employees
Performance and delivering results matter. They help you attract attention, appreciation, awards, and promotions. But only up to a point. When you reach the Human Resources leadership ranks, this perspective shifts radically. Results continue to be just as important, but relationships you build within the organization carry even more importance.
3. Follow the one-hour rule
Your career management skills need to be worked on constantly, so follow the one-hour rule. What does this mean? It means that, for one hour each week, you focus on managing your career and refining your skills. This can be things such as updating your resume to keep it current, researching something to gain a better understanding of the concept, reading articles to improve and hone your skill set, and attending conferences.
4. Stay up-to-date
The one-hour rule will also help you to stay up to date. No matter which industry you are in, staying on the cutting edge of best practices and new concepts will help to make sure your department doesn’t fall behind the times. Focus on how you can stay up-to-date as an HR department.
5. Effective feedback mechanism
Set up a regular face-to-face meeting with your critics to clarify, dig deeper, and decode any vague and confusing feedback you receive about your performance, style or approach in handling difficult situations. While it’s okay to clarify it, don’t debate it, argue about it or shut it off. Appreciate the constructive feedback and thank your employees for the same.
6. Encourage Creativity
Organizations that encourage employee health and well-being, for example through work/life balance, are more likely than others to inspire creativity and innovation. Work/life balance matters. Customer acquisition, retention, development, sales, marketing – all of these require creativity to flourish. So, if you’re looking to improve the level of employee creativity, it may be time to re-evaluate work policies.
7. Humanizing the Human Capital
Humanizing is the process of assimilating empathy and sympathy in the employee performance process. Everyone has difficulties to overcome and challenges they must conquer. As an HR leader, you must understand and offer support to those employees when they need it the most.
While it is true that some people are messy and will try to take advantage of you, most people are decent and just need care. Humanizing can be as simple as taking time to interact and collaborate with employees to really understand what they are dealing with on a daily basis. Humanizing can be creating a policy to drive engagement and boost morale. Show some compassion for your employees; it will certainly pay-off.
8. Appreciate your employees9. Develop internal HR skills
As they focus on programs to advance employees company-wide, HR organizations often disregard the development of their own team members. This is a mistake. The world of HR solutions is continually evolving. High-impact HR organizations must devote the time and money needed to ensure team members’ skill sets grow in such disciplines as change management and relationship management. Emphasis must also be placed on developing team members’ business acumen, industry knowledge, and command of current best practices in all areas of talent management as well as the use of social networking tools and other HR technology.
10. Upgrading Technology
If you’ve managed to attract top talent and maintained a staff of great employees, obsolete tools and tech can brutally hamper productivity and create frustration among your best employees. Since technology is evolving significantly every year, it’s important to continuously update the tools necessary to keep business processes running smoothly.
To do this, you must review the company budget and decide which areas require instant upgrades of tools and software. Set up a software/hardware transition plan to upgrade to new equipment in groups. Prepare training materials and block out time to get employees up to speed on newly acquired technology tools. Monitor success of newly implemented tech and perform frequent software/hardware updates.
11. Lead without intruding
Apple’s iconic founder Steve Jobs said,
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Great leaders know their strengths, but they know their weaknesses even better. Knowing when to act and when to step back is one of the skills a leader must master.