The Human Resources function has long been trivialized as the official Rangoli organizer of an organization, when in fact, HR can do/be so much more than just a hiring, payroll managing transactional function. HR leaders can literally make or break an organization.
The pandemic accelerated a change and brought about a tectonic shift in the journey of an employee experience. Humanness is now an intrinsic value that’s used to bring out the best in people and truly optimize business performance through talent. The Human Resources team can be a strategic partner for business by ensuring that the right talent is in the right place to deliver core company goals. Rather than creating processes that serve transactional needs, the function now caters to the larger objective of creating moments that are intuitive and adaptable around what matters most to people and business objectives.
10 ways in which HR leaders can elevate employee experiences:
1. Building a conducive environment that fosters exchange and openness, in a way such that employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and know they are valued. Eliminate silos, they help no one. With cross-pollinating and cross-hierarchical teams, barriers give way to brilliance and ideas lead to actions.
2. Creating an organization-wide culture that’s rooted in purpose, so employees feel that they are working towards a common vision. The smaller the organization, the more important the company culture. A strong set of values act as the blueprint and define how things get done.
3. A good workplace becomes better with feedback. Reviews and appraisals shouldn’t just be an annual affair. Development is an ongoing process, so the more often concerns are discussed, the better it is for performance. Expectations also change more often than we think, so re-alignment becomes a driving force for optimal employee experience.
4. Inspire loyalty, don’t impose it. HR is responsible for not just finding the right fit, but also retaining talent and that’s a two-way street. While on one hand, it’s about ensuring that the employee continues to fit the function and contributes to the larger goals, on the other hand, it’s also about fuelling personal growth and offering opportunities that allow them to shine.
5. Make it a people-first organization. Employees are human beings, after all. Prioritize their well-being, encourage passions, accommodate differences, applaud efforts, engage and develop a thriving community.
6. Be flexible to adapt as per the need of the hour. Be it automating certain functions or evaluating roles from a lens of what needs to be filled by traditional full-time equivalent positions vis-a-vis super-specialized freelancers.
7. Championing the “Open Door” policy. If driven in the true spirit, this comfort factor goes a long way in building a healthy workplace. People should be encouraged to walk and pick up conversations irrespective of their position, stature or role within the organization. These conversations can be freewheeling and not necessarily restricted to work or career-related.
8. Building a trust circle. When you are home away from home, you need a circle to confide in, draw mutual comfort and have a subliminal association to all things work and play. This organic creation is a reflection of the value-centricity of the organization, transcending mere transactions and outward benefits.
9. Accepting shortcomings, acknowledging mistakes and genuine attempts to work on betterment areas should be a thriving platform. HR has a clear role in shouldering this responsibility of ensuring transparency and honesty across the board, it directly goes to the heart of developing an amiable culture.
10. And last but not the least, processes and policies don’t need to be set in stone. They depend on people and situations. Make measured exceptions, in the interest of long-term benefits and help employees channelize their true north.