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HR Strategy | 5 min

The Future of HR – How does HR rebuild?

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To adopt this mindset, HR should start rethinking outdated performance processes.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.

 

 

HR Strategy | 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...
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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...
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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...

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