Is Human Resources (HR) an impactful function in your organizational culture and employee experience? Or is it just a monitoring body for payroll, employee policies, and safety regulations? Instead of being a required cost, HR has the potential to impact the employee experience in a significant way by extending its frameworks in the details of workplace culture, and employee engagement. Leveraging HR can allow businesses to align its people and business strategy (Netflix did it, and you can too).
Here are some practices and concepts to help your business do it:
1) The Design and Management of Organizational Culture
Leaders realize that culture is much more than a differentiating factor, and they need to move from "culture by default" to "culture by design." As the Stengel index of the Top 50 fastest growing companies shows, organizations with strong and proactively managed cultures grow 3 times faster relative to their respective sectors. These are the main organizational characteristics that drive managers to start designing and managing their culture projects:
- Companies in expansion or heavy growth
- In processes of internationalization
- In the midst of mergers or unions
- Companies with changes of magnitude or business model
Because of the complexity and scope of this type of intervention, most of these projects are accompanied by expert organizational culture consultants. Despite what Peter Druker may say, culture does not eat strategy for breakfast, but instead, they sit together at the kitchen table.
2) Add Value Directly to the Business
This requires for HR to be brave and leave its comfort zone, going beyond the perimeter of their office. That is, start by "going wherever business is done" and understand it by gaining insight from those who are on the front lines (even remote workers). The concept of considering HR as a "business partner" was a good introduction to relate HR issues with business functions, but HR has to transform operationally to define indicators of success related to the business.
Initiatives where the employees themselves co-design their experience with the company help to define HR programs and systems. Employee participation from the start brings more opportunities for professional development and an understanding of the business’ culture.
3) Comprehensive and Integrated Internal Communication Plans
More and more companies are bringing this function back to HR, which had previously been handed off to marketing or communication teams. Currently, we understand the impact of social discourse in politics and society. The same happens in organizations.
The lack of transparent and coherent communication by the organization's management creates a vacuum of information that, if not satisfied, will be filled with false truths or office gossip. Also, it can create fear of uncertainty. We can even take a note from pop culture; as Master Yoda said, “Fear is the path to the dark side...that leads to suffering.” To avoid these unattended feelings, we must manage uncertainty and communication through plans and messages that are:
- Persistent: long-lasting in time.
- Insistent: with many ongoing impacts through several channels.
- Consistent: coherent with their message, approach, and style.
There is no doubt there are many other management areas or initiatives that have an impact on strategy, give HR the agency to contribute and align itself to grow your business.
Want to reframe your HR teams to help support your business strategy and workplace culture? DH offers team coachsulting for just that! Create a proactive HR department for your organization: