What used to work for us is now holding us back!
"HR needs to partner with senior leaders and effectively communicate with all levels of the organisation to ensure any concerns are addressed immediately before they become widespread issues. It has to ensure senior leaders and all employees are aligned on the strategy and purpose of the organisation."
So says this extract from an article I was recently reading about 'Human Resources' (HR) role in business transformation, it seems to articulate and also summarise what I think is a huge issue in the perception of HR in modern day companies.
It suggest that HR's role is mainly that of custodian of people recruitment, admin processes, crisis management, and the go to people when the shit hits the fan, particularly when the business is forced to 'transform' due in the main to poor vision and leadership.
If you've ever been on the end of one of these 'cost cutting' exercises dressed up as a transformation project you will understand what comes first.
This transformation usually starts with HR being advised "we have to let some people go, so can you please go work with line management, draw up a short list and go through procedure so we don't get our asses sued by tribunals - Oh!, and we need to do this quickly before the cash runs out."
I've connected to lots of senior HR people via LinkedIn and during the course of my business career, and many of them will hopefully share similar views.
HR as most people understand it is the internal echo chamber of the leadership teams agreed strategy, if they're lucky enough to have a seat (and vote) at the board table they are indeed a rare breed. These are the people whose primary role is to handle the people recruitment, development, management, and performance assessments in conjunction with the relevant line management protocols - and it's all a very internalised role?
But is this really a real reflection of the business world we live in today?
At no time in history has the human race been more 'digitally' connected than before, at no time in history have companies and brands been so nakedly exposed to it's prospects and customers via social media platforms.
The days of brands and companies telling us what we should 'think' about them is well and truly over, the same message goes for the brand police whose job it is to produce the corporate diatribe that even they don't read.
So why would I want to come and work with you, let alone become a customer?
The role of Human Resource is probably one of the most critical and pivotal in today's world than it's ever been, some might argue that it's more important than the marketing team and CMO?
"For any business to succeed it relies completely on the people power it has employed and charged with the delivery of the agreed success" - no shit Sherlock!
If this is true why is it that 99% of Executives in a recent piece of research said that 'employee engagement' is critical to any transformation project, yet when the employees of those companies are surveyed they hold the polar opposite view in relation to their executives communication and engagement?
Connected 'Human Resource' has taken us to the Moon, Mars and beyond, they can build countries, cities, and businesses.
The disconnected ones can also destroy them.
Most companies are made up of what I call 'enablers' and 'blockers', and they are found at every level of the organisation.
For real 'Change' to happen requires an intellectual acceptance of things - something most boardrooms will agree on.
For 'Change' not to happen is primarily a result of 'emotional' reluctance to adapt, it's easier doing what we have always done - and these traits can also be found in the boardroom.
People and process change companies - ask your competitor if they were worried about changing what you do?
A Transformation project isn't about digital, tech, software or anything else associated with those cost cutting measures.
To truly transform your business requires for your HR team and employees to be involved from the very start of your discussions, you need to consider the fact that for a business to deliver a successful transformation program (or any change for that matter) that the most powerful asset you have is your people operating with the right skills and aligned strategic processes.
If you still think that 'Social Media' is just a place to post your latest vacancies, award wins, or something that 'marketing do', maybe it's time to have a conversation.
If you don't believe me just take a look and see what Social Media can do to your company if the wrong messages are being read.
Employee and customer experience are two critical areas of business opportunity. Technology is only one part of the solution. The other is actually understanding how people (customers and employees) are changing and investing in engagement programs that deliver value they treasure.