A combination of human interaction and good technology can assist a business in creating an environment where employees actually enjoy going to work. The balance between profitability and enjoyment can sometimes be tough to manage. If a business is struggling, then it is probably true that the working environment will not be enjoyable for people. They will be micro-managed, pushed and squeezed for every last ounce of energy.
It is the responsibility of Employees and Managers to work together to create a harmonious environment. Employees have a responsibility to come to work and do their best most of the time. It’s not always humanly possible to do your best all of the time and those models that are built on this not being good enough, are not sustainable. It is the business' responsibility to provide models in which effective work practises and models are put in place and then to ensure that they actually work the majority of the time. There are many technologies that can be explored and utilised to assist with putting such models in place.
In our view, the base level of obligation of any Employer is to provide an enjoyable work environment. This is very important for Employee wellbeing. Good social interaction between all Employees is also important. Being paid correctly and on-time, obviously very important. When these elements are in place, the real challengethen faces business leaders. How do you bring to the table acceptable levels of productivity which allows the business to perform at a desirable level, and at the same time allows Employees to be their whole self in the workplace?
Enter the next phase of Human Resource Management. Without a visible framework, it becomes very difficult for people to understand what is expected of them, and without the right tools to allow a business to put the right framework together, more often than not, Employees are not going to know what this is. Overlay more complexity here, with changes in strategy and focus, and the gaps between what is expected and what is delivered become even wider and now you have total disharmony. You get pushback and reactionary behaviour. Managers are putting out fires one after another and Employees are disengaged and pushing the boundaries of what they can get away with in terms of minimal productivity.
Systems that allow for collaboration and automation are key here. They are not the be all and end all, but merely a way in which enhanced human interaction can be facilitated. More face time, as a result of accurate expectation setting, efficient processes and the ironing out of cracks, (which by human nature, allows for things to fall more harmoniously into place) is an essential ingredient in enhancing human interaction. Systems that allows for shifts in process and focus, without ripping the heart out of a business or creating unnecessary palpitations, provide exponential benefits.
Imagine your Management team sits down in a room and nut out what the Culture of the business should be. Or, they're working on what the strategy is for the next 12 months and how that will be implemented via the strategic plan. How do they record and distribute the attributes upon which the plan will be executed? It’s not just about profit here, although this is one of the most important parts of the plan. Ask yourself what the most efficient way for achieving your strategy and goalsis, how are you going to get there taking into consideration both budgetary requirements and the requirement to create an enjoyable workplace?
Employees need to know what their responsibilities are: e.g. Job Description, outlining the Skills, Goals, Values and Behaviours expected in relation to their individual role, and the broader company ethos. They need to know what the strategy is and why it is so. If your hiring process has been performed in line with your organisational values and a clear cultural and strategic blueprint, then it’ s going to be a much easier job to get people moving in the same direction. A note here, some businesses have the luxury of being able to hire people who are just looking for a Job to pay the bills. In fact, many businesses are like this and the challenge here is to automate and streamline as much as possible, to that replacement costs are minimal. In other businesses, hiring from the Talent Pool is not an option and there needs to be other avenues for hiring new Employees, who match the organisational values and culture.
Once the strategy is in place and all attributes have been assigned and communicated, feedback needs to be enabled with the framework to demonstrate these things right away. In real-time. This is where real-time recognition is important. Communication and collaboration tools like Slack are important in enabling this model. Learning, another essential ingredient, is also changing the way we work and enhance Employee skills. Learning via instructor lead courses is becoming less prevalent. Instead, just-in-time learning, somewhat related to e-learning is taking centre stage. On-demand, just-in-time learning is the now and the future of Employee learning and development. Tools that allow Managers, Mentors and Employees to interact and learn the skills they need in their live working environment are essential. Putting actions plans in place that enable Employees to deliver on expected outcomes when strategy changes, or which can be managed easily and effectively, is key to an engaged workforce. This blended approach has the most chance of success.
Performance Management software that is integrated with Core-HR Software and e-Recruitment Software, really are the key ingredient to enable retention decisions without having to wait until the next review to decide on retention / flight risks. It is important for businesses to be using such tools on a daily basis, so as to make informed decisions on collaborative, crowd-sourced, real-time feedback from the entire organisation. There is a saying that goes 'Train them up or train them out.' This may sound a little harsh, but ultimately is best for both Employers and Employees. If someone is not a good fit for the business and the business is not a good fit for the individual, a decision needs to be made quickly to benefit both.
The boundaries of tolerance will be different from business to business and industry to industry. For example, a start-up business will have less tolerance than a government department. Horses for courses and let’s be clear, there is no right or wrong way to manage this process, but at least both parties are given the best chance at creating a fitting working environment through the use of tools that enable HR Professionals and Management to be tapped into a real-time pulse of how aligend each individual within the organisation actually is.
This is a compassionate model of operation which provides the best opportunity for both company and Employees to work together. There are many HRIS Software systems that manage Employee information, though there are not that many in the world that have been built to be enable HR Managers to be able to deliver on the above level of complexity. HR needs more time to deliver fun and happiness to the business, and at the same time cater as much as possible for inclusion. Not right and wrong, just better fitting relationships between corporations and their most valuable assets. Their Employees.
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