A company’s success comes from its people, making the work of the human resources (HR) team essential. They must motivate employees to strive and achieve and, with Covid-19 emphasising the importance of digital transformation, HR professionals now have a number of additional tasks. In many organisations, they are helping to reskill the workforce, drive improvement, and create an agile and open culture.
In terms of HR management, those priorities are often described as enabling performance. And if you are looking to do that and need a new strategy to get the best out of employees, the “IDEAS” method is a good place to start. The name is a handy acronym for five business and talent imperatives: inclusion, digitalisation, enabling experiences, agile organisation, and skills. And they can make a difference as follows:
Building inclusive workplace practices and principles helps to nurture a sense of belonging and psychological safety for employees. This translates into productivity gains because you are cultivating a culture where all employees can “bring their best selves” to work and introducing diversity initiatives which support everyone. When people feel included, they are more motivated, and that leads to innovation and involvement.
Where possible, it is important to personalise employee experiences and ensure each individual feels valued. One way to do this is by taking digitalisation to the next level by leveraging data and using the power of machine learning. In this way, you can automate and augment certain practices related to hiring, administration and assessments and, as a result, increase efficiency and help employees make best use of their time and talents.
HR managers should aim to engineer experiences which “unlock” employees in terms of their contributions, connections, abilities and career prospects. In particular, the digitalisation of data now makes it possible to reinvent the kind of enabling experiences companies should want to provide.
Key to this is that employees increasingly apply their own consumer experiences when assessing developments in the workplace. They expect to be “surprised and delighted”, whether considering a training opportunity, a mentoring connection, or a new assignment. And they are looking for skills to help them fulfil their career ambitions.
Another part of this is that managers have to shift from measuring activities to measuring outcomes. A first step is to ask for employee feedback to understand what they expect in terms of opportunities and leadership.
To thrive in a fast-paced, competitive world, companies must be ready to adapt to change at individual, team and organisational levels. In most sectors, increased automation is demanding a higher degree of agility to cope with new methods and models. One example is how companies are assembling “super teams” to handle specific projects. Doing this enhances all-round effectiveness, allows for “work sprints” to complete an assignment, and gives employees the chance to gain varied experience and explore possible career paths.
Nowadays, skills are an essential currency in the changing world of work. Any HR manager looking to accurately and equitably hire, evaluate or develop talent pays very close attention to the range and level of skills. That is the basis for providing everyone with opportunities to succeed, advance and excel. Advances in data analysis and machine learning will continue to change the relative demand for specific skills. Therefore, HR teams and individual employees must be alert to developments and move with times.