What happens when one strips away the artifices of traditional HR? Gone are the fancy offices, the “counseling” room, the file cabinets, the interview pods, the reception area, the keycard entry. Poof! Now what? Maybe now HR can get real by becoming an authentic employer. Now that the HR leader has become ‘just another remote employee’, this provides an excellent opportunity to become an authentic employer.
So, what is an authentic employer?
The first element is communication. No, not analog communication like newsletters (although these are helpful). It’s bi-directional communication. It’s employees connecting with HR and vice versa. It’s HR responding to employee inquiries and HR reaching out to employees to check in proactively. It’s HR ensuring the right rhythm of touchpoints between managers and employees.
The next element is transparency. Is there
some good news? Share it with employees. Tell them why this matter to the company’s success. Illustrate how they can produce more good news. Is there some bad news? Share it with employees. Be honest about what happened and how this negatively influences the organization’s ability to achieve its goals. Suggest ways this could be averted in the future and solicit additional ideas from employees.
Another element is virtue. If you have not clearly defined values, do it. Employees want to work for a company that stands for something. The mission at our company is simple: we exist to improve the lives of our clients, employees, and communities. Your employees work hard. Make sure they know their effort makes a difference. A word of caution here: do not virtue signal! Employees will sniff out inauthenticity fast. If you want to make a statement about systemic racism or social justice, be ready to back it up with policy, practice and program.
The other key element is caring. Do you love your employees? If not, please leave HR. The best HR leaders are those who wake up thinking of ways to improve employee experiences and go to bed dreaming about the perfect employment experience. A great way to find out how is to ask. In my company, we call every employee twice per year with one question “how are you and your family doing?” Try it today. Did you just finish processing payroll? Pick up the phone and call a random employee and ask, “how are you and your family doing?” Just completed orientation? Pick up the phone and connect with an employee. Just finished reading this article? Pick up the phone and show an employee you care. Try it. Right now. I guarantee you will be glad you did!
Source: Liberty of HR Thoughts