Previous HR’s focus was dedicated to building heavily-regulated policies around compliance and risk mitigation. As professionals, we spent so much time creating organization infrastructure around AUTHORITATIVENESS in order to protect the company from threats. Looking ahead, the CONVERSATION and PRACTICE MUST shift.
While we SHOULD continue managing risk and building regulations, our scope MUST proactively expand to encompass workplace human care, empathy, emotional intelligence and compassion.
The big question must shift from what is LAWFUL or UNLAWFUL to what HR STRATEGIES should be crafted, implemented, observed and improved to ensure we attract and retain a COMMITTED, ENGAGED and PRODUCTIVE workforce operating within the legal and risk confines to the benefit of both the business and employees?
We must embrace an employee business PARTNERSHIP and not WATCHMANSHIP HR approach. We must advise leadership and guide them to create environments that ENABLE and EMPOWER employees while speedily moving away from the retrogressive practice of always seeking the wrongdoers to punish and have them serve as an example to the rest.
Non-compliance should create a desire or inquisitiveness to understand WHY rather than automatically flashing around and quoting policy clauses with an already sealed decision of firing staff.
We must change our position from the HIRING & FIRING desk to the BUSINESS STRATEGY role.
With the right strategies, we will work with business leaders to define the right organization values, craft the right competencies, develop the right programs which will enhance the employers’ brands and attract the right talent.
With such an approach, we shall become great business partners contributing significantly and humanly to the organizations’ bottom line. We must never be seen or assumed to be workplace policemen/women who are always quoting the labour law provisions to shaken employees who know their fate was sealed a long time ago and are simply being taken through the firing motions.
We are meant for the business boardroom but first, we must prove our worth. We must see our contribution in the profit pot and not just in the company filing rooms where employee records are kept.