This week I caught up with some CHROs and senior leaders of global companies. In our discussions, it became clear that the realization was dawning on most of them that the time is ripe for a complete re-think of organizational people processes that we had taken for granted in the past!
Career growth, Hiring, Diversity, Culture. Communication….the approach to all of these core people processes would all need to transform! A thought that is both exciting and overwhelming. There is no playbook we can use. We all need to create our own and figure out quickly what would work in our organizations.
There are many aspects of people processes that have become ingrained in the way organizations think. It is hard to even imagine a different way of running some of them. But it is becoming clear that processes and systems that we have taken for granted in the past have reached their “expiry date”. Here are some that are ripe for disruption or atleast a rethink
- Career Growth
An important criteria for growth in most organizations has been “willingness to relocate”. This has excluded highly talented people with personal constraints from growing in the organization. Attrition of senior talented individuals is almost always because they were not considered for the next growth opportunity. And location has been a big contributor to this. Now is our opportunity to re-think if this archaic requirement is relevant to many of the leadership roles in our organization.
Working in a team meant being co-located. We have all made choices of not hiring people who cannot be co-located with their team. We have ended up not hiring the person best suited for the job for the worst possible reason! Forced remote working has shown us that people can work well while being remotely located. Can we finally accept that with the right tools and processes, location need not be a constraint? That the shortage of talent is an “artificial” constraint created by the need for co-location?
Diversity has been “forced priority” for many organizations. The most frequent excuse for lack of diversity has been non availability of diverse talent at the right location. Remote work and re-imagined organizational processes and tools are great ways for us to finally stop the excuses and walk the talk on diversity.
In most organizations, culture is defined as the posters on the walls that talk about the company values. The new way of work, gives us an opportunity to define culture for what it truly is- the way we treat each other, make decisions and reward people. As leaders and managers, we have the biggest opportunity to re-define how we want to create this culture! An opportunity to build ways to create a true culture of trust, respect and empowerment.
With forced remote work, many teams and organizations have already mastered asynchronous communication. The realization that not all discussions have to be in real time and in-person has been liberating and empowering. As remote work becomes mainstream, communication tools that are common in many technology companies need to become a must in more traditionally managed companies. Resistance to this transition has usually come couched as “in-person communication is the most effective”. As we transform our people processes, we can overcome this resistance with “learning by doing”. Changing mindsets and equipping people in the organization with the skills to effectively communicate in the new scenario must become a big priority for HR and L & D teams.
We have a great opportunity to experiment,pilot quickly and iterate to improve! What a time for HR 4.0!
The time for People Process Transformation is now!