For a long time, probably since the discipline of human resources began, the focus was largely on ‘hiring and firing’ employees. The human resources department was in an organisation to act as a policing group of people. This is why over time, researchers began questioning whether or human resources was actually beneficial to have in the organisation. There has been a major shift in focus in the discipline, human resources practitioners have started looking closely at the subject and are finding ways to better the organisation through their presence.
Employees in the organisation have become more important now than ever. There is no business without the people who are in it. The shift has definitely changed and this article will guide you on the important issues that managers should focus more on. Subordinates will also benefit because it will help them in knowing what to expect from the organisation they work in:
What Should We Focus More On
In this article, there are five major areas that are believed to be game-changers in the current world of work. Baltazar (2019), has provided some guidelines for each, which will be explained further as each point unfolds.
Employee engagement is an approach in an organisation, resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organisation to give of their best each day. One author understands employee engagement as “This is about how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential” (MacLeod). Engaging employees in the actual performance of a business does not limit them to being paid monthly only. When people feel comfortable and at home, they tend to want to give their best effort. Everyone wants to give one hundred per cent to an organisation that appreciates them.
What exactly is it, according to Engage For Success (2019):
- Employee engagement is about positive attitudes and behaviours leading to improved business outcomes, in a way that they trigger and reinforce one another.
- Employee engagement is about our employees feeling pride and loyalty working for our organisation, being a great advocate of the organisation to our clients, users and customers, going the extra mile to finish a piece of work.
- Employee engagement is about drawing on our employees’ knowledge and ideas to improve our products and services and be innovative about how we work.
- Employee engagement is about drawing out a deeper commitment from our employees so fewer people leave, sick absence reduces, accident rates decline, conflicts and grievances go down, productivity increases.
- Employee engagement is about organisation actions that are consistent with the organisation’s values. It is about kept promises or an explanation of why they cannot be kept.
What one should remember is that employee engagement does not seek to exploit employee through manipulation of their emotions.
Technology during the hiring phase
Using technology during the recruitment phase has allowed for the process to become more accurate with less bias. Before technology became a major topic, the human resources department, recruiters would solely rely on the interviews that they conducted in their workplace. Although interviews are a good method for choosing the right candidate, they may offer limited information on the person and their abilities. Here are some advantages to using technology during recruitment (Forbes, 2019):
- Technology reduces the efforts for both the recruiter and the job seeker. This is because most actions are automated, saving time on the administration part of the process. Because of saved time, the cost for the entire process is most likely to decrease as well.
- The use of technology has the ability to increase the organisation’s brand. This is done through the use of networks such as social media. The power of social media should not be under-estimated. By using various techniques that are eye-catching to potential candidates, more attention is drawn to the company, which can potentially be beneficial in the long run.
Sexual harassment awareness
Sexual harassment in any sphere can have terrible effects on the victims at hand. In the earlier days, this was not a topic that people were felt free to talk about but it is on the rise, especially in the workplace. Preventing sexual harassment and also allowing for space for people to report it has benefits for the organisation. When an individual feels safe, their mind is at ease and they are able to give off their best at work. The days have been left behind, where people feel like they have to stay silent in order to keep their jobs. These are some of the benefits of preventing and raising awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace (Sexual Harassment Training, 2019):
- having a culture that acknowledges that discrimination and sexual harassment are wrong and can have harmful effects on a workplace environment. The culture of an organisation helps in shaping the behaviours of its people.
- ensuring that all employees feel safe at work and are treated with dignity and respect
- upholding company values and adhering to systems of business ethics and personal morals
- complying with the laws that address sexual harassment. This helps in avoiding the legal and financial liability, as well as the negative publicity, that can result from sexual harassment claims.
The importance and benefits of using people analytics in the workplace are becoming a bigger topic. People analytics is a data-driven approach taken to manage people in the organisation. Other names that may be referred to this are HR analytics, workforce analytics or talent analytics.
Some advantages of using people analytics are:
- Better hiring decisions made when recruiting potential candidates for the organisation
- The process itself faces improvement because the data provided is accurate
- Training areas are noted and better focus is placed on employees on where they need improvement for the organisation
- The organisation’s workforce becomes more productive. With better and more accurate knowledge of the employees in the workplace, managing them becomes better and smoother.
So What Next?
The human resources discipline is forever changing and we are facing a major change at the moment. By managers and employees keeping themselves in the loop of what is happening in the workplace, the working environment becomes better. Everyone in the organisation benefits because there is more focus on the betterment of employees in the organisation. It is important to constantly check and update oneself on these issues.
Thandeka Madziwanyika is a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 (242) 481946-48/481950 or cell number +263 78 318 0936 or email: [email protected] or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com
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