Incentra Insights

The Leavening of HR

Posted by David Chittock on May 11, 2016 12:17:57 PM

How the Role of HR is Transforming

For years we’ve read about the altering role of HR and how HR professionals

continually have to adapt to shifting economic and social trends. We’ve heard that HR

has to evolve from being people controllers to becoming people enablers. We’ve tried

to adjust our policies and practices to meet these fluctuating conditions with a fair

degree of success. But I suggest that no one has been adequately prepared for the

tsunami of change taking place in the workplace over the last few years. We are truly

experiencing a global workplace transformation and HR leaders better brace

themselves if they want to weather it!

So What is this Brave New World?

I recently read an article in Forbes that I think encapsulates what is transpiring among

workers and the workplace and the impact on HR. Forbes calls it the “Consumerization

of HR” and describes ten trends that will shake the foundations of the HR role. But just

what does the “Consumerization of HR” mean? According to Forbes, this phrase refers

to the growing imperative within organizations to create meaningful experiences for their

members. Just as companies need to create compelling experiences for their

customers; businesses need to do the same for their employees. To be authentic,

these experiences need to reflect the social, mobile, and consumer-driven movements

that typify today’s world. In other words, we will need to bring an employee’s world into

the workplace. But how can businesses, and more to the point, HR really pull this off?

Trends to Watch

Forbes identifies ten trends that exemplify how HR leaders are creating experience

oriented environments for their employees:

  • Creating an Integrated Workplace Experience – crafting workplace experiences where all the elements of work - physical, emotional, intellectual, virtual, and aspirational - are skillfully orchestrated.
  • Coordinating HR with Marketing – harmonizing both functions to enhance brand value both externally among customers and internally among employees.
  • Utilizing Employees as Brand Advocates – encouraging employees to advocate for your brand on social media can significantly increase brand engagement and expand the pool of talented recruits for your company.
  • Making Workplace Flexibility a Strategic Imperative – offering remote, virtual, and flexible working conditions will help business attract, engage, and retain the best talent. 
  • Encouraging Employee Input into HR Practices – Bringing groups of employees together to brainstorm how to improve the HR function in their organization.
  • Embracing Gamification as an HR tool – using gaming techniques as a business strategy to improve employee engagement and motivation.
  • Expanding the Utilization of Free-Lance Workers – giving companies greater access to the global talent pool.
  • Redesigning the Workspace – offering workers a variety of workspace designs to encourage collaboration and address individual working styles.
  • Synchronizing HR with Other Key Departments – partnering with key leaders to function as an integrated team.

Experience is the New Watchword

All of these trends boil down to one overriding imperative – HR has to create

stimulating, exciting and motivating experiences for their employees. This is no small

undertaking. You’re going to have to stretch like never before. Just like yeast is to

bread, you will have to become the key ingredient in the organization’s ability to build

and sustain a workplace environment that fires up your employees and keeps them

operating on all cylinders. But, you can’t do this alone. You’re going to need a partner

that not only has the experience, but can help you generate amazing experiences.

Yes…we can help you do that!