Is Your HR Department Ready to be Reinvented?

 

Chief Employee Experience Officer

Chief People Officer

Chief Engagement Officer

These job titles didn’t exist a few short years ago, but now they are a common occurrence in the workplace. But, why?

It appears that all the buzz surrounding the importance of employee engagement has turned HR departments everywhere upside down. They are going mad trying to capture that “secret sauce”, which motivates employees and makes them more collaborative and productive.

So far, many companies have tried exploring different benefit options and employee perks like free gym memberships, free lunches, flexible work policies, and even bring your dog to work days. But, even with all of these perks, there is still a gap, a silo, that is getting in the way of their employee engagement goals.

Sure, employee recognition programs, fun perks, and flexible policies help employees feel appreciated; but real change begins with meaningful everyday interactions and connection to goals. Sadly, “only 40% of employees are well informed on company goals, strategy, and tactics.” The flow of this information is often stifled from reaching lower level employees and they quickly become disjointed from the rest of the company. Gallup’s chief scientist of workplace management, Jim Harter, said that “it comes down to showing people how their work and contributions impact the success of the entire firm. Disengagement starts with having a confusing job.”

To solve this problem, Airbnb has appointed individuals who act as “ground control” to make sure their company’s mission and culture are brought to life everyday. They have dedicated much time and effort into a project called “workplace as an experience”, where their main focus is “tapping into the physical, emotional, intellectual, virtual, and aspirational facets of how an employee is engaged in the workplace.”

 

workplace as an experience

 

Airbnb realized that their employees needed an immersive experience with more touch points and more visibility. The problem was, one siloed department couldn’t possibly ensure that experience was taking place for every employee. So, their Chief Human Resource Officer became their Chief Employee Experience Officer, in order to fulfill the vision of an integrated employee work experience. Their hard work paid off too, because 90% of their employees now recommend them as a great place to work! 

So, if your HR department is ready to be reinvented, take notes from the companies who are doing it right, and learn what works best for your employees along the way.

10 Quotes Proving Collaboration Drives Business

People playing with tangled string

Image Source: Getty Images

 

“Collaboration is the best way to work. It’s the only way to work, really. Everyone’s there because they have a set of skills to offer across the board.” – Antony Starr, actor

People are the heart and center of every business. People working together and applying their individual experience and creativity to team and company goals will drive a business forward. Every interaction that takes place is an opportunity for change, growth, and innovation.

 

“Effective collaboration is about maximizing time, talent and tools to create value. The old way was the pass-along approach. I do my job and then pass along my work product to you.” – Evan Rosen, author The Culture of Collaboration

Effective teamwork is so valuable. It is the new competitive advantage, which all successful businesses have mastered. Leaders need to dedicate themselves to enabling their people. The result will be greater efficiency all around.

 

“Politeness is the poison of collaboration” – Edwin Land, cofounder of the Polaroid Corporation

People struggle to be honest and polite at the same time. It is challenging to be graceful about delivering negative feedback, but it is so important to address the negative along with the positive. When a company values transparency and honest communication, it allows collaboration to happen naturally. By rewarding honesty and making people feel safe, they can be their authentic selves without worrying about possible consequences.

 

“The purpose of life is to collaborate for a common cause; the problem is nobody seems to know what it is.” – Gerhard Gschwandtner CEO of Selling Power

It is so important to relentlessly communicate vision and goals because people who collaborate without understanding “why” waste precious time and energy. Leaders need to link everyday actions back to overall goals, so people understand their true purpose.

 

“Peering succeeds because it leverages self-organization—a style of production that works more effectively than hierarchical management for certain tasks.”― Don Tapscott, author Wikinomics

Whenever possible, allow people to work autonomously. When people are really in control of their work, they are more accountable and driven to perform. Within a team environment that is more flexible, people can discover their preferred work style. A style which allows them to be the most creative and productive.

 

“Training often gives people solutions to problems already solved. Collaboration addresses challenges no one has overcome before.” ― Marcia Conner, author The New Social Learning

Every time people come together to share ideas and tackle problems, growth and innovation can happen. Every problem a business encounters is an opportunity, but people must come together and ask the right questions in order to discover and exploit the opportunities that come along.

 

“The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other.” — Thomas Stallkamp, Former Executive from Chrysler Corporation

Culture plays a huge role in employee moral. A collaborative culture takes the focus away from all the politics which tend to divide people, like job titles, seniority levels, and favoritism.

 

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” — Andrew Carnegie, Scottish American Industrialist

Alignment within a complex business is not a random occurrence that happens out of chance or luck. It takes a lot of work to get the right people, working on the right projects, toward the right goals. But, it is worth the effort because alignment is a prerequisite for effective collaboration.

 

“After mutual respect and understanding are achieved, it is possible to establish real, sincere relationships, which is the foundation of a solid long-term collaboration.” ― Ron Garan, author The Orbital Perspective

Team building is a great way to bring people together to form stronger relationships. Activities which don’t focus on performance outcomes, help people open up so they can grow to understand each other on a deeper, more personal level.

 

“The organizations of the future will increasingly depend on the creativity of their members to survive. Great Groups offer a new model in which the leader is an equal among Titans. In a truly creative collaboration, work is pleasure, and the only rules and procedures are those that advance the common cause.” – Warren Bennis, author and American Scholar on Leadership

When structure is kept to a minimum, there is more freedom for creative energy to thrive. Some rules, policies, and procedures might be necessary to maintain accountability and order, but stipulations can get in they way and slow you down. We live in a fast-paced world and flat organizations are becoming more and more common, so try to be as flexible as possible.