People are companies’ greatest asset. This has been a buzzword in business for decades, but with technology displacing people from jobs and the spotlight increasingly on commodities, many business leaders are likely wondering, how much longer will this ring true?
Technology is certainly creating exciting opportunities to deliver ever more innovative work for clients, yet there are still many industries where people will always be paramount. For example, while the need for brilliant people remains constant in the creative industries, most of the workplaces and what people expect from their working lives are changing. Only the businesses that offer the best environments and opportunities for their people will survive!
How are people changing?
Many recent trends brought about by technology form a bridge between our personal and working lives so that the changes people are experiencing outside work and the evolution of our workplaces are interlinked.
Globalisation, which is undoubtedly one of the most talked about trends, is really starting to take root. Whether in our personal networks or business communities, everyone today is faced with a truly global environment.
With this comes countless opportunities for people and businesses to thrive. No one would have thought just a decade or so ago that today’s world leaders would have come from starting businesses in their dorm rooms or eschewing traditional routes like university entirely. Many industries, are living in the most competitive landscape they have ever experienced, and we need people to reveal new ways of doing things.
Time and again we have been shown that to succeed today, all you need is a great idea and a website, or even just an Instagram account.
This has given rise to a widespread entrepreneurial spirit that is shaping people in the workplace, with employees feeling more empowered to try to do things differently in a way that suits their own personal goals and needs.
It is common for many people to have their own side hustles: businesses that fear this new entrepreneurial streak – or think of it as a distraction from the day job – do so to their detriment. Not only do people bring stronger and better commercial understanding of their roles, but they are also likely to be more engaged and inspired, which can only benefit the business as a whole!!
Where HR comes in
Of course, not every employee will be predisposed to entrepreneurialism, nor should those who aren’t be sidelined; but there is certainly a growing trend around the individual in our workplaces.
What businesses need to do is identify and harness the different positive behaviors that people are displaying – such as lateral thinking, empowerment or being plugged in socially – and become the kind of workplace where these unique attributes are encouraged and can grow. Every industry and workforce will have its own unique issues when it comes to HR.
Today, we need brilliant technologists, data scientists, and graphic designers, as much as people who can write beautifully or take stunning pictures. We should, therefore, be encouraging a greater cross-pollination between industries than ever before.
This is where HR teams come in. They need to educate their decision-makers about the value of making way for new ways of doing things while ensuring that they are putting the right mechanisms in place to attract and keep talented people on board.
Fortunately, this second part is interlinked. The programmes you have in place to keep people engaged and motivated at work are exactly what will help you to become a more attractive choice in recruitment terms.
Making people aware of what you do just comes down to a good communications strategy.
Finding the golden thread
Every industry and workforce will have its own unique issues when it comes to HR. At a time when we should be encouraging diversity and uniqueness more than ever before, getting the right strategies to suit everyone in place can feel like an impossible task.
What HR teams need to do is find that golden thread that connects people in their specific organization and use it to weave together different programmes and initiatives that can then be tailored to suit people’s individual preferences. It is up to HR teams to listen holistically across the business and provide solutions!
Whether it is our health and wellbeing, our connections with others, our need for meaning or our pursuit of happiness, humans remain connected in many ways. It is up to HR teams to listen holistically across the business and provide solutions.
While technology like automation and AI are upon us, it is people who will help businesses gain an edge. Many industries, including advertising, are living in the most competitive landscape they have ever experienced, and we need people to reveal new ways of doing things.
HR teams will be paramount in ensuring their businesses are making space for this future employee. Only then will companies’ best work be able to thrive.