1 march 2017
At HRbuilders we are committed to connecting great HR people, providing you with valuable curated content and helping you as an HR professional to stay ahead of the curve. It is also our mission to shake things up in the in the sector of Human Resources and to look into the new ways of working in game changing companies in Belgium and abroad.
In this week’s edition of #ConnectWithContent, Tom Haak makes a plea for guerilla HR, Josh Bersin claims #TheFutureOfWork isn’t as scary as we all think and Airbnb, Blue Apron, Etsy, Uber & Zulily share their learnings about how HR can help organizations stay creative and competitive while implementing people-centric practices that keep their employees engaged, empowered and thriving.
Buckle up for guerrilla HR
When meeting up with HR peers and reviewing HR trends, a common issue is:
How do we convince our boss and our management teams that it is time for a new innovative approach?
In this article Tom Haak makes a plea for a more impactful HR, using guerrilla tactics. No need to say that we really like it!
Read the whole article here - special thanks to rebel HR Christophe Vanden Eede who shared this via LinkedIn.
HR in the age of disruption
Innovative companies are changing the way business is done and the way talent is sourced, developed and rewarded. In this article HR leaders at five revolutionary companies, Airbnb, Blue Apron, Etsy, Uber and Zulily, share their learnings on how HR can help organizations stay creative and competitive while implementing people-centric practices that keep their employees engaged, empowered and thriving:
Talent search in fast growing companies
When demand for talent is high, pressure is on hiring managers and recruiters to fill jobs quickly and to get creative in spotting the right talent. Even though the company is growing, it is key to remain intentional and deliberate about increasing your workforce. It is also key to keep in mind that employees are your biggest drivers of recruiting. To expand hiring channels, many enlightened companies partner with groups that can bring new segments of the population into fields traditionally dominated by a particular demographic. For example, Etsy has partnered with Hacker School to provide grants to boost the number of women in technology, while Uber hosted global nonprofit Women Who Code.
Screening for fit, learning to grow
Gone are the days when hiring was done in a vacuum. At many 21st century companies, co-workers increasingly get to weigh in on whether they think a candidate is a good fit for a job before he or she is hired. “Experiencing the culture first hand and meeting the team you’ll work with is one of the best ways to determine fit,” says McKeown of Zulily.
Airbnb conducts two types of interviews: functional/technical interviews that are completed by the hiring manager and those close to the role, and “core values” interviews, in which two employees outside the function for which the candidate is being considered gauge whether the individual embodies the company’s mission and values.
Blue Apron makes its top value of lifelong learning core to its leadership training programs for every level of management within the company. The training focusses on three areas:
- how managers want to develop as leaders themselves,
- how they want to help their direct reports develop
- and how they want to lead across the organization.
Airbnb supports employee learning by hosting “Fireside Chats” that bring in industry leaders, from CEOs to musicians, to share their wisdom and experiences with staff.
No matter what approach you use, the goal of onboaring is always the same: making sure everyone on the team understands the values and mission of the company and their role in it. Uber flies new full-time employees to San Francisco for a three-day event called Uberversity in which employees get an overview of the company’s business and learn about its culture. At Etsy they believe onboarding needs to be immersive and ongoing.
Rest and rewards
When it comes to work/life balance HR leaders of innovative companies urge their employees to work with their managers to set expectations and schedules and to build fun into the work experience. Uber has an unlimited vacation policy and encourages managers to make sure employees take paid time off. Etsy offers a six-week paid sabbatical to “rest and recharge” for employees who have been at the company five years. It is also one of few companies that provide an astonishing 26 weeks of paid parental leave to new parents.
Fast-moving companies opt for real-time feedback so that they always know where employees stand and where they are headed. At Zulily, transparency and alignment are built into the review process. Not only can employees set their own goals, they can also review their managers’ and company executives’ goals every quarter to see what the leaders are focused on, ask questions and stay in step with where Zulily is growing.
Mixing and mingling
Smart companies understand that today’s workers want to be able to talk directly to colleagues on every rung of the corporate ladder. That’s why many are creating opportunities for employees at all levels to have frequent access to top executives and learn about strategic initiatives and challenges first hand. Zulily holds monthly executive happy hours where employees can visit with executives in an informal setting.
Even though employees work hard, innovative HR leaders make sure fun and fellowship are also on the menu. Employees are encouraged to share their passion for their work and for their outside interests, by teaching a course on a favourite subject to co-workers or sharing a talent during lunch. Blue Apron holds a wine happy hour that brings people together to build rapport and allow for networking. The company also hosts a giant annual camping trip for full-time employees, which this year includes working on a farm for part of the weekend.
Surveying the culture
Blue Apron conducts a culture audit twice a year, asking employees no more than 20 questions that focus on how they feel about their roles and about the management team. The survey is designed to elicit specific feedback on the leadership team. “We ask questions around work/life balance, we ask if people are thinking of leaving the company and why, and then we give people an opportunity to give us feedback,” Muzzatti says.
The future of work isn’t as scary as you think
In our third article of this week’s connect with content, we zoom in on #TheFutureOfWork, a real buzz word (48 million Google hits!). The main reason for all this interest is simple: Today, we change jobs often, says Josh Bershin, and many of us work on a contingent basis. Technology is automating work at an unprecedented rate, as artificial intelligence, sensors, and robotics become mainstream. The structure of organizations is under attack, changing the nature of work in companies, looking for ways to flatten the hierarchy, make jobs more dynamic, and further leverage contingent and contract labour.
The idea of a "job," with all its protected artefacts like job title, level, and job description, is starting to go away.
What will it be replaced by? In this article Josh Bersin breaks the Future of Work into three simple parts:
- First, the personal impact: why we work, how work fits into our life, how our careers progress, how we stay current in our skills and capabilities, and how work gives us meaning and purpose.
- Second, the organizational impact: what are jobs, what roles do people vs. machines play, how are organizations set up, how do we leverage contingent workers, and how do companies redefine jobs as software and robotics become more powerful.
- Third, the societal impact: how do we educate and prepare people for work, how do we transition people when jobs change, how do we support policies for minimum wage, immigration and work standards, and how do we fix economic problems like income inequality and unemployment.
Today all these issues are under debate. In this longread, Josh Bersin discusses all three parts. It’s clear that organizations, individuals, and society must change.
On a personal level, we each have to learn new tools. And if you're an HR professional or business leader, you have to learn about technology too - because it radically impacts the way you organize work.
At an organizational level, the key to success is what we now call design thinking. Organizations need to understand what technology can do and then use it to enhance the customer and employee experience. Every company has the opportunity to rethink its own customer and employee experience, and apply technology to make it better. In some cases this means changing jobs, in most cases it means making jobs "better," reducing cost and mundane tasks, and adding more value to customer interactions. One of the biggest challenges in organizations is creating a more dynamic career model. Companies are now heavily focused on internal talent mobility, self-directed learning, and new software tools to help people find the next job.
Also education and Public Policy must keep up. And our personal career strategies must adapt: the most important skill to build in today's "future of work" is what you may call "personal reinvention" - the ability to let go of who you are today and recreate yourself as jobs around you change.
The "Future of Work" is here right now. Your job is being changed before your eyes, and if you don't sit up straight and just look around, you may miss the changes taking place.
So take some time to learn a new tool or two, go to an industry conference in your field, and spend time networking with others in your domain.
We all have to deal with the future of work, it's not going to be as scary as you think.