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The recent years have attributed the corporate world with one foundational thought – ‘survival of the most competitive’. This reflects in the manner that companies acquire talent and retain it. The chief responsibility of piecing together an inclusive, highly functional workforce, lies with the Human Resources department in any organisation.
However, of late the perception of HR as a contributing department has been receding at an alarming rate, gradually putting the human aspect within Human Resources on the back-burner.
While many high-profile meetings are conducted to make HR come across as a department that actively contributes to the organisational framework, it more often than not turns into a futile exercise. This becomes a norm both in terms of the HR executives as well as the employees at large. The result, a spike in the level of distrust among employees and discomfort among HR professionals who, try as hard as they may, are not able to engage their audience (read employees).
Similar to any average employee, HR professionals are spirited individuals who want to create an engaging atmosphere in their firm, which in turn is conducive to fraternity, productivity and inclusiveness. It therefore becomes important to bridge the gap and close the leaks in communication between HR and employees across the organisation.
A few steps that can be taken to make HR more human are as follows:
Making appraisals more civil
Employees cannot perform feats of magic. Yet, when the appraisals roll around the door, they are treated as circus performers who are asked to change their stance a bit, in order to function better.
Although the cogs in the bigger machinery, they cannot, in real life be treated as machines. This makes it important for HR managers to focus on managing talent, rather than managing performance of employees. This comes to light especially during appraisals when qualities are weighed against the companies’ expectations, instead of their personal capacities.
Relooking at how employees are perceived
One of the biggest grievances that any employee would encounter and express is that they are either treated as mere assets or liabilities. Often times, it is outright explained to an individual that they are nothing more than a resource that can be replaced when deemed fit. Now, the frequency of this happening is extremely arguable, but may be quite common when it comes to the lower rungs of the organisational ladder.
This is where the C-Suite comes into power play. It is the responsibility of the leaders to create an environment where their HR inculcates values like trust, dependability, loyalty and attachment. This should be a running experiment across the floor and every employee must be made to realise that they are a lot more than a resource. A firm can stand tall only when it receives the backing of its employees.
Bring Artificial Intelligence to the table
Artificial Intelligence or AI has been steadily transforming the manner in which a number of firms function. There are numerous HR tasks that are both mundane and repetitive. These also happen to be tasks that are required to be accomplished manually. With machine learning and Internet of Things coming into play, employees and HR professionals both stand to gain.
Basic tasks such as sorting the potential CVs, answering oft-asked questions and spotting errors right before they might occur can happen seamlessly. One of the biggest advantages of AI would be laying down an interview process that is entirely unbiased and free of prejudices. Other benefits would be creation of chat bots to keep employees engaged and happy as well as streamlining the process of onboarding new employees.
All in all, these practices would help HR shed its daunting image and go back to being truly a human resource.