Published 12 October, 2020

HR- A Function or a Philosophy ? (5 min)

The reason why people choose to watch a movie in theatres over watching movies at home (despite all the streaming platforms that are available to us today) is for the experience they get, which includes a high definition quality, surround system, ambience, and of course popcorn! The point is that people make the effort of leaving their homes and travel to watch a movie because they want a complete experience whenever they get the required time.

Hence, we extract more out of an experience when its complete. HR as a philosophy is built around the same lines. Earlier, the HR function mainly involved hiring and firing of employees. But today, it is anything but that. Although, hiring and firing are still components of HR, many other factors have joined the game. Most important one being “talent management”, which aligns companies’ goals with success planning, and employee’s career objectives. Firstly, a company should focus on the specifications required to hire top talent, and then developing their talents in order to retain them.

Here’s how a company can move towards an expanded approach to Human Resources:

  • The key is valuing the employee in totality, i.e, a person who has both his/her professional and personal life to manage. This shift to knowing and appreciating how an employee feels is what creates a healthy working environment in a company.
  • In various organisations, HR is seen or treated as a separate department. But the fact is that HR exists for people, and since they are omnipresent, HR should be too. It should be viewed as a philosophy rather than a function.
  • A holistic approach should be taken while hiring candidate as well. If a company is looking for a certain skill in a potential candidate, it does not mean that the candidate should be hired only on that basis. An employer should consider other aspects too. What have been their successes and their wins? How did they address a failure or a challenge? Does this person have a record of being resourceful and driven? How have they balanced their life? Did they work while going to school? Did they have a family to support? Cultural fitment is a critical yet overlooked aspect of hiring new resources

All these question helps the company to look at the bigger picture, and also helps the employees to fully reap the benefits of an organisation.

Many might argue that why the need rises for a new approach to HR when things are going just fine with the traditional method. But that’s exactly where the problem lies. Employees of the 21st century, especially millennials, don’t go for “just fine”, they look for an organisation which functions smoothly, and allows the employees to do the same. Employee satisfaction is the thing of the past, now it is “Employee Delight” that employers need to strive for.

When a holistic approach is followed, a lot of mental stress is taken off from an employee’s shoulder. Employees need to feel secure, you can’t be creative when you are thinking about survival. Rather than thinking about his/her home, family while being at work, and vice-versa, he/she can be productive on the task at hand. There’s a sense of security when the employee knows that there is understanding, and empathy from the organization. Classic examples can be found in these Covid times, the organizations which are thriving are still being creative and their employees are not worried about how to keep their jobs. The likes of Amazon, Google, Netflix, Facebook, Instacart etc are making the most of this opportunity as consumer behaviour has altered. What has enabled them to capitalize on this is their philosophy of letting their employees have a free runway to think and implement creative solutions.

Companies interested in practicing HR as a philosophy should focus on creating an inclusive environment at work – one that is welcoming of all ethnicities, genders, orientations, backgrounds, and other diversities.

Most organizations start their diversity and inclusion efforts with recruiting – which is to say, getting people in the door – but a better approach is to first start with the culture. If your culture is inclusive, you automatically increase your odds of successfully hiring diverse candidates and would have created an environment that sets them up for success.

Start with inclusion, and the diversity will follow !

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