Much has been spoken and written about HR and its contribution both from a value add perspective and on what more can be done. However, if you look back at the last three to five years and see the delivery of the HR product within the organization, it has been primarily driven by two main factors — changes in the business environment, and changes in the expectations of employees at large. This has forced the HR practitioners at large to take stock of what they have been doing, innovate, and deliver relevant, practical and insightful HR processes and products that create an impact on the overall experience that the employee is getting.
Having worked across countries and having witnessed changes in the HR landscape, a couple of important elements come to mind.
What does organizational rhythm mean from a HR perspective? Organizational rhythm is what makes an organization tick — the thing that makes employees happy and enables them to exhibit behaviors that lead to enterprise growth; and accordingly an organization and its employees adopt and adapt to this rhythm, and become its proponents. Organizational rhythm for HR is simply put, the activities that need to be set in motion for continued success. But since continued success is difficult to define, it becomes necessary to first define success, and then the organizational rhythm to achieve success, keeping in mind the employees’ harmonization to the rhythm.
HR practitioners need to gauge and identify the elements that make employees act or behave in a certain manner. Meeting employees, talking to them, and looking at various data points will only reveal half the picture. The paradigm shift will only happen when you observe employees from far and see how they behave and converse informally. This gives deeper insights into the aspects of what is music to their ears. A correlation across the organization will give you perspectives on the various kinds of music produced, the notes and ultimately the rhythm. When you look at the insights in detail you will understand the various facets of the personality of the organization that is creating the rhythm. As Steve Jobs said, “When you have all the notes that created the music and the rhythm, you will clearly be able to connect the dots and derive meaningful aspects of keeping the rhythm alive.”
The paradigm shift will only happen when you observe employees from far and see how they behave and converse informally
A proper understanding of the organizational rhythm will not only help in understanding aspects of culture, values, processes, interactions that work both internally and externally, and how employees perceive the organization, but also the experiences that they have gone through. In its true sense, organizational rhythm is much more than vision statements, conversations, data points, surveys, drivers etc. The art of understanding organizational rhythm requires deeper skill-sets in order to see beyond the ordinary and develop a sense of harmony in perspective.
How can HR enable enterprise growth through organizational rhythm?
Developing the right organizational rhythm not only ensures robust and meaningful HR delivery systems but also result in a deep connection with the organization, and its employees at large. When the systems work seamlessly and follow a rhythm, the middle management and the executors at the bottom of the pyramid have absolute clarity on their deliverables making it easier to achieve results. This results in the attainment of business objectives, minimal deviations and gives the organization the strength and motivation to move on towards bigger and better targets. This also leaves the top management and the leadership to spend their time and energy on long-term goals and solutions for enterprise growth. The employees work towards enterprise growth initiatives and the senior leadership gets the capacity and confidence to move ahead. Strategic initiatives get accepted and implemented without much change management, making the growth process quicker.
HR remains a watchful partner in this journey of success, managing the most important role of ensuring that the organizational rhythm sustains, and if need be, is altered to suit the changing needs. In the realm of today’s discussions revolving around HR as a business partner, it is simply going back to basics and ensuring that unless you listen to the music, only then can you feel and see what makes the organization’s personality. HR needs to keep it simple but also deliver performance at a high level so that the enterprise is shock-proofed and more importantly the organizational rhythm and its momentum are maintained.