Much has been said and written about HR and its contribution in very many ways both from a value add perspective and on what more can be done. However, if you look back at the last 3 – 5 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 HR practitioners at large to take stock of what they have been doing, innovate on the same and come out with 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. Let me try and articulate what they are:
Understanding of the Organizational Rhythm and how the Organization swings to the Rhythm
At the outset what really is Organizational Rhythm from a HR perspective? It is nothing but what that makes an Organization tick and what ticks is what makes employees happy/exhibit behaviors that aim to build enterprise growth and accordingly dance to the Rhythm and its beat. Organizational rhythm for HR is simply put, the activities that need to be set in motion for continued success. It is very difficult to contemplate and define what continued success looks like. Therefore it becomes a necessity to define success and then define the Organizational rhythm to achieve success, keeping in mind the employees’ harmonization to the rhythm.
HR practitioners must spend time in understanding the minds of the employees across the Organization at all levels to gauge and really find out what is it that makes them 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 you much 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.
A proper understanding of the Organizational Rhythm will help you clearly understand aspects of culture, values, processes, interactions that work both internally and externally, and how each one perceives the Organization and 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.
So the next question is how HR really brings about Enterprise Growth by having an Understanding of Organizational Rhythm
Developing the right Organizational Rhythm will definitely ensure that the HR delivery systems will not only be robust and meaningful but also connect with the Organization and its employees at large. When the systems work seamlessly flowing out of the rhythm, the middle management and the executors at the bottom of the pyramid have absolute clarity on their deliverables and the process flows, making it easier for them to achieve results. This results in better attainments of objectives, minimal deviations and gives the Organization the strength and motivation to move on towards bigger and better targets. Once the middle and lower levels seamlessly work like a well-oiled machine, the top management and the Leadership can spend their time and energy on long-term goals and solutions for Enterprise Growth.
The employees associate themselves 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, however, managing the most important role of ensuring that the Organizational rhythm endures and if need be is altered to suit the changing needs.
Thus in the realm of today’s discussions revolving around HR as a business partner it is simply back to basics in ensuring that unless you really listen to the music only then can you feel and see what makes the Organisation’s personality. We need to keep it simple but deliver at a very high level so the Enterprise is shock-proofed and more importantly your Rhythm and its momentum will be your unique advantage.