People Matters Magazine May 2022: A New Take on Employee Empowerment

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What is your message for HR leaders to come out stronger on the other side of the pandemic? HR has really stepped up. The CHROs were the heroes of the pandemic. If we look at our experience over the last two years, how well the economy has turned out and how well organisations have

been managed, it's 90% down to the leadership of HR. HR has the credibility, it has the space and the permission, the question is how we use this credibility to fundamentally reset the role of this function. We have to reprioritise. We still have to do the core work of HR, but we also have to take on the reinvention of work. This is where the HR service delivery model needs to be rethought. There is a need for HR to shift some things away, so that they have the space to take on the new things. I want to tell them: You've made a huge difference for your companies, for the economy and the planet. Use this opportunity. You have the permission to fundamentally change work in organisations and reset work for the next 10 years. I really believe that HR in most companies has a seat at the table. You have that power. This is our golden moment. may 2022 |


How big a role has HR got to play in this shift to the new operating system? HR has a massive role for two reasons. Firstly, we're

seeing HR’s mandate shift from being a steward of employment, to increasingly being a steward of work. Secondly, there's a lot of white space related to the new work operating system and that is an opportunity for HR to really step up and own this. There's no other function that can do it right. Strategy is typically focussed on “bigger picture” issues, finance is largely focussed on the reporting and monitoring of the operating model, but it's HR and the business that really need to own this. The time is perfect for HR to redefine its remit.


you like to share possible solutions as well? Work without jobs is an idea whose time is here. There are two big challenges and hopefully we've addressed them in the book. The first big challenge is inertia and legacy. It is something completely different from what people have done for decades. It's different from everything we've told leaders to do and manage. The second thing is how to get started? I am hoping that the book gives them the roadmap for overcoming legacy and moving forward. It is both leaders and the processes that are holding organisations back. Take for example HR. Everything that we do is organised around this notion of a job right from how we hire people, develop them, deploy them, pay them. We need HR to start questioning and challenging whether the existing structures and processes are fit for purpose. And again, in the book, we talk about how you rethink pay, rethink development and deployment etc. An organisation’s mindset, its toolset, its processes, its culture ...all of those are part of that legacy, the inertia.