Human resource (HR) professionals often get a bad rap. For many, the very term “HR” conjures up stereotypical images of a stuffy, rigid, rules-based, by-the-book corporate lacky whose primary purpose is to enforce company policies and occasionally make some changes to the company insurance plan. But Courtney Branson, writing for HR Daily Advisor®, argues that the HR function of today is taking on a much more holistic and meaningful role.
It’s transforming from a focus on compliance and risk management to a higher-level, more strategic focus. “HR managers are now, arguably, also designers and keepers of company culture,” she writes.
Branson argues that two strategies are key in effectively creating a company culture that employees will value and appreciate.
We alluded to this above, but a common stereotype of the HR function is that it’s very top-down. To have a company culture and employee experience employees will truly appreciate, the crafters of that experience need to take a bottom-up approach and solicit, embrace, and listen to employee feedback.
Employees come and go; market, societal, and cultural trends constantly shift and change, and what employees value one day may be relatively insignificant the next. This means those charged with ownership of the employee experience have to be flexible and willing to continually change and improve.
In a post-industrial economy, service-based and intellectually driven industries are increasingly important, meaning that human assets are one of the—if not the—most important assets a company possesses. The HR function needs to continually strive to make its organizations attractive destinations for top-level talent; developing a strong company culture is a key element of that goal. According to Branson, many HR professionals are making great strides in transforming the nature of their function to do just that. Are your HR leaders among them? Are you?