Creativity and Human Resources can be a contradiction in terms. We’re so accustomed to traditional definitions of what HR should be, we often overlook what it can be. Outdated policies combined with the natural inclination to protect the company can lead to a discounting of the very people who are affected by and expected to live within the rules.
As Wired Magazine’s Karen Wickre described in her May 2017 article, Human Resources Isn’t About Humans, “HR was never meant for you. That’s why it doesn’t work.”
The workplace is changing all around us, and it’s important for HR to not just keep up, but be ahead of the game in order to stay competitive and attract great talent, wherever they are and however they choose to work. Technology innovations, demographic shifts, urbanization, shifts to a more global economy and other factors are redefining the workplace dramatically.
Creating a great place for employees, protecting the company, being productive, and having an innovative, people-centered workplace are not mutually exclusive ideas. You can start being creative right away by asking yourself a few simple questions when considering your approach to Human Resources:
- Is what I’m trying to create taking real people and how they work into account?
- Am I making decisions about what people in my organization want and need because I’ve asked them for their feedback?
- Am I drafting policies to discourage the bad behavior of a few outliers, or am I creating policies that foster an environment where most employees can thrive?
- Are my ideals based on years-old traditional thinking or am I being innovative and responsive to a change workforce?
- Is what I’m creating flexible and dynamic so that when the workforce inevitably changes, so can the policy?
Starting with these questions will get you thinking about what’s possible and allow you to look for solutions that balance different styles of work with various demographics. You may have to respond to senior leadership who believes HR should operate a certain way. And the younger generation is clamoring for more flexibility. But here’s the thing – there is solution that works for everyone. People are unique so your ideas must be too.
Next time: The 3 Most Creative HR Ideas of 2017