4 Ways to Keep Humanity at the Helm

November 6, 2023

A consideration of the future of HR

Perhaps you have noticed how markets have shifted away from hierarchical command and control leadership over the past few decades. Have you sensed that those changes will affect your business and make caring for your workers more nuanced? Managing human resources has become more challenging for large and small businesses alike. If you think about it, the employee experience now matches the importance of the customer experience. Business owners must prioritize keeping their human employees as satisfied as they do keeping their customers satisfied. It is important that employees receive training and the necessary tools to adapt to and lead in an of era collaborative, adaptive, and employee-centric leadership models. 

To keep your employees engaged, focusing on the human element in your interactions is crucial. Finding ways to treat your employees as the valuable business assets they are has never been more important. In this article, we will discuss four ways that business leaders and HR departments can focus on the humanity of their workforce to foster a thriving workplace culture. Of course, these are not the only ways to embrace the future, but they will get us off on the right foot. 

1. The future of HR will build strong relationships through innovation and resilience. 

Even as an HR-outsourcing team, Syndeo has encountered the same growing pains that can make or break an organization. And just like our clients, we have had to ask ourselves tough questions that position us for growth.  

Questions like:

  • How do we hire the best employees?
  • What do our employees need to do their best work?
  • How can we offer opportunities for career advancement?
  • How do we teach employees to successfully and respectfully handle conflict?
  • How do we terminate employees with dignity?

As we successfully navigated these obstacles through training and personal interactions, we developed stronger relationships within our organization based on trust, respect, and responsibility. The results within our company required innovation to do things differently and resilience to stay the new course. Now we possess valuable insights that empower us to help our clients. Through sharing our experiences with our clients, we have demonstrated that they, too, can surpass what may be perceived as limitations and embrace change. By inspiring them to confront challenges head-on, we pave the way toward a bright future.

2. The future of HR will embrace a growth mindset and a willingness to change.

A uniquely human trait, the desire to grow and change, is a choice that we, as human beings, each get to make. We can learn more and do better or stay stagnant and die a slow death. The same is true of organizations. In areas where our practices and policies were outdated at Syndeo, we faced the reality of necessary change. 

As the workplace continues to rapidly advance, the unfortunate truth is that those who refuse to change get left behind. Or worse yet, they shut down. As a result, we must encourage our employees and ourselves to embrace a growth mindset. We must understand that as we acquire new knowledge, we can make better decisions. It takes a blend of humility and resolve. Humility to admit that the way we’ve always done it may not be the best way anymore, and resolve because old habits can be difficult to break. By offering a clear vision and unwavering support when things get hard, we support our clients to make a meaningful difference in their company culture.

3. The future of HR won’t make assumptions about people. Instead, we will just ask.

Relying solely on what you think your employees want is a potential misstep. Instead, seek direct feedback from them. Asking open-ended questions can help you direct your HR engagement functions in a way that will have the most impact. These questions could include:

  • What are we missing in our company that are needs you see on the front lines?
  • What are the core issues that we need to address as an organization?
  • What tools and resources can help you do your job better?
  • What are some of your skills and interests that we are not tapping into?
  • What work-related interests do you have that you're not being able to explore?
  • What can we do better to make our company great?

This inquiry can be done through company-wide surveys or one-on-one conversations with employees. At Syndeo, we have had success with both scripted conversations, like a ‘stay-interview,' and casual coffee conversations in the company break room. There is, however, one crucial caveat: clients must commit to doing something about the changes suggested by their employees. Failing to act on their input can lead to employee disengagement and a decline in morale, rendering the whole effort ineffective.

A Case Study: Syndeo

Here’s an example from our own company. Since we know the impact of employee satisfaction on our bottom line, we decided to survey our workforce to identify potential improvements in their work-life experience.  A recurring request emerged: our employees desired more ergonomic chairs and standing desks. It turns out the extended hours spent in front of computers were hindering their productivity and well-being.

This valuable insight was only possible because we took the initiative to ask. While we could have ignored this feedback, we chose a different path. Instead, we made a significant investment in new office chairs and adjustable desks. Our actions confirmed the value our employees bring to our company and our desire to provide the best resources so they can perform their jobs effectively. 

By listening to our employees' needs and acting on their feedback, we not only improved their physical work environment but also demonstrated our commitment to their overall well-being and job satisfaction. This investment in our workforce increased productivity, reduced discomfort, and  strengthened a sense of appreciation among our employees. Indeed, it fostered a positive and motivated workplace culture. 

4. The future of HR will make meaningful changes through trust and rapport.

Because we work with companies as an outsourced HR team, securing client buy-in is crucial to making meaningful change. Establishing a trusting partnership amongst all employees is essential in helping your company achieve its goals. That’s why we encourage our clients to adopt a coaching mentality. This subtle shift away from authoritarian leadership is important because the days of transactional employment are fading away. In today’s culture, top talent is equally, if not more, motivated by factors such as company culture, positive working relationships, and company values as they are a weekly paycheck.

Consequently, it becomes imperative to help business owners and HR departments understand that treating your employees right is a reflection of how much value these employees bring to the organization. After all, businesses cannot function without their dedicated workforce. A strong and motivated workforce develops by fostering a work environment that cares about the well-being and growth of employees, leading to better productivity and overall success.

Bottom line: People will always be people.

As more workplaces integrate human work with computer work, it becomes our responsibility as human resource professionals to advocate for our employees, reminding them of the essential humanity in all of us. The successful future of HR will be led by companies who recognize and prioritize the dignity and humanness of every individual.

What has your organization done to prioritize the humanity of your people?

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If you are interested in learning more about how outsourced HR services can get you back to business, contact Syndeo today!

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