There are a few initiatives one can use to empower employees, but my main preference is through engagement. It’s important to create engagement platforms where employees can share their ideas or provide suggestions on a certain topic, celebrate wins and open discussions on how we can positively adjust or correct our shortcomings and actions to address them.
This not only retains employees because they feel engaged but empowers them to an extent of self-realization.
The more you communicate, whether through engagement websites, one-on-one talks or monthly group discussions, the more you learn and the more you challenge and enlighten yourself. This creates trust among employees and fosters remarkable loyalty and tenacity.
HR has evolved over the years, from being reactive to being proactive, meaning we have moved from being admin-centric to the task of more critical thinking.
This includes creating an alignment between the HR strategy and the overall business strategy to suit the company’s business model.
For HR to stay relevant within the business, our focus is on talent acquisition, which is recruiting individuals who show similar drive and alignment toward the organisation’s goals. We also focus on retaining talent, as well as putting measures in place that celebrate our employees.
Creating growth opportunities is also a critical priority for HR, whether through offering study bursaries, role swaps, mentoring or coaching opportunities, compensation and benefits, policy formulation and risk management (employee and labour relations).
The first hours are essential. Have you heard the quote ‘”first impressions count”? Well, a similar approach should be utilised when onboarding new employees. Firstly, introduce the employee to the organisation, walk the floors and introduce the employee to each division and what they are responsible for.
This will give the employee an understanding of the organisation itself. Ensure the employee’s station is sorted out and, most importantly, assign the employee to a work buddy. The buddy is responsible for helping the new employee adjust to the new environment.
How one manages to keep the work environment happy for employees? With consistent engagement. Here at MultiChoice Namibia, we have a Friday Funday every week. This is basically a set time for employees to relax and engage with one another.
What I like least about the world of human resources is the conversation HR does when it involves a dismissal or an employee’s separation from the company. I believe every action has consequences and as an individual, if you made a certain decision, whether good or bad, you need to be able to acknowledge and handle the consequences the same way you took on that action that led to that outcome. But in very few instances, it becomes a sensitive situation and should always be treated delicately.
We are moving towards an era of aligning talent and business, and digitisation within HR. This involves making use of technology to make HR processes more efficient, effective and future fit. Many people believe that this digitisation will have a negative effect on managing the one-on-one people’s expectations of HR, however, I believe these platforms would greatly align to individual responsibility, whereby employees would need to take ownership of their growth, performance recognition of one another and being more involved.
Over the years, HR has created more laidback employees, but as we are moving towards a new era, we need to empower our employees to be more involved and equip them for the final stretch on the industrial revolution.
Julia Mushellenga is a HR practitioner at MultiChoice Namibia.