The H in HR – Are we missing something?

In today’s world, where everything is becoming digitalised, technology is having an important impact on human interaction and engagement.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not demonising technology since thanks to advancement in technology we can save ourselves time by sorting out a number of tasks from one place and one device – whether it’s booking tickets to a show or buying things online, keeping ourselves updated through news portals and improving our communication through social networking sites and video conferencing. We are more connected than ever but yet we still feel disconnected. Why is that?

Working in recruitment has helped me understand what the majority of employees are nowadays seeking in their employment – their work-life balance. I understand that this might sound as a cliché given it’s one of the most overused words within employment and human resources but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It actually exists in different ways and forms depending on each individual’s priorities and circumstances.

Finding the right balance between work and personal commitments can differ from one employee to another. 22-year-old intern Maria* who is finishing her University studies might have different needs and expectations than 28-year-old Sophia* who has recently bought an apartment and needs to go around shops which close at 6pm to get quotes to furnish her apartment. The same could be said of 35-year old Martina* who has a 5-year-old son finishing school at 2pm, when compared to 35-year old Peter* who might not have kids but is a triathlete and and has different training commitments on a weekly basis.

Having a barista at the office will not sort out the errands of Sophia, being invited for weekly drinks after work will not help Peter’s training commitments and having a games room at the office will not ease Martina’s personal commitments. What I am trying to say is that different people have different needs which although diverse are nonetheless important for that person’s work-life balance.

That is why employers and organisations need to realise that in today’s work force there is no such thing as one size fits all. The better you get to know your employees and the stronger the rapport you build, the more comfortable they will feel coming forward when they need help. Building a trusting relationship with your staff will automatically increase loyalty and can also help to empower your team with the result of increased efficiency in delivery. A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.

It is the ultimate responsibility of each organisation to provide a work environment where every employee feels included. A more human workplace is vital to the future of work.

*All the names used in this article were randomly chosen and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

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