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How to successfully adopt minimalistic HR

Editorial Team
26/05/2020 12:19 AM

are slowly buying into the realization that HR is doing too much and that the
list of HR initiatives is far too
long. Behind this thinking is the notion that what employees and management are
looking for is more impact, with less
. Employees and management are of the view that HR tends to make things complicated.
To establish a refreshed role, HR teams will need to be brave, challenging, and
work together to assert professional standards and create better and more
consistent systems in which people can flourish. Shaping organizations, leaders,
and ensuring the best way to work is a huge responsibility for those working in
HR especially now with the global COVID-19 pandemic affecting all aspects of
the human life businesses included.  The
business hiatus because of the pandemic provides organizations with an
opportunity for introspection allowing them to decide on the best hr approach
to take.

is a conscious effort directed towards less. It is the practice of self-
restraint, it is the practice of traveling light, it is a practice of owning
less, doing less, reducing, recycling, and simplicity (Jolly, 2019). Minimal HR
is the bare bone practice of HR Management. It is stark, simple, based on
compassion, and is need-based (Jolly, 2019). The reason for the adoption of
this approach is there is an overwhelming amount of management literature, each
one extolling values of a concept. Selecting any one methodology or approach
can be taxing, intimidating, and often confusing. It can turn out to be a never-ending
maze, that begins innocuously small, and eventually snowballs into a process
that becomes time and resource-consuming with aforesaid results nowhere in

done by Kulik and Perry (2018) explored the possibility that devolving
people‐management activities to line managers might transform an HR unit and
improve its reputation within its organization. They examined the effect of devolving people‐management
responsibilities to line managers on HR managers' construed image—their
perceptions of the internal reputation
of the HR unit. Results revealed that a devolution strategy had a positive
effect on HR managers' perceptions of their unit's reputation among line
managers and that this effect was partially mediated by changes in the HR
function. Specifically, devolution
increased HR's involvement in the operation of business units and the
organization's strategic planning. In turn, this change in HR's strategic role resulted in a more positive construed image for
members of the HR unit.

are some of the ways to keep it simple in HR:

  • Keep your HR team small

should have small corporate teams all with A-players,
with the ability to get high-quality work done. Such small teams with capable
personnel perform such that when one looks at the accomplished results, it
looks like the team is a lot bigger yet it’s a team made up of a few driven
employees. The tendency in most organizations is that most bosses or managers
would like to meet and brainstorm with their teams resulting in spending more
time in meetings. Often one of the outcomes of these meetings is more work for
the corporate HR team. These meetings
result in the HR team not being able to do real work, and as the requests for HR
increase, they have to hire new people into the HR team. Unfortunately,
research shows that the output of the team does not increase. More time will be
spent on-boarding the new people, and in meetings, where the head has to
communicate the outcomes of the meetings with the senior team. Team fun will
decrease, as team members will no longer be the agile innovative team that can
get things done. Thus organizations should always hire A-players, keep teams small, and don’t waste too much time in

  • Invest in HR Tech and other apps

should invest in HR tech and systems that
will contain all the relevant HR information of their applicants and employees.
These HR Systems should be able to produce concise HR-reports, support with predictive analytics, and drive all the HR workflows such as performance management, talent identification,
and succession management. This
dramatically simplifies procedures and processes in organizations. However, for
most HR teams especially in developing countries such as Zimbabwe, this is still
a dream as most organizations do not see the need to invest in some simple and
focused solutions that make their life easier. Some numerous apps and systems
can help Zimbabwean organizations to simplify their operations. These include iPerform and talent hunter

  • Stay close to the most urgent business issues

A strategy
is more about today than about the future. Organizations should ask themselves:
What are the most burning business issues that need to be tackled today? Do we
have the right people leading our most important strategic programs? Is our top
talent thrilled by the opportunities they are working on? How can we increase
our capabilities in the region and abroad? Often HR and management are somewhat
afraid to tackle the most burning issues, and this is where delaying tactics
come in handy. Organisation XYZ, for example, needs more evidence before it can
replace manager A. Even better: it needs a better performance management system
so that we can better evaluate all managers, including manager A. it also
requires a talent management system and a global opportunity system, so that it
can match talent with opportunities. XYZ also needs a regional relocation
policy, before it can move people into the region. All good thoughts, but
delaying action. Action can often be taken today, and HR should push for action and have no tolerance for delay. If
organizations are to focus on the most urgent
business issues
, their life will be simpler.

  • Keep
    things simple: Yes, keep it very simple

like “The Big Consulting Firm”. Any layperson in the organization should be
able to understand and identify with what the Management is trying to achieve.
Making it comprehensible makes it easier for people to adapt freely.

  • Less
    is more: A thing or two at a time

the organization with too many initiatives is just like giving chemo for a
sniffle (Jolly, 2019). You don’t need to nuke your organization with all that
the HR universe has to offer. The dosage needs to be just right for the
organization. What works for a multi-locational, large organization may not
hold relevance for a small-sized firm for instance. An organization of 100
people gets enough ‘face time” with its management/ Promoters and thus heavy HR
intervention may not be required. Good eye contact, a pat on the back, and open
dialogue may be all that is required. Self-restraint is the key while shopping
and surfing for Management Concepts.

  • Go
    slow and steady: There is a certain charm in slowness.

slowness offers us to dig deeper, build a stronger foundation, take a measured
approach, and then march forward on the steady ground (Jolly, 2019). Acceptance
of any people’s initiative takes time. Unfreezing and then freezing mindsets
isn’t overnight. Bring that comfort and ease in introducing a new process in
the organization.

  • Have
    Core Values

process, no methodology, or no HR Program can outdo the virtues of compassion,
honesty, respect, and trust. For any management to be successful the key
ingredient to success is being consistent in their approach to people when it
comes to respect, trust, compassion, and honesty (Jolly, 2019). The credibility
of Management plays a vital role in the progress of its Human resource.

  • Have
    a time frame metric

well- defined metric of progress within a time frame serves the purpose better
of achieving the goal of bettering the HR Management.

  • Knowing
    what is needed

is both science and intuition. Too much analytics, numbers, data capture, and
jargon can be misleading. The trick is to read between the lines and use the
information to establish what your gut tells you.

  • Practice Detachment

throw out of the window that does not work. Never over-invest and attach
yourself to anything that isn't looking healthy (Jolly, 2019). Never impose it
on your people. It could work in the short term, but the long term prospects
are questionable. Keep the good things going, make them stronger, reinforce
what works best. The rest are just fillers, you might just do away with time

conclusion, HR's responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic is not only to
support their business in the short term but to use this opportunity to design
the business of the future. HR leaders need to take advantage of this
opportunity, firstly to help ongoing communication during the pandemic, but
also secondly, to build a more effective organization that will be better
aligned with the future of work.

Jack is a Business Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a
business management and human resources consulting firm.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/milton-jack-9798b966

Phone: +263 242 481946-48/481950

Mobile: +263 774 730 913

Email: milton@ipcconsultants.com


Editorial Team

This article was written by one of the consultants at IPC

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