What HR needs to do differently- part I



This is the first in a series of posts taken from fan and follower answers on the  The Impact Facebook fan page. We are seeing on this page some of the brightest minds in business today, all talking about the opportunity for more connected workplaces;  of HR taking on new roles; of employee engagement redefining itself.


A few days ago, we posted this question on the Impact Facebook page:

What does HR need to do DIFFERENTLY given changes we are seeing in how people want to work and what type of workplaces they want to do that work in?

What follows is the first of several verbatim answers we will feature in the coming posts

Facilitate Responsible Transparency.

Corporations and the individuals that lead them have traditionally supported and endorsed the practice of hierarchical internal and external communications, thereby inadvertently supporting an ecosystem of lethargic information flow, “Chinese whispers” knowledge sharing, and restricted innovative thought leadership, allthe interest of maintaining a unified/centralized corporate voice, and minimizing legal risks.

Today’s world is a more social marketplace, an evolving cloud computing infrastructures, and a culture where concepts of privacy have shifted.

Companies that seek to hold back these dynamic changes will be akin to the RIAA trying to prevent digital music file sharing, or King Canute trying to hold back the incoming tide.

Instead of combating this inevitable movement, leadership should explore this as an opportunity to leverage the long-dormant marketing, communications, market research, customer service, HR, and branding force that is the employee population.

  1. Acknowledge that IMing, texting, Tweeting, and other activities will occur, and individuals will feel empowered to comment on their workplace experience, product lines, and industry.

  2. Clarify and communicate realistic and responsible guidelines and rules for these sorts of communications, rather than forbidding them.

  3. Where conversations among employees, clients, vendors, or other formal or informal partners in your brand value are taking place, make sure the company has a respectful presence, even if only on an occasional basis.

The conversation will take place, and you can either be invited to participate, and thereby influence that conversation, or you can try to shut it down or control it, in which case it will continue without your contributions, as you lose more and more control over your empoyees, your culture, your brand, and eventually your market position.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – attributed to Charles Darwin

Nicholas deWolff has over
20+ years of diversified business building experience, in both the commercial and non-profit sectors. He has been responsible for launching, relaunching, refining, or otherwise helping to improve the market position of hundreds of companies, organizations and brands.

Until recently, he served as a Chief Marketing Officer at Technicolor (formerly Thomson), one of the world’s largest media and entertainment technology providers. Prior to his career as a creative executive, Nicholas was an award-winning director and playwright, with credits in Europe and the US.

His global activities, both creative and operational, have led him to work with a variety of organizations on a wide array of issues, including urban planning, education, social justice, and environmental activism. Today, Nicholas works as a consultant to speedily and aggressively CLARIFY, CRYSTALLIZE, CODIFY, CONTEXTUALIZE, and COMMUNICATE every necessary element of an individual’s or business’s value proposition. You can connect with Nicholas on twitter @nicholasdewolff and facebook (nicholasdewolff).

(Note from Christine, founder of Impact People Practices.com)

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