Why you should focus on the manager/employee relationship

Do you do one-on-one meetings with your employees? You should. Employees value the one-on-one time they have with their managers and these meetings are imperative in building strong relationships in the workplace. Our company just launched a new tool called GoodTalk on Product Hunt to improve one-on-ones between managers and their employees. Check it out and feel free to comment with your thoughts: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/goodtalk

Workplace dynamics are changing

Part of the reason why we launched  GoodTalk is because the way leaders and employees work together are changing. The changes are impacting organisational structures, roles and responsibilities and the technology used in the workplace. With human resources at the pivot point of so much of these shifts, they will play a key leadership role in enabling this change within organizations. 

Demographic and psychographic shifts are changing people’s expectations for how they collaborate in the workplace. In Aaron Hurst’s book “The Purpose Economy” he states that the future is purpose. It’s what is driving innovation and radically reshaping careers and organizations. We are prioritizing relationships, impact, and personal growth and in the process, changing the economy.  We no longer come to work as a way to earn a paycheck. We also look to work as a way to connect to our purpose. In addition, millennials are now the largest demographic in the workplace. They are the most educated group to join the workforce and they want to put that to good use. They grew up with technology that broke down barriers and so they don’t see hierarchy the same way. These attitudes will have a huge impact on management styles, with 28% now in management roles. All this points to a much stronger need to collaborate with leadership on priorities, a need to have a stronger sense of co-ownership and less tolerance for a chain-of-command style of workplace.

Technology in the workplace driving change

Technology within the workplace is enabling a different style of collaboration that wasn’t possible before. In the book “The Conversational Firm” by MIT Sloan’s Catherine Turco, she looks closely at a new organisational model that companies can shoot for today. This model has become possible, and perhaps even necessary, on account of the communication technologies now available and the habits and expectations that today’s employees bring into the workplace. She calls the model the “conversational firm,” and it’s the idea that organizations can have far more open dialogue across the corporate hierarchy than we ever before thought possible.

HR's role in the changing economy

Human Resources will need to play a critical role in helping organisations navigate the changes between how leaders and employees work together. Technology and culture will be intertwined and to that effect, there will be a significant shift in the next couple of years towards what the Starr Conspiracy is calling HCM 2.0.

Common features and functionality shared among HCM 2.0 solutions are:

  • A focus on innovation, not automation: HCM 2.0 solutions fundamentally rethink talent processes instead of simply mirroring traditional analog processes.
  • A flow of information that moves in all directions, not just from the top down: HCM 2.0 solutions facilitate the exchange of information from the bottom up and horizontally across the org chart, in opposition to the old “command and control” school of information flow. The priority in HCM 2.0 is on-demand access to information (pull, not push).
  • A design for the 21st-century workforce: HCM 2.0 solutions are designed based on how work actually gets done in today’s workplace: mobile, social, collaborative, employee-centric, and focused on delivering strategic value.

While the technology to facilitate a modern collaboration between leaders and employees is readily available today, skills and culture at many organisations will need to catch up. Human resources is in a unique position to lead these changes across the organisation. 

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