HR Approach

Beyond Paychecks & Policies: 15 Ways to Transform Your HR Approach

Being an HR manager can often feel like being a firefighter. But instead of just one fire, it seems like the flames are everywhere.

Each day presents a new challenge, whether it’s handling a dispute, managing recruitment, or staying updated with labor laws.

Yet, despite the overwhelming nature of the role, HR managers stand tall, dousing flames with grace and ensuring a harmonious workplace. But what truly defines the role of HR management? Let’s dive in.

Understanding Human Resource Management

At its core, Human Resource Management is about people. It’s about understanding them, nurturing their potential, and ensuring that the organization’s objectives align harmoniously with their personal and professional growth.

Think of HRM as the bridge between an organization’s goals and the people who make those goals a reality. It’s not just about recruitment, payroll, or benefits, though those are important components.

It’s about creating an environment where every employee feels valued, heard, and motivated.

In the Filipino context, this also means understanding our unique cultural nuances. It’s about appreciating the ‘Bayanihan’ spirit of communal unity, respecting the emphasis we place on family, and ensuring that work practices reflect these values.

Ways to Transform HR

Transformation often starts small.

As an HR manager or even as an engaged employee, choose one of these practical ways that strikes a chord with you.

Understand its depth, apply it within your workspace, and continuously refine based on the unique experiences and feedback you gather.

These strategies are not just about better HR practices; they’re springboards for innovation and creative thinking.

Set the stage for a more cohesive and productive workspace and nurture a culture of continuous growth and mutual respect.

If you’ve found value in this article, we urge you to share it with your HR team, bosses, or even colleagues. Post it on your social media, discuss it during team meetings, or even bring it up during casual coffee breaks.

The essence of change lies in collective effort and shared knowledge.

1. Embracing Flexibility in the Workplace

Flexibility in the workplace refers to allowing employees to have a say in how, when, and where they work. This might mean offering options like flexitime, remote work, or compressed workweeks.

A study by the International Workplace Group found that 85% of businesses confirmed that productivity has increased in their business because of greater flexibility.

Employees who have control over their schedules often report higher levels of job satisfaction, decreased stress, and better work-life balance.

Companies like Dell, American Express, and even some local startups in the Philippines have implemented flexible working arrangements, seeing a boost in both morale and productivity.

Meet Liza, an HR manager in a growing tech firm in Quezon City. Aware of the traffic woes that plague the daily lives of her employees, she introduced a scheme where employees could start work anytime between 7 am to 10 am.

Jasper, a software developer, approached her one day.

“Liza, the flexible hours have been a game-changer. I can now drop my daughter at school and avoid the rush hour. I’ve never felt this energetic at work!”

Liza smiled, “That’s the goal, Jasper. A little flexibility goes a long way.”

For HR managers looking to introduce flexibility, start with a pilot program. Choose a department or team and test flexible hours or remote work for a month. Gather feedback and adjust accordingly.

Remember, flexibility isn’t about losing control; it’s about adapting for the better. If you’re an HR professional, consider taking that first step towards a more flexible workplace today. Your employees will thank you for it!

2. Continuous Professional Development

Professional development is the commitment to ongoing learning and skill enhancement in one’s career. This includes attending seminars, undergoing training, or even acquiring new certifications.

According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.

Tech giants like Google and Microsoft emphasize continuous learning, offering their employees various opportunities to develop new skills and refine existing ones.

Imagine Maria, an HR manager at a BPO in Cebu. She regularly organizes workshops and brings in industry experts for talks.

During a coffee break, one of her staff members, Paulo, said, “Maria, the digital marketing workshop last week was incredible. I’ve already started implementing some strategies in our campaigns.”

Maria nodded, “I’m glad to hear that, Paulo. We’ll continue to bring more learning opportunities.”

HR managers can partner with local educational institutions or online platforms like Coursera or Udemy for corporate discounts on courses.

Continuous learning not only boosts individual growth but also the organization’s progress. Commit to the growth of your team, and the results will follow.

3. Prioritizing Mental Health

Promoting mental health in the workplace involves creating an environment where employees’ psychological well-being is valued and cared for.

A WHO-led study discovered that for every $1 put into scaled-up treatment for common mental disorders, there’s a return of $4 in improved health and productivity.

Companies like Unilever and Johnson & Johnson have comprehensive mental health programs, providing employees with resources, counseling services, and time off.

In Davao, HR manager Carlo noticed a decline in the performance of one of his top employees, Rina. He approached her privately, offering a listening ear.

Rina hesitated but then shared, “It’s been tough at home, and I’m feeling overwhelmed.”

Carlo responded, “Thank you for sharing, Rina. Let’s see how we can support you during this time.”

Consider bringing in a mental health professional for regular sessions or workshops. It’s also essential to create an environment where employees feel safe to share their struggles without judgment.

Ensuring your employees’ mental well-being can lead to a happier, more productive workplace. Make mental health a priority.

4. Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion involve recognizing and valuing all individuals, irrespective of their background, race, gender, age, or any other characteristic. It’s about ensuring everyone feels included and respected in the workplace.

A McKinsey report revealed that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

Global leaders like Apple and Coca-Cola have consistently stressed the importance of a diverse workforce, attributing their global success in part to the myriad perspectives brought in by their diverse teams.

Take the case of Ana, an HR manager in a multinational firm in Manila. She introduced cultural exchange sessions where team members from different countries shared about their traditions and values.

After one session, Raj, an Indian software engineer, remarked, “Ana, today’s session on Filipino festivities was enlightening. It’s wonderful to understand the cultural richness of my colleagues.”

Ana replied, “And next month, Raj, we look forward to learning about Diwali from you!”

Conduct regular training sessions on unconscious biases and encourage team-building activities that celebrate different cultures and backgrounds.

Diversity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a strength. Harness the power of multiple perspectives for a richer, more innovative workspace.

5. Implementing Employee Feedback Systems

Feedback systems are mechanisms to gather employees’ opinions, concerns, and suggestions regarding various aspects of the organization.

A study by PwC showed that nearly 60% of survey respondents reported that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis—a number that increased to 72% for employees under 30.

Industry leaders, including Airbnb and Dropbox, have utilized employee feedback systems to refine their operations and strategies.

Meet Rey, an HR manager at a retail chain in Iloilo. He introduced a monthly feedback forum where employees anonymously shared their suggestions and grievances.

One day, Lorna, a cashier, approached him. “Sir Rey, after last month’s feedback, I noticed the changes in the shift timings. It’s much better for us now. Thank you for listening.”

Rey nodded, “It’s all about making things better for all of us, Lorna.”

Implement anonymous suggestion boxes or digital feedback platforms. Regularly review feedback and communicate any resulting changes to the staff.

Effective feedback systems bridge the gap between management and staff, leading to a harmonious, collaborative environment.

6. Advocating for Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance means ensuring employees have an equilibrium between their work responsibilities and personal life.

A Gallup poll found that 53% of employees say a role that allows them to have greater work-life balance is “very important” to them.

Global companies like Netflix, with its unlimited vacation policy, have taken significant steps to promote work-life balance, understanding its importance for employee well-being and productivity.

In a startup in Baguio, HR manager Juan noticed his team often staying late. Concerned, he initiated “No Overtime Thursdays,” ensuring everyone left on time at least once a week.

In a team meeting, Clara, a graphic designer, shared, “Juan, thanks to ‘No Overtime Thursdays’, I’ve started joining a pottery class. It feels great to have time for myself.”

Juan smiled, “That’s what it’s all about, Clara. Work is essential, but so is life outside of it.”

Encourage breaks during work hours and regularly monitor overtime. Promote hobbies and activities outside of work. Also, read our Work-Life Balance Commitment.

By fostering a genuine work-life balance, HR managers can ensure employees remain refreshed, motivated, and committed.

7. Enhancing Employee Benefits

Employee benefits go beyond just the basic salary. It includes health insurance, paid leaves, bonuses, and other non-wage compensations that can attract and retain employees.

A survey by Glassdoor indicated that about 57% of respondents consider benefits and perks among their top considerations before accepting a job.

Forward-thinking companies like Starbucks offer exceptional benefits, even part-time employees are entitled to stock options and health insurance in some countries.

In Cagayan de Oro, HR manager Patricia revamped the benefits package, introducing health coverage for employees’ families and educational grants.

During lunch, Mark, an operations lead, mentioned, “Patricia, the new educational grant helped my son enroll in a summer coding camp. I can’t thank you enough.”

Patricia replied, “We believe in investing in our employees and their families, Mark. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Tip: Regularly review and assess the benefits package. Survey employees to understand which benefits they value most.

When you invest in your employees’ well-being, both inside and outside the workplace, their loyalty and productivity often increase in return.

8. Promoting Team Collaboration

Team collaboration involves pooling talents, knowledge, and resources to achieve a common goal. It’s about fostering an environment where everyone feels they’re a part of something bigger.

Harvard Business Review highlighted that teams that communicate frequently improve their collective IQ and achieve higher results.

Global firms like Slack and Asana have built tools to enhance team collaboration, emphasizing its role in modern businesses.

Elena, an HR manager in a Batangas resort, introduced bi-monthly team challenges, where departments teamed up to solve puzzles or take on projects.

One evening, Jeff, from housekeeping, and Lani, from reservations, shared a victory high-five. “Elena, this month’s eco-challenge was fantastic! Our cross-departmental team found a way to reduce water wastage,” Lani beamed.

Elena grinned, “Collaboration is the key, Lani. Together, we achieve more.”

Tip: Organize inter-departmental meetings or brainstorming sessions. Use collaboration tools to keep communication lines open.

By fostering collaboration, HR can drive innovation, improve problem-solving, and bolster team spirit.

9. Establishing Clear Career Pathways

Career pathways provide employees with a roadmap for their growth within the organization. It showcases potential future roles and the skills needed to get there.

A LinkedIn survey found that 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if they feel the company invests in their career.

Organizations like PepsiCo have well-defined career development programs, guiding employees through their potential growth in the company.

Rico, an HR manager in a Pampanga manufacturing unit, introduced a mentorship program, pairing senior leaders with junior employees.

One afternoon, Rosa, a junior engineer, shared with her colleague, “My sessions with Sir Arturo have been eye-opening. I now see a clear path to becoming a project lead in the next few years.”

Rico, overhearing, added, “We want to ensure everyone knows their growth potential here, Rosa. Your ambition is our success.”

Tip: Regularly discuss career goals during performance reviews. Provide resources or training for employees to acquire skills for their desired roles.

Clear career pathways not only motivate employees but also ensure the organization has a strong pipeline of future leaders.

10. Adopting a Transparent Communication Strategy

Transparent communication involves sharing essential information with employees, whether it’s about company performance, upcoming changes, or feedback.

According to a study by Smarp, companies with effective communication are 50% more likely to have lower employee turnover rates.

Companies like Buffer have embraced radical transparency, sharing details like salary structures and company financials with all employees.

Miguel, an HR manager at a software company in Makati, introduced a monthly town hall meeting where employees were briefed about company updates and could ask questions directly to the leadership.

One day after a meeting, Grace, a junior developer, approached Miguel. “Those town halls make me feel truly connected to where the company is headed. I appreciate the honesty.”

Miguel nodded, “Openness builds trust, Grace. We’re all in this together.”

Tip: Use different platforms, like newsletters, meetings, or intranets, to keep employees informed. Always encourage questions and feedback.

Transparent communication can bolster trust, engagement, and alignment among team members.

11. Fostering a Culture of Recognition

Recognizing and celebrating employees’ achievements, big or small, can boost morale, increase motivation, and enhance loyalty.

According to a Gallup poll, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to quit within a year.

Giants like Google use peer-to-peer recognition systems, allowing employees to highlight and celebrate their colleagues’ contributions.

At a call center in Davao, HR manager Leah introduced “Kudos Cards”, where employees could write and publicly display appreciation for their peers.

One morning, Renzo, a customer service representative, found a card on his desk. “For always being patient and helping newcomers. – Carla.” He smiled, feeling seen and valued.

Leah, passing by, remarked, “A little recognition goes a long way, doesn’t it?”

Tip: Consider monthly awards or spotlight features in newsletters to celebrate outstanding employees. Always remember to highlight the ‘why’ behind each recognition.

Recognition fosters a sense of belonging and can significantly enhance job satisfaction and performance.

12. Ensuring Employee Safety and Well-being

Prioritizing the physical safety and health of employees is crucial. This means both having protocols for emergencies and ensuring daily working conditions are safe and ergonomically sound.

A study by the National Safety Council found that employers who invest in safety see a decrease in absenteeism and an increase in productivity.

Organizations like DuPont are renowned for their safety standards, often setting industry benchmarks.

At a construction firm in Bacolod, HR manager Dante implemented regular safety training sessions and sourced quality safety gear for his team.

During a site visit, Isabel, a site supervisor, mentioned, “The new helmets and the safety drills? Those changes made a massive difference, Dante.”

Dante replied, “Safety first, Isabel. We ensure everyone goes home to their families without harm.”

Tip: Conduct safety audits and drills regularly. Engage employees in discussions about safety improvements.

Ensuring safety isn’t just about compliance; it’s a testament to valuing your employees.

13. Utilizing Technology for HR Efficiency

The integration of technology in HR processes can streamline operations, making tasks like recruitment, training, and performance evaluation more efficient.

According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report, 56% of companies are redesigning their HR programs to leverage digital and mobile tools.

Leading companies like Siemens have integrated advanced HR analytics tools, allowing for more strategic decision-making and improved employee experiences.

In an e-commerce startup in Angeles, HR manager Paolo adopted a cloud-based HR management system. This tool helped automate many manual processes, from leave applications to benefits tracking.

One day, Sofia, a marketing executive, commented, “Paolo, the new HR system is so user-friendly. Booking leaves and checking my benefits have never been this easy.”

Paolo smiled, “That’s the aim, Sofia. Technology to make our lives simpler.”

Tip: Explore HR tech solutions tailored to your company’s size and needs. Even simple tools like shared calendars or collaboration platforms can make a difference.

Leveraging technology in HR can drive efficiency, enhance employee experiences, and enable more informed decision-making.

14. Addressing Grievances Promptly and Fairly

An effective grievance-handling mechanism ensures that employee concerns are addressed promptly, ensuring fairness and maintaining trust.

A study by CIPD found that organizations with robust grievance-handling procedures tend to have better overall employee relations and lower turnover.

Companies like Toyota are known for their efficient grievance redressal systems, emphasizing open communication and swift resolution.

At a logistics company in Butuan, HR manager Rica set up a dedicated grievance committee. This team was trained to handle concerns impartially and confidentially.

After a committee session, Nico, a driver, approached Rica. “Ma’am, thank you for addressing my concerns so promptly. It feels good to be heard.”

Rica responded, “We’re here to support, Nico. Every voice matters.”

Tip: Encourage open communication and ensure employees are aware of the grievance procedure. Anonymity can often help in getting genuine feedback.

Addressing grievances promptly and transparently is crucial to maintaining trust and harmony in the workplace.

15. Building a Community, Not Just a Workforce

Cultivating a sense of community in the workplace goes beyond just teamwork. It’s about fostering relationships, shared values, and a collective identity.

Research by Harvard Business Review suggests that employees who feel they belong are more than 3.5 times more likely to be productive, motivated, and engaged.

Tech giant Salesforce is renowned for its focus on building a strong workplace community, often cited by employees as feeling like a ‘family’.

In a design studio in Legazpi, HR manager Joy organized monthly community events – from potluck lunches to charity drives.

During one event, Carlo, a graphic artist, shared, “These gatherings, Joy, they make us feel connected, like we’re part of something bigger.”

Joy nodded, “Exactly, Carlo. It’s all about building our studio family.”

Tip: Organize regular team-building activities and community outreach programs. Celebrate festivals, milestones, and even personal achievements together.

Building a strong community within the workplace enhances loyalty, collaboration, and overall job satisfaction.

Remember, the role of HR transcends administrative tasks. It’s about nurturing the human spirit, fostering growth, and creating a workplace where everyone thrives. Embrace these strategies, and watch your organization flourish.

Conclusion

The role of Human Resource Management is pivotal. But as with any journey of improvement, it often begins with a single step.

As an HR manager, pick one of these practical ways that resonates with you the most. Dive deep into understanding its intricacies, apply it, and refine based on your organization’s unique experiences.

Remember, it’s not about a complete overhaul overnight but about continuous iterations and improvements. These ways aren’t just strategies; they’re catalysts, meant to stimulate your creativity and passion for the role.

By integrating these approaches, not only will you enhance your organization’s dynamics, but you’ll also evolve as a strategic, empathetic, and innovative HR leader.

Here’s to a future where HR isn’t just a function but a driving force. A force that molds organizations, enriches careers, and above all, celebrates the human spirit in every employee.

Embrace the challenge, ignite your creativity, and strive to be the beacon of positive change in your organization.

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