I’ve been writing random thoughts about HR for a long time now. The traditional HR was about stewardship of company policy, complying with labour laws; and we all know it is broken, in need of change. Recently, I considered a few building blocks; on the labour side, desire to work is changing quite a bit. And then there’s an alternative way of thinking about our work identities in the form of projects rather than employers and roles.
On the supply side, I think it is important to note that the traditional HR is actually absolutely unnecessary. Long ago, I’ve noticed how Octopus Energy did away with their HR function and the truth is that people can organise themselves pretty well without too much fuss. Do we really need to standardise some of these things? Like working hours, like dress code, etc.? Aren’t these relics of the factory age? If you’re able to hire for a combination of capabilities and fit, why would you still need to constrain your people?
From my experience, the capabilities and progressiveness of the HR can really make a difference in terms of how strong your staff can be in terms of delivering on the objectives of your organisation. For most part, the policies of a company can undermine the work of staff severely; and often during these times, we lose sight of what those policies were for to begin with. HR 2.0 should be combating that urge to introduce more constraints whenever there are abuses. In fact, the hiring decisions are really what needs to be improved when these things happen.