Why HR leaders need to “humanise” again: Reformed exec shares secrets to engaged workforce

The shift toward big data and analytics is removing the “human” from human resources. Here’s how to swing the pendulum back.

Google recently revamped its entire recruiting process after realising that merely scouting for perfect grades at prestigious institutions failed to capture candidates with other critical attributes such as learning capacity and curiosity.
“GPAs are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless,” Laszlo Bock, senior VP of people operations, told The New York Times.
Many experts saw this as a shift back towards the “human” element of the operation.
Mikael Meir, an executive coach who became a thought leader on business ethics after serving six months in jail on fraud charges, believes this is best achieved through the proliferation of a conscious culture. To attain this, he suggests that HR executives align every process with company values, from hiring to onboarding and evaluation.
These virtues should be so pervasive in the corporate culture that they become somewhat divisive – employees either fully understand and live up to them, or they are put off by the company-wide commitment to their implementation.
“Polarisation is good,” said Meir. “It shows you have a defined culture.”
 Other recommendations to drive engagement include:
  • Become a “chief purposologist” – center all business functions on a core purpose
  • Provide acknowledgement from the heart – express heartfelt gratitude for hard work and effort
  • Use engagement as a strategic device – engagement should be treated as a key component of growth, prioritised as highly as market trends and developing a competitive advantage
  • Be humble – replace cutthroat attitude with a more empathetic approach to productivity
  • Feed workers’ intrinsic motivation – provide fulfillment on a deeper level by granting autonomy to exercise strengths and skills, offering learning opportunities, and guiding employees to incorporate the organisation’s purpose into their job duties
“The best path to prosperity is the one that includes the fulfillment of people, as well as making money,” said Meir.
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