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A home for the Conscious Business community in the UK

Conscious HR Part 1

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Conscious Business (CB) strives to work for the benefit of all stakeholders, or as I have called them previously, interactors.

The colleagues working within an organisation are a key set of interactors  and Conscious HR is therefore a key element of  a sustainable CB – in my last blog, ‘The Transition to Conscious Business’, I undertook to write about this so here goes.

So, what is Conscious HR other than the HR part of an organisation which embraces CB values?

Like any element of a business or an organisation, Conscious HR benefits from an organisational structure but one that allows flexibility, change and the application of ‘conscious sense’.

I like simple, clear systems and prefer to break the HR cycle down into five distinct areas:

  • Recruitment
  • Remuneration
  • Retention
  • Record processing
  • Redeployment  (a much more positive word than ‘termination’!)

It’s helpful to everyone if  all of the procedures and protocols are detailed in a Colleague Handbook which is kept updated – in a format which sets out everything from a perspective that is equally valuable to anyone in the organisation, regardless of their perspective – as an ‘us’ document not an ‘us and them’ document.

Set your stall out at the beginning of the handbook and document: ‘why’ and ‘how’ the organisation has chosen the CB journey – these can just be a series of simple statements but will become entwined in everything that the organisation achieves.

Conscious HR is not a one size fits all and is open to individual interpretation. Let me give you some examples and ideas which hopefully give a feeling of what I am trying to convey – I have stated ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ quite a bit – please consider this as thought provoking rather than didactic. Please feel free to challenge me and reprovoke my thoughts!

Recruitment

  • Use a job description detailing the role and how it can develop, a list of definitely required skills but not a person description – how can one possibly determine in advance what type of person is best at a particular role?

Ask the interviewee how and why they are the person for the role and you may be surprised by the candidate with the most interesting insight.

Diversity within departments and organisations is a proven key to success unless you are running a private army, in which case CB won’t be high on the list!

Celebrate the fact that we are all different and bring something different to the table – the extrovert, the introvert, the white Anglo-Saxon, the ethnic minority, the clean-cut individual and the alternative dresser all bring valuable values to the table.

Remuneration

  • Transparency (internally publishing all colleagues remuneration) may be too much too early on for most organisations but there is a strong argument that a less than opaque system removes a barrier in what is undoubtedly a subject sometimes fraught with petty jealousy and rumour.
  • Perhaps start by seeing individual remuneration as a monetary token of exchange which allows a colleague to live their life outside of work. We all need money but try not to set it as an incentive in its own right – if the ingredients are mutually beneficial, an individual will want to achieve their best for the right reasons, not solely for reward.
  • Group rewards based on the overall performance of the organisation are a fair and transparent way of encouraging a team ethos and perhaps healthier than an individual bonus system.
  • Additional Innovative Remuneration (AIR) is a fun and motivating for all recipients – come up with something which helps to breath the AIR with joy – can be anything –  restaurant vouchers, days out, sports events, ‘free’ afternoons off, books, event tickets etc

 I think that this is probably enough for one post, so will publish some examples and ideas about Retention and Redeployment in a few days time.

Toolkits anyone?

In a recent meeting of people keen on the principles of CB, I did sense that commencing and travelling the journey can be challenging from a simply practical perspective.

Do you think there would be interest in some  ‘toolkits’ which assist this process? I am visualising some checklists and flow diagrams which provoke thought and simplify action.

This is something that  a group of  us are thinking about creating over the coming months for use in our consultancy lives – would be good to know if there is any interest!

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Author: simonhester98

A management consultant actively helping organisations to emancipate themselves and commit to a Conscious Business journey.

4 thoughts on “Conscious HR Part 1

  1. Well done, Simon. I’d not thought of CB to the point of HR yet, and your thinking provides a valuable service in this regard. Look forward to hearing more from you.
    Gina

    • Hi Gina,
      Thank you for your comment – I am a firm believer that CB can be applied to all elements of a business – this allows organisations to move gradually, at a pace that is comfortable – the methodology can be proven gradually!
      Simon

  2. Great stuff Simon. I think this is a very fertile area.

    And it seems to me that HR especially in bigger companies in the UK needs to seize back the high-ground and position itself more strongly and confidently. Particularly to make sure that it is understood that people and relationships are the most important thing in a business. Strategically and tactically.

    Seizing this more powerful position seems to me to be a precursor to more radically changing practices in the areas you list.

    There are lots of opportunities to do this – for example, at NixonMcInnes, a company I have worked with a lot, rewards are set by members of the team, not by the senior management. At Zappos recruitment is famously done differently – after the initial induction process new recruits are offered money to leave the company. At Morningstar and Semco the whole way management is done is a competitive feature of the company. I could go on and on.

    These are all things HR should and could be involved in proposing not just implementing but my experience they rarely are.

    • Pete,
      Thank you for your interesting insight and examples of innovative organisations who are embracing Conscious change – fascinating and inspiring…..
      Simon

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