Is HR still needed? YES! In the age of remote work, it is becoming increasingly popular to employ foreign workforce, who can add a fresh touch to the ways and means of a company. The XXI c. company is serving everyone everywhere, and having culturally and geographically diverse teams adds a lot of value to the corporate table. Leading the new-age culturally and geographically diversified people can be a real challenge to the HR, however. So, what roles can help HR people navigate the modern workplace?
1. The Band-Master
Let’s be clear: it is vital to respect everyone’s opinion. But it is not obligatory to choose one. This may sound controversial if you need to make real-life decisions, unless your team knows in advance that they all have to agree to disagree at times. The idea of not battling for the rightness of your own opinion frees a lot of space for listening and creates a safe spot for people to express their unique ideas without being judged. If you communicate the “agree to disagree” idea to your team prior to the situation where ideas are exchanged, you will be surprised at how easy it becomes to facilitate all the different notions within the company.
2. The Alchemist
There is a problem with compromise, and it can be summed up in one word - concessions. Put it simple, a compromise never makes anyone fully happy. So, what do you do when you need to reach a common agreement? You generalize. Put it plain, generalizing is finding a common denominator for all the opinions expressed. For example, if someone advocates a free day and someone else advocates cash incentive, they both advocate freedom. So, in order
to avoid compromise, decision-makers should always ask a question: How can all the opinions be summed up in one keyword? And the answer to that question is the concept that will maximize your team’s happiness with the decision.
3. The Sherlock Holmes
There will be times when you will be getting rather diverse opinions from your team members. Some opinions will be specific to cultures, others will be specific to geography. People are different and yet, they are all the same on the deepest level of consciousness. While it is important to hear all people out, it is just as important to prioritize right. In order to avoid gathering opinions without a clear vision on the outcome, you should be aiming at universal truths that would resonate with all the opinions shared. If you can find the things that appeal to almost everyone involved and capitalize on those truths, you will become an effective leader. Among the top shared human values are belonging, freedom of self-expression, and growth. ”The world is full of obvious things that no one accidentally watches.” - Sherlock Holmes is prompting.
4. The Autocrat
When dealing with diverse teams, there will be days when you feel like your team is tearing you into opposite directions. On those days, it is important to not forget that you are still the leader, who owns the last call, and the team must know that. You can only accept opinions to a certain point and, the moment you start hearing repetitive ideas, it is your responsibility to stop the process. In the work-from-home era, people are hungry for dialogue, and this can lead to overcommunication. So, it is important to be welcoming to opinions but also making it clear that you are still the one making the decisions.
5. The Sage
Having argued about us all being the same, now is the time to acknowledge that we are all different. Some people (and cultures) have no problem confronting opposing opinions, while others simply think it is bad tone. Point in case is this: silence does not mean consent. So, in order to embrace the differences of a global team, you must make space for opinions even after the decisions are made. A good way to do this is to “leave the door open” for another week before you actually start acting on the decisions made. This will provide a safe space for people to come back with their ideas that may be just what is needed to refine the decision.
To sum up: 2020 HR is thriving in new ways. It must be said that the XXI c. HR is not so much about the function as it is about effective global orientation. This new era is all about the free agents, and employees must be treated as such with full reverence to who and where they are. With the emphasis on the universal truths and the right leadership techniques, HR will not only survive in the post-pandemic world, but thrive in new ways.