How to Lead in a Disrupted World - HR Media and Gaming Lunch

Published: 11 October 2016

We were delighted to host a round table lunch event on Wednesday 5th October in London which brought together leaders from across the gaming and media industries.  Lucy Adams of Disruptive HR chaired the event providing practical examples of the latest thinking in all areas of HR.

With an ever changing landscape of disruptive technology, skills shortages and increased scrutiny there is a greater need to collaborate and look at approaches to people strategies.  We spoke of the challenges facing businesses today, be that big growth agendas, working with millennials or the further expansion of the digital world.  It’s time to consider a fresh approach to HR to improve levels of engagement, increase productivity, save costs and drive innovation.  

Lucy’s approach is called EACH (Employees as: Adults, Consumers, Humans)

  • We need to treat our people like adults
  • We need to think of them as consumers
  • We need to engage with them as human beings

Adults.  It’s time to treat employees as adults rather than having a “parent-child” relationship.  Less than 1% of employees read the HR policies.  There has been a rise in the number of businesses who are moving to policies where they simply use good judgement or do the right thing.  An example of this is a dress code of “can I get away with this?” - if the employee need to ask that question then the answer is probably no.  By changing the dynamics you will see greater creativity and productivity with a reduction in costs and employee frustrations.

Consumers. Businesses need to stop thinking of employees as “assets” and more as “consumers”. Changing the way you collect employee data will enable you to gain genuine employee insight. Segmenting your employees as you would your consumer market will make your approach more relevant rather than one-size-fits-all.

Humans. Use insights into how humans actually behave, relate to each other, learn and are motivated. There is a real lack of understanding in how people feel.  You can build these insights into your leadership development, reward practices and performance management to get the very best from your people.

We then discussed three key areas of where this approach could be implemented:

Leadership Development

Look at how you’re equipping leaders and developing them.  Are you improving self-awareness, impact and empathy?  In the identification of leaders are you asking employees how it feels to be led by the individual?

Reward Practices

Individual bonuses - do they drive the right behaviours?  Wilful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan delves further on the negative effects citing individual bonuses as destroying a culture of collaboration and teamwork. The best rewards are unexpected, thoughtful and personalised, and from someone whose good opinion matters to them.  Delve down to why people thrive and what matters to them rather than assume they are money motivated.  One option is to abandon bonuses altogether like Netflix, who have taken the bonus conversation out of the equation by paying higher base salaries.  The options of switching to team bonuses or rewards based on collaboration were also discussed.

Performance Management

97% of companies carry out annual appraisals and 70% of them are thinking about doing them differently.  Improvements can be made in a number of ways.  Ensure the onus sits with the individual.  Change the language to be more focused around career conversations, increasing the frequency and nature of the check-ins.   Move away from ratings by creating team objectives and peer feedback.

By changing your approach to HR and applying EACH you can ensure you are able to improve levels of engagement, increase productivity, save costs and drive innovation.

The lunch was inspiring and engaging event with the HR leaders in attendance being open and honest, allowing Lucy to provide expert insight and practical approaches to HR. 

Jane Firth is the HR lead for Berwick Partners in London and the South East. 

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