Leading figures in the world of HR got together to discuss how HR professionals can adapt and make the greatest impact. They gave three very different lessons.
HR is evolving with the world around it, so it’s good to check in and find out what some of HR’s leading lights have to say.
The Future of HR: A collaboration of ideas panel, sponsored by Cisco, was hosted last week by channel 7’s David Koch who spoke with Zach Kitschke, Canva’s head of people and community, Brad Krauskopf, CEO and founder of Hub Australia, and Lyn Goodear, CEO of AHRI.
1. Growing organisations break
Canva is a graphic design website tool company that has grown from 5 employees to 500 since being founded in 2012. And they have plans to double that number by the end of the year.
Kitschke attributes the success of the $1 billion company to its acceptance that a growing company will break, and break regularly.
“[Growing] from five people to 10 people, things start to fall apart, so we would need to put in place more systems.”
The ‘breaks’ get larger as each team grows.
“From 10 to 50 people we would split people into smaller teams so they can work on their own goals. Now with 500 people, we have 80 different teams so we’ve moved to a group model where each group is dedicated to its own big goal.”
Koch linked this way of breaking things down with the gamification younger people now expect. “When an Australian male turns 18 they would have spent 10,000 playing games, which is equal to the amount of time they spend at school.
“They want their gaming reality at work, where it’s up to you to get to different levels. And at every level you get a different power and you get a different reward as you go but it is up to you how you progress.”
Kitschke says Canva tries to implement this kind of progression through internal coaching.
2. The $15,000 question
Up next was Krauskopf who has seen his company, which provides coworking spaces, make tremendous changes in its workforce since it was founded in 2011. “At the beginning it was freelancers and start ups. [Then] in 2016 there were more employees than founders and freelancers,” he says.
“Every day we have 3,000 people coming to the Hub from all over Australia, that’s our workplace.”
It’s clear Krauskopf has tapped into a market that took hold because people were looking for a social connection while working.
“Remote working is great to a point but it is also really isolating. Coworking came off the back of the [global financial crisis]; lots of people become freelancers – i.e. they became unemployed – and they wanted somewhere to congregate because it was too damn isolating working from home.”
According to Krauskopf, HR has a responsibility to create a place where employees want to work.
“People can no longer have an okay place to work, they need an amazing place to work. If you’re going to ask somebody to give their heart and soul to your company then they have a right to ask for something back,” he says.
“HR is there to create a home for the team. If everybody gave their employees $15,000 and told them to go and work wherever they want to, then there’s a challenge. How can I make them want to work with me? Then you’re creating a place where someone wants to be, not where they are paid to be.”
3. HR needs disruption
Lyn Goodear spoke next. Koch pointed out that, as CEO of AHRI, she has a view of HR that includes those who “do it well and the ones who bugger it up; the disruptors and how it’s changing.”
“The biggest disruption that is going to come to this profession is about big missions, big visions and connecting people through culture and values that drive that,” says Goodear.
“That’s an uncomfortable shift for a profession that has perhaps traditionally constrained itself with policies, practices and procedures.
“Organisations are inanimate, it’s the people within the organisations that create value, so we actually have to disrupt HR to some extent,” she says.
Goodear knows from personal experience how important disruption is.
“AHRI in some respects has disrupted ourselves, because as a professional body, you’d think our job is to look after members and keep them happy but the real challenge is, up until now, anyone could call themselves an HR practitioner.”
In relation to the future of HR and technology, Goodear quoted UNSW professor Toby Walsh.
“He says there’s three questions we have to ask when we’re looking at our workplaces in relation to technology; number one, can the technology do it? Number two, is there an economic value or productivity dividend? The third question we must ask as a society is, do consumers trust this opportunity?”
Certification is a great way to ensure you are equipped with the tools and knowledge you need for the changing world of HR. Find out more here.