Abrivia, in conjunction with Trinity College and Dr. Claire Hayes, hosted a HR and Management Breakfast Seminar in the newly refurbished Alexander Hotel, Dublin, on October 19th. The gathering of over 60 HR and management professionals were treated to very thought-provoking presentations by Dr. Amanda Shantz (Associate Professor of HRM TCD), Dr. Na Fu (Associate Professor of TCD, HRM) and Dr. Claire Hayes (author and clinical psychologist).
MD of Abrivia, Donal O’Brien, commenced proceedings by discussing how getting the right cultural fit is essential for high performing companies and studies have shown that companies who source employees who are culturally compatible to their organisations witness in excess of 144% increase to their bottom line.
Dr. Amanda Shantz discussed the “why” of human resource management. How can HR and line manager partner to lead people to understand events in the same way to become true HR architects and create a high-performance culture? The answer is to ensure that HRM practices send a consistent message to employees so that employees share in the same vision of why the company exists. Employees are clear in regards what is expected of them and what they can expect in return. This of course means that line managers need to be properly equipped to deliver HR messages and implement HR practices in a consistent manner. For example, if each line manager carries out performance reviews in a different manner and the level of award is different from department to department, this is bound to cause conflict in the organisation.
HR departments and employees need to share the same outlook in regards why HR practices exist in organisations to instil a high performing sales culture. HR practices could exist to increase employee performance, to ensure high levels of productivity, to generate a high performance or to reduce organisational costs.
Dr. Shantz exemplified that if employees are neutral in how they view HR outcomes, this is the same as HR outcomes being viewed negatively. This is caused by an interpretation gap between employees and HR professionals which can be remedied by consistent and clear equivocal messages through HR practices.
HR needs to ask employees “why are we doing this” in order to prevent misinterpretation. Also, line managers need to be consulted to ensure HR initiatives are implemented as intended and they are also clear and consistent in communicating how HR practices will produce positives outcomes for the employee so everyone clearly understands the “why of human resource management”.
Dr. Na Fu discussed how line managers need to be motivated to achieve high performing teams. Many line managers are not aware of the benefits of effective HR practices and have a different interpretation of the corporate culture/values of the organisation.
The main components of effective HR implementation by line managers is Ability, Motivation and Opportunities. All line managers need to be consistent in their message to encourage responsiveness in employees to create high performance culture.
Individualised based competition in teams creates a paradox in that someone always gets hurt. It is much better to encourage team based competition for a high-performance culture. Dr. Na emphasised that to create a high performing culture. HR departments need to focus on line managers ability to implement HR and focus or creating a cooperative and collaborative culture in your respective organisations.
Dr. Claire Hayes talked about how a high-performance sales culture may cause employee anxiety. She posed the pertinent question “if the culture is to stay to 8-9pm at night, how much is actually being done?”.
Many line managers do not feel equipped to deal with employee’s mental health issues.
Language is key when dealing with employees experiencing high levels of stress and is effecting their performance. Never ask “how are you feeling?” as employees rarely open up to this type of question. A better way is to frame the question “I feel concerned as I feel you struggling?”. This is more likely to get a more open and honest response from employees. In regards finding out the real culture of an organisation, as opposed to the advertised one, culture can be defined as “what the organisation is doing when no-one is watching”.
The seminar concluded with an excellent Questions and Answers session and a brief speech from Drew Flood of Aware, emphasising the range of services Aware volunteers provide for people suffering from anxiety and/or depression.
To view photographs from this event, please click here>>>
The next event in the Abrivia Thought Leaders series is the Salary Survey breakfast briefing in Trinity College Dining Hall in early January 2018.