HR in start-ups: Strategic enablers to achieve business goals
The term â€œHuman resourcesâ€ evokes a deeper connotation with regard to employee management. In the modern corporate world, employees are seen as human capital, capable of transforming business ideologies into profitable multinational entities.
“Entrepreneur: What if we invest in our employees and they leave us?
HR manager: Sir, what if we don’t and they stay?”
The term “Human resources” evokes a deeper connotation with regard to employee management. In the modern corporate world, employees are seen as human capital, capable of transforming business ideologies into profitable multinational entities. Human Resources Management (HRM) has come to occupy centre stage in all multinational companies and in start-ups as well. As young businesses are realising the importance of building a sturdy workforce, they are paving the way for some of the most innovative strategies in the field of HR to align employees with business objectives.
HR strategy as a function of business strategy has the power to transform a neutral or negative work environment to a positive and performance driven work environment.
Defining the Work Culture
While HR plays a crucial role in identifying and hiring the resources with right skills for the right job, the greater responsibility lies in effectively train, motivate those resources to work towards a common business goal by creating and developing high performance work culture. A collaborative culture is a key aspect for an organization’s success and growth. With flexible work culture and innovative team building activities, startups are able to attract and retain good talent:
Flexi Work Culture: Start-ups are known for their employee-friendly, flexible and inclusive work culture. A majority of them offer options like flexible working hours or working from home for a better work-life integration. These initiatives help firms to channelize resources for the company’s benefit and promote gender equality at the workplace because under this practise the skill and availability factor matters more than the gender of the candidate. In addition, such measures encourage more women, especially young mothers to join the workforce and balance their career and family life with ease.
Grooming and Training: Another trend worth noting in startups to keep their employees motivated are internal workshops and training sessions, with twits. HR departments from time to time conduct a number of sessions aimed at grooming their employees. Termed as ‘Friday Forum’, ‘TGIF’, ‘Fun Tuesday’, ‘All hands meet’ these sessions help HR department connect better with workforce and send across a clear business message camouflaged under fun activities. The training programmes may include elaborate workshops for employees to learn a new technology adopted by company, or brush up on the existing roles and business goals. For instance, start-ups can fix a day in a week or a month to hold interactive sessions, open discussions to share new ideas. Most importantly, these training involve either all the employees or employees from cross function allowing better collaboration and understanding.
Building a Team that says “We” rather than “I”
In recent times, HR as a concept has seen a paradigm shift from being an administrative function to an integral, strategic business entity, whose function is to improve the organisation’s workforce and its ability to deliver on the business goals.
There are organisations that build heterogeneous teams to promote diversity and participation, as against the conventional team-building parameters that focus on keeping people of the same skills or professional backgrounds together. This helps in bringing people with different skillsets to a single platform, while promoting team spirit and encouraging them to work towards a common goal and manage any crises effectively, instead of shifting blame when things go wrong. In addition, it helps build a creative environment with better collaboration and offers scope for innovation.
Building a Great Team and a Reliable Brand
A team can make or break the organisation, and we cannot ignore HR’s role in building a reliable team that has built a reliable brand. HR acts as a strategic partner that improves the scope and efficiency both at the employee’s level as well as the team’s level, reminding them of their inherent role within their organisation.
The trend in start-ups is to engage employees in team building activities that include games, music events, and interactive exercises – open houses/town hall, aimed at employee motivation and facilitating interaction across the hierarchy. Such activities break the monotony of work while acting as an icebreaker, especially in the case of the new recruits. HR departments, especially in the start-ups, are introducing fun activities. Helping employees feel connected to the organisation encourages them to be more participative and responsible in their work.
For young businesses, HR departments as strategic function can help them build a dream team to achieve business goals. They strive to maintain discipline and momentum within the organisation by helping the management to explore growth opportunities, identify and reward talent, while also implementing remedial actions whenever required.