Many organizations talk about recruitment, development of personnel and many benefits and services available to employees to utilize during their employment. Applicants and employees, on the other hand, consider an attractive employer to be one that offers diverse possibilities for developing oneself, as well as flexibility, liberties and interesting career paths. It is interesting that these ideas – of employers and employees – do not often meet. Could a solution be found to this by speaking the language of people who are applying for work or working?
Eyes on the employee
Personnel-related challenges, such as remuneration, development, other commitment and, in many industries, finding employees, are common in many organizations. A solution to these challenges is often pursued by developing and revising the organization's processes and structures, by shifting the focal areas of the strategy, and updating the recruitment methods. All of these functions aim at the organization's goals being met as well as possible and securing the continued operation of the organization. However, the starting point in these development measures is often the perspective of the employer organization, not the employee.
One of the key objectives of organizations should be to create conditions in which the desired and right things from the employee's point of view could happen. Agile HR is rising as an alternative to the conventional way of working, based on the idea of getting rid of hierarchies and unnecessary processes and making the organization's structures more flexible. In spite of emphasizing agility, the talk is still on the employer's conditions using the employer's language, and from the point of view of the employer's challenges and leadership.
Two faces of employment
Already before the beginning of the employment relationship, employers recruit while employees apply for a job. When filling an open position, the applicants are interviewed, assessed, and tested. To the employee, the process is about wording and describing their own competence and motivation, but the applicant's actual possibilities for assessing the new employer are minimal. Personnel is developed during the employment relationship. Employees strengthen their competence – they develop. As the employment relationship is coming to an end, the employment relationship ends from the employer's point of view. The employee, on the other hand, might be thinking of career options or retiring. The employer's and employee's points of view often differ at different phases of the employment relationship, or are even completely opposite, which is inevitably visible in the organization's attitude to an individual employee.
Personnel is the most important resource?
If an organization wants to genuinely talk about personnel as its most important resource or emphasize that employees are at the core, the use of words and concepts that only describe people as movable units or parts of the process can no longer be continued. Instead ,the life cycle of the employment relationship with the employee should be considered continuously on the individual employee's terms, using their language: as an active individual who makes choices, is capable, feels and has knowledge.
When employees feel that they are genuinely at the core, they no longer need to be inspired separately to do their best or develop their organizations. Instead, they have already found the most suitable organization for them, where they feel that with their contribution they are in the right place and role. In a place where they can increase their capabilities with their own development efforts and increasingly demonstrate their strengths. I claim that goals would also be met at the same time almost on their own, also from the conventional employer's point of view. And no matter how realistically one would think that an individual trick will not make everything better overnight, it is difficult to imagine any other than good consequences for such change. Thus, I also challenge you change your organization's approach into a genuinely employee-oriented one – whether you are an employer or an employee!