In this article, Belia Nel gives us insight into “green” HR practices that add value and are sustainable into the future. She also provides us with a set of performance-based questions to consider whether we are indeed green in our HR practices.
by Belia Nel
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Belia Nel is a certified Performance Improvement Technologist with the International Society for Performance Improvement and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Will the last person leaving please switch the lights off?” We have often heard this being light-heartedly mentioned in social and business conversations. Asking this question has many interpretations, not least the one where we want to indicate that things have collapsed and that a space, place or country should be vacated as a result of final break-down of structures, rules, systems and the value it adds.
Is this the case in HR? Who will be the last person to switch the lights off? Have our HR structures, rules, systems and value-add collapsed? Or are they simply outdated? How current or rather, future-thinking, are we in HR? Or should we rather ask: “Are we still relevant in our practices and if not, who will be the last person to switch the lights off – will it be business or the HR practitioners themselves? Dave Ulrich et al wrote in 1997 about the changing role of HR practitioners in, Tomorrow’s HR Management. He indicated a set of new actions for the profession to survive in the future. We are 11 years into the new century and can we truly say we have made progress in our field? Let’s consider some of the questions Ulrich posed then:
What are the future deliverables from HR work? As HR professional participate more actively in the management of complex organisations, they will need to identify new deliverable from their work; they will need to play a clear role in operationalising what value they create and deliver to organisations.
Whatare the metaphors of the HR professional of the future? As words like partner become commonplace, new steps along the HR progression need to occur. HR professionals as players, pioneers, motivators, stewards and architects are some of the metaphors that might be considered.
What are the actions for the future HR professionals? Imagine a time log for a typical week of an HR professional today and again 5, 10 and 15 years in the future. What would be different? Where would they be spending time? What questions would they be asking?