Disrupting HR To Rebuild (Part 1)
When May 25 arrives and the “disruptors” start to take the stage at Cayman’s – and the Caribbean’s – first “DisruptHR” event, the staid world of human resources may suddenly look a lot more interesting.
In a video introducing Cayman’s conference at the Harquail Theatre recently, HR maniac “Tim” encounters an underfed, wan-looking woman leaning against a locker in a back room, staring at her phone.
“You know what the problem is here?” he challenges her, shouting “You care less about this company than even your employees do.”
She continues to stare at her phone, resisting his insistence. Hitting the metal locker, he demands: “Pay attention!” He reflects in a stern aside that “it’s not going to be easy; it’s not going to be pretty” to fix her problems.
He renews the rant: “There’s a reason you’re failing,” he says, finally making eye contact as she breaks away from the telephone, “You’re not directing them.”
At last responding, she turns with a cry of desperation: “Yeah … I need to fire them.”
Like TV’s “Bar Rescue” hero Jon Taffer, savior of more than 600 food and beverage outlets across the U.S., Tim pampers no one and accepts no excuses: “I’ll do whatever it takes to turn these companies around.”
Only 19 seconds long, the video is captivating, and offers an advance taste of what “DisruptHR” hopes to offer.
Subtitled “The Rebellious Future of HR,” the conference on May 25 and 26 is advertised as “an information exchange designed to energize, inform and empower executives, business leaders and people in the HR field.”
Chris Bailey, vice president of the Cayman Islands Society of Human Resources Professionals and of recruitment agency CML Offshore Recruitment, is organizing the meeting. He says the business of HR is undergoing a sea change.
“HR [or] human capital consulting personnel and the host of other names this department is called has gone through a massive overhaul in the last ten years.” He recognizes that the public image of HR has not served it well, and the time is right to, well, disrupt old ideas.
“People want to work for cool companies, but what makes a company cool?” he asks, acknowledging that while a brand like Google or Apple is appealing – “would you turn down a job at Google or Apple?” – it is “the people [in the workplace] that make a company cool.
“The people define the culture and the experience you have daily. The companies that have the lowest turnover and highest engagement levels frequently tend to have the most dedicated workforce, all working towards making the company great. The heart of that machine is a finely tuned HR practice.”
“DisruptHR,” he says, is built on the belief that the way we have approached people and talent in the past won’t be the best way to approach [them] in the future.
“Are you ready to start talking about talent in a whole new way?” the DisruptHR brochure asks. “DisruptHR is for you.”
A company’s internal departments – marketing, IT, research, facilities and accounts, for example – need to be, if not subsidiary to HR, continually mindful of HR’s function and what it is trying to achieve, Bailey says.
“Everyone needs to understand the strategic direction and the vision to know why they are doing what they do and how they can help achieve that goal.
“They also have to believe in that goal,” he says, underscoring the need for a “buy-in” from every employee.
“That, my friend, is what makes HR sexy,” Bailey says, using a description all too rarely related with “HR.”
“HR is dull if it is not part of making the above happen. If HR is simply about making sure payroll, time sheets, healthcare, and pensions are filled in correctly, then it is just an administration task, and companies are missing the whole point of what HR can really do.”
DisruptHR has proven to be a globally moveable feast, so popular that it is scheduled to assemble in 28 cities on three continents during the spring, summer and fall. Immediately preceding Cayman, gatherings will take place in Calgary (Alberta, Canada), Philadelphia, Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada), and Phoenix. Then the sessions will move to New York, Edmonton and London, eventually visiting locations in Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, Lyon and Belgium.
With more than 70 speakers listed as a wide sampling of the quality of participants, DisruptHR also taps local companies and professionals for each market.
Bailey expects “at least 200 of the island’s HR superheroes” will attend the Harquail conference, “and we have even started attracting registrations from Canada and the other Caribbean islands.”
Written by Tod Stoner
Originally posted on journal.ky
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.