The Moses sole fish. Unlike anything you have seen before, flat on one side, rounded on the other, silver and black as two sides of a coin. With one eye and a set of gills on one side. As with everything extraordinary, legend precedes it. Moses was parting the red sea and the fish was cut in half. Would sound logical but it's a legend. The fish, on the other hand, is truly unique. It spends its day buried in the sand with only its eye and nostril visible.
The state of HR in Egypt
As is the case globally, there is an urgent need to reframe HR in Egypt. HR is estimated to be spending 86% of its time on administrative and operational work, much like the moses sole fish buried in the sand all day.
The COVID pandemic has thrown challenges towards people and organizations, and employee experience has come to the forefront. HR in Egypt is struggling to step away from the rigidity of functional silos.
The need of the hour - To equip employees to be much more flexible, adaptive and project-oriented. As they grapple with uncertainty and a digital boom, the mean time between change has shrunk while practices still remain rigid. Organizations that break the mold will be the first to garner new age success as they would be more efficiently aligned to meet business objectives. Survival of the fittest would require mean time between responses to be less than mean time between change; otherwise multiple layers of accelerated change will leave an organization’s culture stale and reactive.
The choice is to move and change. But where and in what dimension is the question. This article lists the options to focus on and the roadmap for change
How does one start?
A very good start will be to define the organizational objective. The goal post, once set, defines the paths to take and the priorities to focus on. What’s the goal post for most organizations?
Business growth with focus on human-centric values. The concept of human-centricity is all-encompassing, be it employees, customers, investors and stakeholders. A human-centric approach assures the steadiest path to reach an organization’s goals.
Where does one start changing values to a human-centric approach? Of course with your own employees.
To build for fungibility, to manage change with resilience, to keep moving under all odds, to achieve where others fall off, requires organizational mindset to clear the decks to weigh in on actional plans towards the 4 listed areas:
- Clear the clutter
- Build resilience in the organization for change
- Make HR as a horizontal function
- Define a project based approach
The foremost is to clear the clutter to be more effective.
1. Clearing the clutter :
With 86% of work that can be automated, the effectiveness of HR in Egypt can be increased rapidly. Technology is the key to clear the clutter.
Technology selection is however a challenge. You have expensive software with a lot of complexity built 20 years back, selling at high prices, requiring 6 months implementation cycles, which in this rapidly changing environment, no one can afford. On the other hand, there are integrated platforms like peopleHum built-for-scale on the cloud, for quick implementation and hassle-free onboarding, without the need for expensive consultants. Priced to sell, value can be immediately derived by acquiring such platforms which also provides the benefit of insights, AI-driven automation, and a one-view across levels & functions in your organization.
The ability to automate in one place and get pre-emptive insights to fix any issues or gaps in your enterprise can prove invaluable to set you on a digital transformation path.
The tech platform you select will form the base of your transformation and will increase productivity by upto 60% if processes, workflows and automation is implemented across your organization, freeing up HR from 86% of the work.
In remote work conditions, an HR service desk is unsustainable, so leveraging conversational intelligence technology to answer most of employee questions will provide for further engagement and savings. Powered by Docusense technology, PHIA chatbot from peopleHum does not require you to load up your FAQ’s. Just load all your policies and the bot self-learns and is ready to take over your help desk in seconds.
New age leverage has never been this effective and useful, and organizations not opting for such options will struggle to compete with progressive organizations that do select to change.
Such investments grow productivity, eliminate the need to hire IT to maintain, make collaboration and communication easier, and make conversations based on data-driven insights leading to shorter resolve times and increased efficiency. They are not used to cut fat but to make the current HR in Egypt more productive and aligned to what their true purpose is rather than becoming data scrubbers, administrators and information handlers.
2. Build resilience in the organization for change :
The first and foremost aspect of resilience is to define the Reason for being. Why are we together? What is the purpose of our journey? What is the destination?
Empowered teams execute better than top-down driven teams. When fear overrides and trust in maturity of your team is shaken, then processes intervene to mitigate risk. Allow the flexibility to make mistakes and educate on risk and ownership.
Allow for mistakes
Psychological safety is a very important aspect of overcoming the fear of failure. Allow for mistakes and failure. That would set the tone. Clearly communicate your non-negotiables, the rest is fair game.
Leaders typically become myopic on purpose and do not add the special touch. The team wants to get a glimpse of the leader as a human that is courageous, will back them up and stand up in a storm. Tough decisions and tough questions set the stage but compassion and EQ lead the way. Caring is knowing your people, the personal behind the professional veneer. When a leader connects deeper, it is a stronger, more meaningful connection. Strive for social.
Most leaders live in their images and fear of cracking the mirror leads them to be low on EQ. Silence in times of sorrow or joy, creates the impressions of high-handedness and aloofness. Not caring leads to a moat that no one crosses when things get murky and emotional. The inability of leaders to acknowledge that at the core, humans are emotionally driven by their fears, desires and sympathies. The workplace is not for automatons but is filled with rich emotions. Tap into those by connecting, understanding and nurturing, and productivity is no longer a worry.
Build for learning
Curiosity is the most important element for moving forward. Analysis paralysis due to fear is the single most important factor that acts as a speed breaker. Build a learning organization, encourage shared learnings, seek and provide feedback and facilitate discovery into the unknown.
3. Human Resources as a horizontal function :
Most organizations operate in silos. The most difficult aspect of power centers built in buckets is the inability to gauge and collaborate. The power of the team depends on the glue of open communications, honest feedback and collaborative communications.
The human resources role for long has been turned into a data function based more on entry and exits and not focussed enough on how people feel. The basic question needs to change from what do you think to what do you feel?
The moment organizations set their Human Resource professionals free to understand and help people succeed, the organization will succeed. Human resource departments traditionally are used to watch and report and the decision for remediation is held elsewhere. When empowered, Human Resources can become the catalyst for improved connections, greater collaboration, increased connections and better business results.
Free Egyptian HR from being administrators, concierge desks, question-answerers, and accountants working with data. Unleash the power of your human resource department’s listening and you would have taken the first steps on building an exemplary organization driven by the people.
4. Define a project-based approach :
The edge of innovation is experimentation. Experimentation can only be performed as projects. Systemic innovation is process based and incremental. Till your ideation engine is churning and you have ideas that are being constantly tested, you will cease to grow to higher heights.
A project-based approach is the underlying basis for experimentation and trying out “stuff”. Coupled with psychological safety, providing a security net against failure, a collaborative and communicative approach and a set purpose, the project-based approach will move your organization forward. The better you are in these elements, the smoother the growth and innovation engines will be.
There are next generation platforms that are focussed on helping your organization break the silos, understand your people, align them, assign them projects and enable the fabric of collaboration to drive success meaningfully.
New age platforms like peopleHum are designed for just this aspect. They enable you to define purpose and implement a vision with a set of goals and OKR’s, measure against these using continuous performance evaluation or project based evaluations, reward employees for exemplary work with Rewards and recognition, open up doors for ideas using ideation and hire the talent that is best aligned for your organization.
Additionally, ChatHum, core HR and Phia enable human resource departments to become more productive, by focusing on EQ, listening and understanding people, while the system drives collaborations, notifications and communications.
Enable your employees to communicate, collaborate, and focus on resilience and productivity through a unique approach focused on experience design. All for a value equation for the Egyptian market priced in Egyptian Pounds that is hard to beat.
No wonder a plethora of companies of all sizes and partners, integrators and consultants are flocking to peopleHum to drive the future of cloud based human capital platforms in markets like Egypt.
Reach out to us to hear our story and how we can help your organization align and transform into the organization of the future.