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McKinsey & Company: ‘Back to Human’

How has the pandemic changed expectations of HR? ‘Back to human‘ is the strapline for McKinsey & Company’s research on the implications for HR’s operating model.

‘Human’ of course, I get. ‘BACK to human’? The HR people I know have never lost sight of human. Ironically, a core dilemma for HR people has always been being seen as too human.

Their determination to remain human has meant more workload, but they care.

Our own report on HR’s reputation showed that clearly. HR people know the importance of being approachable, and engaging authentically and skilfully with stakeholders at all levels.

Their dilemma is that this isn’t always valued by business leaders. In my own corporate role I spent considerable time coaching and supporting my senior colleagues – focusing on their performance rather than mine. HR don’t get credit for that.

So, back to the research itself:

‘The vast majority of CHROs said they were eager to shift to a model we have come to call “back to human.”

The COVID-19 pandemic—which accelerated employee demands on HR to meet physical and mental health needs, as well as intensified moral concerns about a company’s overall impact on society—lent urgency to their view that some core human element has been lost in all these technological advancements.’

They want to see HR people:

‘Engage more directly and deeply with employees’

‘Let employees bring their ‘whole person’ to work’.

CHROs say they’re fed up with demands to reduce people costs, run more processes, and minimise contact.

Let’s embrace the opportunity here. Momentum is building.

Where are CEOs on this? What’s your CEO demanding from HR right now? Are you having the depth of conversation that you want to have with them?

Do get in touch for a confidential chat. I love to hear what’s going on for HR leaders, and share experiences and ideas from others.

Our 2021 Survey Report on HR’s Reputation has answers as well as insights.

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