You are right, human resources needs a revolution. As a member of the corporate HR community, it’s a daily battle to fight for the future of my discipline. The ingredients that are missing is courage and vision. HR has fallen into a rut where we work primarily on problems that have already happened. We spend our time focusing on exit interviews, talking about the employees that got away when we should be talking about the future. Our focus must not just be the future of HR, but the future of our companies and how HR needs to evolve to support the journey to that future.
I understand your comments about process, software and compliance. However, these are all tools that are critical to HR. The problem is that we aren’t applying these tools to the right issues or pursuits. Crowdsourcing is a process that may require both technology and compliance components within it–but you won’t get that far of it you don’t have the vision and courage to try it or explore it.
Crowdsourcing at it’s most basic form operates on the assumption that the wisdom and resources of many is better than the wisdom and resources of one. In fairness to HR, we all have at least some very basic understanding of the concept because employee referral programs are a rudimentary form of crowdsourcing.
For HR to make crowdsourcing work internally, they need to understand that their role is to create the mechanism to unlock the potential of employees and customers, but that the best applications of this power may not be only towards HR problems. Here’s a couple of ideas:
- Create a contest open to all employees to submit proposals for new products or services the company could develop or offer to their customers. If one of the ideas is selected, that employee or team of employees gets bonus money or a percentage of the products first couple years of profits.
- Launch a website where employees could post and discuss new benefit offerings that they think would be positive for employees. The organization could choose one each quarter to actually launch to employees.
- Create a youtube coorporate page where employees can film their own amateur 30 second commercials for the company. One of those could be selected to be a part of the companies advertising campaign, either on TV or a web promotion.
HR should be the group that brings the “idea” and “execution” of this concept to the table. They should be able to outline a process to make this happen. The company has no lack of problems where this could be a solution.