Is your HR a black hole or a shining star?

A friend of mine went for a job interview a couple of years ago (he’s a senior web developer). He was a perfect fit skill-wise and salary-wise, and best of all the office of the prospective employer was just a 5-minute amble from where he lived.

It was looking good.

Until the moment where they said, quite seriously, “Our people are just here to work. We don’t expect you to play or enjoy yourself.”

It was a jaw-dropping moment for my friend. Needless to say, and even despite being between jobs, he turned their offer down. And I’m sure many other candidates did too, given that they continued to advertise the position for around six months. They were basically an HR black hole in a world where (most) employers recognise the value and importance of engaging their people and helping them shine.

The lesson here?

If you don’t believe in providing a culture or environment that people enjoy, expect to struggle with recruitment and retention. And to be blogged about.

What the future holds for HR

Let’s move on from black holes to bright futures.

I’m going to paraphrase a section I found of particular interest in the PricewaterhouseCoopers whitepaper on The future of work to 2020: By 2020 people management will present one of the greatest business challenges as radical changes in business models see the barriers between their employees’ home and work life disappear. Companies will need to take greater responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees.

PricewaterhouseCoopers also say that the role of HR will undergo a fundamental change. It will transform from what’s often perceived as ‘a passive, service-oriented function’ and go one of three ways (and I’m cherry-picking the one I want to talk about here). They believe that with a proactive mindset and focus on business strategy, HR will become the heart of the organisation. It will take on a new wider people remit incorporating and influencing many other aspects of the business.

So basically, HR will become even more people-centric. (Good luck doing that with conventional HR software.)

Why we believe in joy, excitement, curiosity and passion

In becoming people- rather than process- centric, employee and stakeholder engagement becomes a very real HR issue.

By nature, humans are curious and motivated to learn. We get excited and seek joy. And we function best we when have emotional connections – with other people, places, employers, and technology. Despite what some people think, we don’t just go to work to work.

So when we designed Jemini, we took our inspiration from sources such as movies, games and art. These are all activities which generate emotion, interaction, stimulation and passion.

Our objective has been to deliver a range of core functionality that provides more enjoyment and engagement for users. It meets the expectations we have set in place through the modern-day technologies which reflect how we interact in person (think SMS, Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Yammer etc) and on social media (think Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc). From its workflows, to notifications and employee profiles, Jemini’s been designed so you always know who you're interacting and collaborating with. This makes it easier to connect with each other to support and provide feedback or other ideas. The Jemini Support Exchange Platform lets your people seek, find and share – they can search for information, ask and answer questions and pool ideas. And as a nice touch, they can even earn points for providing useful answers to community questions!

Jemini has been conceptualised and built from scratch in conjunction with some amazing foundation clients, so it has native mobility and amazing UX at its core (no retrospective rehashes or facelifts to aging software here!)

However, what you probably don’t expect is how beautiful the experience of using Jemini is. It may be hard to imagine (so, yeah, call me to see it in person), but it’s a joy to interact with.

We’re set to shine. Are you?

By Christopher Radley

Jemini Executive Director 

Chris Radley