In recent months, we have been following a company where we have been impressed by how engaged the company’s CEO is, how he blogged and posted on internal social media every day. Every day you could see where he was going, what topics concerned him, and what was going through his head. In addition, he posted articles from various media channels about the topics of leadership, management, corporate culture, change management, and work – most of these set in the context of his own company. We were enthusiastic!

What gave us the most pause, however were three things – whereby the third point in particular caused us to reflect and discuss:

  1. There were no real reactions from the thousands of employees worldwide.
  2. Many employees told us that they did not read what he wrote.
  3. Why are such articles and posts written by the CEO and not by the Personnel Department? Or why, at least, is HR not visible behind the posts?

We kept returning to this last point. What kind of role does HR play at most companies and what kind of role should HR play? HR must redesign itself from scratch. Administration of personnel data is one part, personnel development is another, of course – both are very important, but still not enough. Especially given current changes with digitalization, changed ways of working, agile project management methods, and mobility, HR must regard itself as an organizational developer, as well as a consultant, mentor, and coach for work and leadership methods. HR must take on the role of a designer. This designing should make active changes in structures, communication, and ways of working. Such changes might include:

  • Transformation of the organization to flat hierarchies,
  • Deployment of community managers at the company to network with one another,
  • Complementing of workspaces with lounges, outdoor benches, and creative spaces,
  • Communication via internal social media about leadership, new work methods, change management, and trends,
  • Additional training and coaching about topics such as design thinking, agile project management, leadership of mobile teams.

It’s good to note that these are just our ideas and they could be delved into in more depth. What we want to make clear here is that we have reached a point where organizations and the ways in which they work have changed so drastically that HR must play its role as expert in the HUMAN area at the organization and incorporate itself proactively. These are such expansive topics that HR must now become involved proactively in the company’s organizational development and take on responsibility for this. A personnel management department must now transform itself into an organizational management department. Today’s personnel professionals should no longer fear employees and try to make everything right for everybody. No, they should appear with confidence and take changes in hand. And here the focus is not just on theories and concepts – no, here doers are called for!

Posts and blogs by the CEO like the ones mentioned above should in the future be made by the personnel management department, possibly together with the CEO.