Adding HR Skills to the Mix

For years, we have lived with no official HR person. This is pretty unusual for an office of over 70 employees, but hey, we aren’t a usual company; after all, who else is investing in a team of 3 full-time employees fully dedicated to transforming our culture? We thought this profile could help us and we decided to include it in our Kaizen team, and for that, we found the ideal person, her name is A.

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The main responsibilities of A are still the typical ones that an HR is expected to do but on top of that, she is part of the Kaizen team.

In the Kaizen team, we do our best so that everyone in this company feels empowered and informed enough to be the best at their jobs. No matter how many processes we put in place or how many tools we can use, at the end of the day, there are always people behind it. Our focus is on people and finding ways for everyone to be safe and free to make good judgment calls and to improve their work continuously.

To that end, working with people is essential, from building teams to their development and growth. This is why we do our best to find frameworks that enable this philosophy, and these include management models, appraisal processes, training and hiring among others. HR brings expertise in all these fields. A doesn’t only help us to stay within the law but also advises when designing and implementing a lot of these ideas to make sure people are considered carefully and respected. We use her experience to anticipate possible outcomes and ensure a positive effect in the long term. At the same time, she can represent Barcelona office in the Global HR organisation to make sure our culture and model are considered in their approach as well as keeping an eye on the competition and the talent market, to make sure we stay competitive.

Since our teams are self-managed, she doesn’t need to get involved in vacation approvals, team assignments or any of those things where she would just be a bottleneck, adding seldom value. That gives her more time to focus on the really important stuff such as making sure all of the above is possible and defining global strategies for motivation, engagement, recruiting and retention.

It took a while for everyone to understand this configuration? always. Are we convinced this was the right configuration? Completely. And when is not, we’ll change it.

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