In fact, HR, for all the jokes about it being run by the ‘fun police’ and the ‘by-the-bookers’, is starting to properly challenge how workplaces should look. Whether it’s taking a more active role in protecting employees’ mental health or looking at how office space is designed – and even querying how the organisational hierarchy is set-up – some HR departments are just as open to breaking and shaking rather than blocking and stopping.
This new HR ethos broadly aligns with the mindset of John Athanasiou, Director of People at the UK arm of US publishing giant HarperCollins. Despite working in a very traditional industry, Athanasiou has actively challenged recruitment practises, leadership mindset and cultural practise to re-imagine how diversity and inclusion works. He spoke exclusively to HR Grapevine for this month’s cover feature to explain how he did it and what he hopes it will drive.
In keeping with this tradition-breaking output: we look at where HR has been going wrong when it comes to driving engagement (and how to get better at it); the different schemes forward-thinking HR functions are implementing to protect the mental health of their employees; and why HR needs to embrace failure.
As ever, enjoy.
Daniel Cave - Head of Content