In bullfighting there is a term called querencia. The querencia is the spot or space in the ring to which the bull returns time and time again. Individual bulls have a different querencia, but as the bullfight continues, and the animal becomes more threatened, it returns more and more often to this spot. The importance of this action is that each time the ferocious bull returns to his querencia; he becomes more predictable and consequentially, the matador has a competitive advantage because of this predictability. The bull can thus easily be defeated as instead of trying something new to attempt to defeat the matador, it returns to what is familiar; his comfort zone or querencia.
The reason for the introduction above, is that increasingly we are observing companies continuing to formulate Reward, Benefits, Retention and Compensation Policies which were applicable to the workforce in the past – but certainly not the future. They are returning to their querencia rather than accepting that the workplace, and the policies governing it, has changed and will change even more dramatically in the next few years.
We are of the opinion this is like a binary option – there are only two outcomes. Either HR will be relegated to an unimportant operational role OR HR will become an important strategic partner.
However, to become a strategic partner, a mind shift is required – do not return to the querencia by doggedly persisting with the current outdated HR practices and policies. PwC in their report “The future of work” discovered that despite HR believing that 20% of their employees would be independent workers by 2020, less than 33% of employers were basing their strategies on the emergence of the Gig Economy. This presents HR with an amazing opportunity to guide and counsel management thereby proving their strategic value.
Each company, sector and industry is unique and the Gig Economy will affect each in a very different manner. There is therefore no panacea or magic bullet to guide HR professionals however operational factors which must be implemented would include inter alia:
The Gig Economy will be demanding for HR professionals however if they are to play a strategic role in this new and exciting future, they cannot return to their querencia. Further, this is an ideal opportunity for HR professionals to elevate their position from a transactional role to a strategic partner of the Exco.
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