What Are Transformational HR Practices and How To Implement Them


As companies adopt new technologies to automate their processes, it’s freed up time and space for HR departments to rethink their roles and move HR into a new era.

What is Transformational HR?

Transactional VS Transformational HR Practices

Traditional HR is mostly transactional. It is more concerned with maintaining the day-to-day mechanics of a company handling matters such as payroll, recruitment, employment policies and benefits, or managing employee disputes.
It’s important to clarify that Transformational HR still encompasses traditional HR – there’s still plenty of form-filling to be done – yet increasingly, HR involves engaging with people, and ensuring that employees’ attitudes and behaviours align with what’s necessary to achieve business goals.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational HR practices are part of the wider approach of transformational leadership. Transformational leadership acknowledges that your workforce isn’t simply there to carry out orders. Their greatest potential is unlocked when leaders recognise individuality and inspire employees to simultaneously feel connected with and stimulated by their work. Transformational leadership inspires proactivity in the workforce and as a result, helps to drive you faster towards your business goals.
Since HR is concerned with the “Human”, it has a vital part to play in instigating and propagating transformational leadership practices.

4 Top Transformational HR Practices

1. Understand and connect with people

Since transformational HR recognises the individual, your first step is to understand the personalities that comprise your workforce. Each of your employees will have different personality traits, different motivators and drivers, and different values that inspire their actions and behaviour.
Understanding each of your employees on this level is a huge task and one that gets bigger as your workforce expands.
The Symanto Consumer Personality Traits API is a fascinating tool that was initially developed to assess the personality traits of customers, but it can be just as easily applied to employees as well.
Symanto uses AI technology to read between the lines of written text and uncover key traits about the author.
Find out whether your employees are emotionally or rationally driven. What are their communication style preferences? Use this information to discover what motivates them, and apply this knowledge to improve communication.

2. Encourage Open Dialogue

Speaking of improved communication, transformational HR facilitates two-way discussions between management and employees and aims to level out the playing field so that all parties feel that they are heard, valued and active members of the company.
For example, it’s not only paramount that they clearly and thoroughly understand your business strategy, but it’s equally important that they feel able to contribute and have a say in the specifics.
Transformative HR acknowledges that in order to feel a commitment to your company, employees must feel involved in the business.
As well as commitment and engagement, employees will repay you with vital insights into the running of your business that may be otherwise overlooked. After all, your employee’s collective knowledge of your business spans every process.
HR can manage this open dialogue by creating environments where employees feel able to speak up. For example, instead of a weekly team meeting where employees sit back and take notes, hold guided brainstorming sessions.
You may also want to reconsider your internal communication methods. If you’re still using email as your primary method of internal communication, you need to up your game and start using tools to make communication more collaborative.

3. Analyse Data

Switch in annual employee engagement surveys for smaller, more specific and more regular pulse surveys to keep abreast of how employees feel about your business strategy and any changes implemented. As they say, prevention is better than cure, so if your employees are dissatisfied it’s best to find out and act on it straight away.
While the idea of sending out and analysing more surveys might sound overwhelming, it needn’t be. The Symanto Insights Platform is connected to popular survey platforms SurveyMonkey and Typeform so that you can easily and quickly analyse survey data by sentiment and topic.
With the Symanto Insights Platform, you can make the most of open-ended questions and qualitative data so that employees can speak openly about their concerns and experience as opposed to being limited to multiple-choice questions.
The Symanto Insights Platform also makes it easy to analyse big data, meaning that you don’t necessarily need to use surveys to garner opinions and sentiment. The Symanto Insights Platform can analyse any form of textual data including emails, phone transcripts, GlassDoor reviews, and read between the lines to find out more about employees honest opinions without being directly asked.

4. Informing and Consulting Management

The final transformational HR practice is to effectively inform and consult management. While HR might not lead transformation in your organisation it plays a vital role in the process.
HR reviews the impact of changes on the workforce, and as a result, it has insight into what’s working and what still needs work. Management must be open to being guided, coordinated and consulted by HR in order to effect transformational leadership.
Symanto APIs and the Symanto Insights Platform are useful tools to help implement transformational HR practices in your company. To find out more, get in touch or book a free personalised demonstration.