Meet the talented and passionate Kasper Kajgaard who kick started his career with us at HR-ON in june 2017. In this interview he shares his thoughts on HR-ON’s culture and a little more about his interests.
What is your name?
Kasper Urban Kajgaard
What is your current position?
Consultant and Account manager
When did you join the company?
1.st of june 2017
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being surrounded with humorous, bright and nice people, and feeling like you matter to them.
Of course It’s nice to be part of a company that values its employees and where you feel like what you do matters both for the company and the clients, but in my opinion the most enjoyable aspect about working at HR-ON is the companionship between the colleagues.
The open and inclusive work culture is also a big plus because at HR-ON you get to develop your own job function and explore your skills and interests.
How would you describe your job to a child?
I help people understand how they can or sometimes should build with their Lego bricks.
If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?
With no intention to sound complacent, I dare say I am pleased with my life and with the person that I am, but if I had to choose whom to be for a day, I would choose to be my dad.
I am about to become a father myself and I would like the chance to see how it is to be a dad for two grown up sons. Furthermore, recently he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and I would like to get a first point of view of his struggles, how he is experiencing the world, and exactly how much this affects him.
What are the top 5 most-used apps on your phone?
Chrome, Messenger, YouTube, Instagram, Camera.
What do you do for fun in your free time?
I like playing and exploring games with other people, both digital and board games. I enjoy reading comics too. Else, anything creative is right down my alley.
What is your favorite food?
Spicy and preferably vegetarian like pakistani food. I have to admit though that I have a HUGE heart for burgers 😀
What does success mean to you?
Succeeding in unity with others. For me, I think the most important thing about success is that it can be shared.
What is on your bucket list?
Bring children into the world and see them enjoy it while caring for it.
This might sound a bit cheesy but for a long time my dream has been to start a family and have children. I want to pass along a lot of lessons I learned through the years and my joy for life.
At the same time I want to bring children in this world that are raised well so they can contribute to making the world a better place.
If you could learn to do anything, what would that be?
I would like to learn cabinetmaking and other wood workery.
If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
Superman – I enjoy helping people.
What is all the hype around diversity and inclusion? Is there an increase in focus on fewer opportunities for some, or equal opportunities for everyone?
What exactly is the meaning of diversity in the workplace?
Does it pay off from a business perspective to focus on diversity and integration?
These are some questions that might be on your mind when talking about diversity. Let’s break it down into smaller pieces.
The employees have their own set of skills which are attained through studies and experience, as well as through their personal and professional background, all of which will affect their work perspective in certain ways.
On a personal level we are talking amongst others about ethnicity, country of origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or disabilities. The second level is the professional diversity that includes amongst others academic background, career path, industry background, personality type and thinking style.
All of these traits and experiences are accumulated over time and give candidates unique perspectives and skills that come in handy when the company wishes to increase creativity and develop innovative solutions. That being said, employers are not defined by their background, but rather enriched by it.
Integration can be designed as an ongoing process in which all the qualified bidders are taken in consideration and where the focus lies on giving everyone a fair, unbiased chance and not concentrating on excluding some or stop hiring and promoting the typical profile.
Inclusion is shifting attention towards bringing people in as a substitute for keeping people out.
A workplace that focuses on a culture that is accepting of diverse profiles and that includes everyone is on their way of designing the job environment for the future workforce.
This is done by designing a workplace where employers can all have lunch together, make company activities so people interact with each other beyond work tasks and be aware of the employers work-life balance.
Look beyond culture fit when hiring for new positions. By looking for someone who will compliment your work culture you end up having a fresh mindset that will improve and bring new insights to your team. Teams created by like minded employers with a similar cultural heritage and educational background tend to become homogeneous thus making growth and development a slow process.
It all starts with the leadership
Include training in cultural awareness, diversity and inclusion. Set guidelines that will ensure the implementation of processes that support and embrace diversity in the workplace.
Measure the progress of the inclusion efforts with the help of analytics. There are relatively easy options to help eliminate bias from inclusion and diversity processes. Analytics help identify and minimise unconscious prejudice throughout the HR departments.
The first step in combating bias is to be aware of it. Once recruiters become aware of this, they will be more likely to screen for a broader candidate base.
Optimize the hiring process so it is based solely on merit and not cultural heritage, race or simply a name that sounds foreign, and continue with the career advancement processes in promotions and leadership development. Focus on these issues and give a fair chance to all candidates and therefore enhance employee involvement and give them a memorable employee experience.
Business value in diversity
There is revenue to be gained by D&I. The benefits are numerous, starting with increased creativity and innovation. A recent BCG study shows that companies with a diverse leadership have 19% higher revenue. This is the result of a diverse team that will inspire each other and come up with more diverse solutions to the company’s problems.
Creativity is broken loose, more innovative solutions come on the table, you get a competitive advantage and the employees are engaged and motivated to do their job knowing that their actions are acknowledged and they have a fair chance of advancement. As a result you get a positive reputation which enhances your talent pool.
–for those curious minds a talent pool is a database where hr managers keep all their top job candidates.–
The only offset is that it takes time and engagement to change the way things have been working out so far, and naturally the beginning might be rocky, so keep at it if you want to see results.
We are facing a accelerating globalisation and advancement in technology and access to education. Therefore the future of the talent pool is expected to grow in the future, in fact, according to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
“the number of young people aged 25-34 with a tertiary qualification increased by nearly 45% between 2005 and 2013 in OECD and G20 countries and is expected to keep increasing in the coming decade”.
Though migration may make a difference in where the future workforce will come from, the OECD predicts that the individuals with a higher education in the working age population from the EU countries is likely to increase from 26% in 2015 to 34% .”
By 2030 more than 60% of science, technology, engineering and mathematics(STEM) educated young people will come from non OECD countries mainly India and China.
The social enterprise concept has regained momentum. In 2018, Deloitte published their Global Human Capital Trends stressing the importance of corporate citizenship. It is time we take a closer look at this concept.
What does ‘social enterprise’ mean?
The core of a social enterprise is defined by the term ‘citizenship’. Citizenship in its original sense grants an individual the rights of a person that is “born in a particular country” whilst fulfilling moral obligations that result from being a member of a society. So, in a business context, enterprises – as a member of society – are expected to behave in a responsible manner. Increasing stakeholder expectations, regarding the support of critical societal problems, demonstrate this trend quite clearly.
A social enterprise uses its influence on society in a positive way by addressing issues, such as global warming, diversity or gender equal pay. As you can see, topics that are usually tackled in the political domain are being transferred to a business context as well.
And how does it work?
According to Josh Bersin, who is part of the team that researched and published the Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2018, there are two main characteristics of a social enterprise: being a ‘networked organisation’ internally whilst having a high focus on the impact each member of the company has on its external environment.
This sounds all very well, but what are the benefits of a social enterprise, especially when a CSR program is already in place?
The difference between those two terms can already be found in their wording: a social enterprise incorporates responsible behaviour in all its actions throughout the entire organisation – from interns to C-suite. A CSR program on the other hand, is a plan that is put into place and does not necessarily impact the behaviour throughout the entire organisation.
Well, what are the benefits?
In the beginning a number of issues has been mentioned that are expected to be tackled by social enterprises, e.g. gender equal pay. The fact that these problems have become a matter of public discussion shows a trend towards transparency. A company acting with integrity can only benefit from being transparent.
Closely related to the trend towards transparency is the growing economic importance of the Generation Y. Millennials are informed and aware consumers that show a strong tendency to define corporate citizenship as a decisive factor in their decision-making process before purchasing a product. With millennials representing 35% of the workforce until 2020 and a spending power of nearly $15tn by 2020, this is a competitive advantage which shows great potential for future growth. A social enterprise serves customer and employer branding at the same time. Amongst others, this is a reason why an increased financial performance appears to be linked to corporate citizenship.
How can all this be put into practice?
A social enterprise focusses internally on supporting the well-being of its employees and reward systems can be put in place, for example. By allowing employees to further develop their skills, and thereby encouraging them to reinvent themselves, a pool of unstopped talent can be created. To serve the external world, company goals and projects targeting social problems do not exclude each other. All in all remembering that we are living in a connected world in which all technological advances cannot replace a human touch.
Money doesn’t buy happiness, they say. Even if this may sound strange to some people, this is also the case for employee happiness. We know that happiness has an essential role in shaping the company’s productivity, performance, and job market outcome. Likewise, employee loyalty is necessary as well, and it is easy to lose. Therefore, underestimating the power of both could be counterproductive for your company.
Why is reward so important?
First, we need to consider how much the fact of being employed (or self-employed) is important for everybody. In fact, employment has a huge impact on our entire lives. Even if we tend to divide work and private life, being employed (and thus, not unemployed) affects our social status, our interpersonal relationships, our life-goals and our daily structure. The type of employment does not matter, in this case.
BEING REWARDED IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS AND LOYALTY IN THE WORKPLACE
Since employment is so essential in our lives, we cannot deny that it has an important impact on our happiness, as well. And the best way to be happy about the job and about the company itself is to be rewarded.
The reward that an employer can give to the employees can usually be assigned to four different areas: benefits, compensation, recognition, and appreciation. The first two are the most common and “easy”, because they are based on a material reward, such as a promotion, a commission or a raise.
But recognition and appreciation are much more relevant for the happiness and loyalty factors.
They are, in fact, low-cost but they can give an high-return in the long-term performance of both the employee and the company.
RECOGNITION AND APPRECIATION MATTER
Recognition consists in the acknowledgment of the accomplishments achieved by the person. So, for example, when the employee reaches the sales-target, and they get their commissions, it is essential to recognize their effort and dedication as well. This can be done in a million ways, depending on your company. If you have a newsletter, you can use it to underline the success of the employee, or you can reward them with a day off to spend with their families or to relax. The reward can be something specific to the person, according to their interests and hobbies.
Appreciation, instead, means simply the expression of gratitude.
Words matter so much, and a “thank you” is much more effective than anything else.
It is important to make the employee feel appreciated for believing in the company and for dedicating their talent. In this way, they will be loyal to the company and to its culture.
CULTURE, NOT MONEY
Several studies report that, with higher salaries employees tend to take more notice and put more importance to company culture and values. Priorities change together with the salary, and this must be considered.
When the corporate culture is clear to every employee, and when every business decision is acknowledged by taking the values in consideration, then it is easier to gain the trust of the employees and to have them loyal to the company.
Culture simply makes people feel like they are part of a family, of a real and bigger project.
It can be the motivation to coordinate their efforts and behavior towards a proper vision, which will be beneficial for your company. Having a strong, unifying corporate culture can make the difference for employees’ happiness and productivity.
At every stage, nurturing the company culture and values is always profitable. The happier the employees feel the more loyal to the company they are. Consider this huge advantage and make your employees happy, you won’t regret it!
Good employer branding comes from letting your employees take ownership of the brand. Making them feel happy to go to work and to find pride in the work they do. This is how you build the foundation for furthering your brand through your employees’ ambition. By giving them the freedom and means to showcase their pride in the brand and thereby making your workplace desirable for future employees and even consumers.
This optimal scenario can be reached in many different ways but the most important thing is to find out what drives your employees. What makes them wake up every morning and look forward to going to work. And of course to realize that different employees and departments within your organization can have very different reasons to work for the brand.
Expanding the brand from within
One of the big factors in creating the environment for that kind of passion is of course to have a clear definition of the company brand and to communicate that message to the employees. To not only have a clear picture of what we do and how the brand achieves its goals but why we’re in the business that we’re in – The big why?
Giving your employees structure and a certain freedom to work within that structure is also important. Once your employees have shown that they can work well within that framework, the next step is to show them that they’ve earned your trust and you can expand your boundaries and give them more freedom to further the brand even more.
The employee effect
The platforms you can make available for your employees to showcase the brand come in all shapes and sizes. The one closest to home is your website which gives you lots of possibilities to showcase the company culture and the talents that work for the company. Whether it’s you about, job or blog page, make sure that they have an easy access and a well-designed home to brag about.
Once you have these things in place you can start to “spread the love” as we say and share your content. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat are all good social media platforms and will help you to reach a lot of people. When that is said, it doesn’t mean that your brand has to be present on all of them. The trick is to know your target audience and where to find them. To know what makes them tick and communicate accordingly.
When you have created the right foundation for your brand and taken the needs of your employees in consideration the passion takes over. Work will be just fun & play and you can start to build whatever your heart desires.