HR as Employee Sponsor in ABW Programs


In my previous blog about why ABW is good business for HR, I mentioned three new roles that HR professionals need to assume in this changing world of work: A Strategic Partner, An Employee Sponsor, and a Change Mentor. 

Taking the second of these, I’ll explain more about what it means for HR as Employee Sponsor.

Advocacy of people

As an employee sponsor, HR professionals play an integral role in organisational success via their knowledge about, and advocacy of people. This advocacy includes expertise in how to create a work environment in which people will choose to be motivated, contributing, and happy. As mentioned in my previous blog I have quite some experience in different HR roles in a large multinational company. One of the tools we used at that time to discover what motivates people were yearly employee satisfaction surveys followed by deep dives and action plans on team levels. Although even though improvements were achieved over time, if we had of considered all the feedback, and created a new way of working that was aligned to the desired behaviours and business needs, we would have designed a workplace with purpose that would have been so much more powerful and effective.

Ownership for employees

The employee sponsor fosters effective methods of objective setting, communication and empowerment, and builds employee ownership of the organisation. In doing so HR helps to establish the organisational culture and climate in which people have the competency, concern, and commitment to serve customers well. When people can work from anywhere, anytime and with whoever they want these topics become even more important. How do you make sure people are measured on output and not on presence? How do you maintain a sense of team if people are not physically together every day? How do you develop the competency of people to work in a new way? ABW programs provide the opportunity to address all these topics and embed them in your organisational culture.

A multitude of roles

There are lots of opportunities as an employee sponsor, and other roles & responsibilities include looking after:

  • talent management strategies
  • employee development opportunities
  • employee mentor programs
  • organisation development interventions
  • employee complaints and problem-solving, and
  • regularly scheduled communication opportunities

Success in ABW programs

Our way at Veldhoen + Company, of co-developing an ABW project for an organisation is to involve the users in the concept development. This not only leads to a better concept, it also educates and trains your people to become your change champions. A well-developed and well-implemented activity based way of working will improve the productivity and satisfaction of your people, which leads to higher talent retention rates and encourages talent attraction. When done well, the development and implementation of an activity based way of working will in itself drive transformation and better business outcomes.

In summary

HR professionals have an essential role in transforming any organisation, and HR as Employee Sponsor is just one of them. In my next blog I’ll explain more about the next role and what it means to be a Change Mentor.

If you would like to know more about what ABW can do for your team and your organisation, give me a call or drop me an email using my contact details below.

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