Today’s workforce is unfortunately more disengaged than ever. Perhaps it is because of the generational shift from boomers to millennials, or maybe because people are generally disenchanted with our changing society — whether it’s the effect of politics, government, religion, healthcare or the environment.

Many employees are skeptical of their leaders, influenced by what they see or read in the media. Honestly I don’t blame them. It has become a very tumultuous and confusing time in our country. This is why we need to work even harder to unleash true potential in the workplace and enable employees to follow their paths toward fulfillment.

Certainly, we can play victim to this employee disenchantment or be at the forefront of addressing workforce needs and wants. One way we can begin to make a difference in the world of work is disrupting traditional approaches in human resources.

But first, you need to become aware of your own personal and professional barriers that impede effectiveness. Take time to reflect on your own accomplishments and shortcomings. Most barriers we experience begin within ourselves. When you begin to see yourself more clearly, you can make a real difference in your workplace.

Rather than focusing solely on the traditional day-to-day wheel spinning and cleanup patrol typical of HR, you need to secure a seat at the strategic table. It is amazing how many high level HR execs are never invited to strategic planning or high level business meetings. This has to change!

You are exposed to so much relevant information daily. You need to advocate to be part of the strategic process, especially when it comes to hiring, onboarding and optimizing talent in the organization.

The next step to disrupt HR tradition is a paramount shift in hiring practices.

It’s time to step beyond resumes and cover letters to manage your talent, and begin to consciously attract and bring in the right people based on measurable traits, behaviors and characteristics. Then once a new hire is onboard, make a commitment to nurture, develop and empower them to win through ongoing training, development and communication.

 Measuring this transformational hiring mindset in your organization would look something like this:

  • From head count to contribution margin
  • From filling jobs to achieving business results
  • From people are lucky to work here to
    we are lucky to access our people’s talent while they are here.

Your job is to empower people at work, so the business and workforce can flourish. It is no longer okay to just blend in and go along with the crazy and unproductive way things are done. Be a change agent, not only for yourself…for the entire world of work.

Shift your mindset and begin to share your insight. Redefine your role, leverage your value and measure your personal contribution margin. Make yourself known and let your value shine. And make sure the leadership team is aware of it.

Grow beyond an order taker to a difference maker. Once you transform how you see yourself and the value you can bring to the workplace and workforce, you can begin to make great progress in affecting turnover, employee engagement and productivity. Give it a try. You have nothing to lose and so very much to gain!