Whether they’re the bee in your bonnet or the oil of your engine, HR departments play a vital role in any company. Or do they?
One company that has decided it doesn’t is Airbnb.
Voted Glassdoor’s employer of 2016, the rent-a-home, San Francisco-based website is one of the most popular online businesses of the moment.
Last year, it decided HR was a concept of the past and formed its own Employee Experience department.
It’s not just the glitzy gym facilities, gourmet food and unique offices across the globe that are drawing in the Millenials – it’s the attitude to employees too.
Combining traditional human resource functions of recruiting and developing colleagues, their Employee Experience team also focuses on marketing, real estate, social responsibility and internal communications.
They even use WhatsApp as a communication channel (goodbye dreaded internal email!).
Mark Levy, their Global Head of Employee Experience, spoke to Forbes magazine about their structure.
He said: “At Airbnb, we are focused on bringing to life our mission of creating a world where can can #belonganywhere, by creating memorable workplace experiences which span all aspects of how we relate to employees, including how we recruit them, develop them, the work environment we create with them, the type of volunteer experiences we offer them (all employees can volunteer four hours a month) and the food we share together.”
And it seems to be working – 90 per cent of Airbnb employees would recommend working for the company (according to Glassdoor).
Meeting rooms are inspired by active Airbnb listings too, and free lunches are themed around the countries they host. There is even a $2,000 (£1,360) annual travel budget each employee to use outside of work.
Their people, quite literally, live their #belonganywhere brand, being actively encouraged to travel and explore multiple countries and cultures, even when they’re in the office.
Airbnb are proving the secret to success is throwing out the traditional departments and bringing them together in a much more natural way, creating a unique experience for everyone – customers and employees alike.