Blog Article

3 classic HR issues and how aligning processes could hold the answer

Posted by Kayleigh Nance

Kayleigh Nance

Recently I’ve been thinking about HR as a discipline and how rapidly it has changed in the past decade (or two). At one point, HR wasn’t getting the respect it deserved. Thankfully, times have changed. With the ability to extrapolate meaningful insights from an avalanche of differing types of data (‘Big Data’) HR folks can stop focusing on tactics and carve out time in their schedules to focus on strategy and get the recognition from the c-suite that they deserve.

Before we breathe a sigh of relief, let’s take a teeny step back and look for some areas of improvement. I recently came across (albeit a very large) company where Compensation wasn’t sure what was going on over in Talent. In fact, they didn’t even know who worked in that department, where it was located, or what their agenda was for the year. Forget cross collaboration, raising employee engagement levels or workforce innovation.

I couldn’t help but think, if only compensation, benefits, recruitment, training, leadership and organizational development departments were always aligned with each other! The results would be felt by employees and the c-suite as ‘customers’ of HR. In a recent survey, we found that only 40 per cent agreed that talent management and reward processes are closely aligned.

So what people problems could be solved when HR processes are aligned?

  1. The classic retention issue. I will get a phone call that goes something along these lines: “We are losing our key roles, I need market data!” My first response is always, “How do you know it’s a pay issue? Is there room for improvement in leadership? Are your key employees happy with their development opportunities?” Our five factors of retention research indicates that ’a fair exchange’ is only one of the top five reasons to stay with an organization. Factors such as ‘confidence in the organization and its leadership’ and ‘room for growth’ are also key drivers of employee commitment.
  2. The classic productivity issue. Employees are ineffective. A talent department might think there’s a lack of developmental opportunity or that the issue is poor leadership skills. But what if the problem is actually a need for better, more efficient internal systems or upgrading devices? Has enablement been considered? What about pay? How do you know for sure the root cause of what’s happening?
  3. The classic c-suite/HR disconnect. The CEO is thinking through a change in the organization to increase efficiency. What they want is a fluid, cohesive line of communication with HR to help them make decisions. What will this cost? Who will be affected? What will the employee population think/feel about this move? Can we predict an increase or decrease in labor costs as a result? Their questions are not easily answered when processes are organized in traditional silos.

If all sub functions came together and took an x-ray of the organization, a vast amount of time and energy could be spared. This is where taking a look at employee engagement survey results comes in handy. Is annual engagement assessment and action planning built into your organization’s business plan?

Connect with me on Twitter @KayleighNance


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