Sep 10, 2004

Transforming HR for business impact

Every once in a while HR folks get very worried about their percieved lack of 'strategic focus' and a study is done.

TOP TIPS: Transforming HR for business impact
Make sure that changes to your HR operating model - whether throughskills development, structure, technology or processes - have thedesired effect. Philip Vernon of Mercer HR Consulting shares some advice in the latest issue of Strategic HR Review.
1. Are you missing some vital competencies? HR's skills are
seen asone of the major barriers to effective HR transformation.
Although the function has strong competence in professional knowledge,
team, interpersonal and leadership skills, it lacks competence in financial
management, data management and technology. Do you and your team have the
capability - and the credibility - to deliver on the promise ofstrategic
2. Analyze your sourcing strategy. Maturing vendor capabilities
andadvancing technologies have expanded the breadth and depth of sourcing
alternatives available. An effective sourcing strategy will maximizethe
return on internal resources, enable organizations to take advantage of external
suppliers investments and capabilities andprovide a variable cost structure
leading to the ability to scale service capacity to meet changing needs - an
essential requirementgiven the dynamic nature of today's marketplace.
3. Are your technology investments wise? Many organizations
spend too much money on ad hoc software purchases or, even worse,
under-use multi-million dollar HR software suites by not implementing potentially
valuable modules. Units most likely to be left on theshelf include
competency and career development, recruitment,performance management and
succession planning. Along with the right software, clean data and tight
integration with other elements of the HR infrastructure are critical success
4. Get the basics right. HR processes are where the function
connects with its internal customer, yet process re-engineering often gets
little focus or direct investment. One of the most effectiveapproaches to
process redesign is activity-based costing that assesseseach activity's time and
cost, as well as headcount and full-time equivalent involvement. This can
help identify the likely causes ofoperational problems, quantify what they cost
and reveal how best tosolve them.
5. Be a business person first, HR specialist second. Responding
to the intense focus on complying with new corporate governance legislation and
increasing investor scrutiny, boards are retooling to ensure they have the right
mix of highly qualified specialists,including HR experts. The most
respected - and sought-after - HR leaders partner with and are confidants of
their CEOs and leadership teams.

Courtesy Melcrum