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Evolving HR to strategic value engineering

Via LinkedIn : Businesses are notoriously complex and small changes in one area can have massive ramifications in others and HR is quite easily the most complex of them all. Complexity means different things to different departments. In procurement it may be a measure of the number of suppliers; in manufacturing it may be a measure of the number of components used and/or products in inventory. To a product planner, it’s probably finished goods produced

In HR complexity is everything to do with recruiting, developing and retaining people (which in themselves are the most complex of all assets). And you need to factor in lots more intangibles like leadership styles, management approaches, role security, social development and learning potential. And for this you may need some degree of clairvoyance

What makes things harder is that it involves lots more stakeholder perceptions (regulators, pressure groups, employees and customers) and that means greater risk exposures as online reputations become just as important a factor in recruiting and retaining as what the role promises. And people will have a dig online much quicker than through more formal channels

And the larger the business the more complex the decisions, the longer they take and of course ramifications of mistakes. So it shouldn’t come as a great surprise that HR may appear to lag behind other departments in strategic readiness terms. And having looked over some popular HR publications we noticed a lot of the thought leaders tend to be from academic organisations. In contrast, in technology or marketing – most thought leaders tend to come from within the industry

Not knocking academics but to really understand how things might work we think you’ve got to live and breathe it daily to get a pragmatic sense of what, why and how. And evolutionary cycles may mean that the profession’s been so bogged down with transactional admin stuff that it’s not had time or opportunity to mature. And to help this along we think it needs tools that help marry up role performance with role satisfaction (foundational building blocks) and must haves should include:

A systemic HR model for segmenting and understanding employees that can be used across the whole organisation irrespective of geography, seniority or function
A broad understanding of how technologies and business processes align to deliver on that vision or model and that makes shared services work streams easier to get to get your head round
Cross functional input because having a little bit of knowledge across broader areas and connecting the dots is much more important than trying to understand the dots

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