There has been frustration expressed globally on the incompetence of Human Resources (HR). Although the larger focus has been on recruitment from potential candidates seeking employment, the morale within organisations is not positive either. Employee sentiments are at their lowest and other business function managers share similar frustrations about HR support.
The dynamics of business have moved change management to the centre stage and business functions have conformed to the change momentum. Take a look at it: operations went from on-shoring to offshoring, IT from VPNs to cloud computing, marketing from print to online/social media and sales from in-store to e-commerce.
Once change management strikes, all of us are obliged to keep up with its momentum. Planning and preparing, to implement the next wave of change that will complement the upcoming trends of time.
Thus, why didn’t Human Resources have the same success rate as some of the other business functions? Why couldn’t they conform and keep up with its momentum? There are eight possible reasons HR failed the change management.
The warnings for change aren’t new neither did they creep up on HR unexpectedly. Several articles, white papers and surveys brought to light the demand for change in employee engagement, leadership development for high potentials and skills development needed for higher organisational performance.
A passive response that does not match the intensity of the change required will lead to an unfavourable outcome. HR needs a highly responsive team to evaluate, assess and implement the required change initiatives and manage that change until it delivers the desired results.
2. Reactive, Instead of Proactive
Being proactive is key for strategic change management. Otherwise it’s just a series of reactionary fire-fighting feats. We prepare in advance to overcome and avoid future challenges and obstacles. Engage with your customers (employees) and stakeholders (business managers).
Don’t wait until a hiring manager comes to you before you understand the job profile and what they need in the new hire. Know the work and profiles of your employees – it is your organisation, your people. Know what they do, who they are. When a manager comes for a hiring request, say to him/her “I know exactly what profile you require!”. Make suggestions of how you can improvise on the profile and competencies.
3. Lack of Strategy
Any business function today requires strategies. Strategies are well thought out ideas and plans that generate a positive outcome. Applying new ideas without knowing what exactly is it addressing will not generate a favourable outcome. A failed strategy will only guarantee wastage of time, money and effort. In today’s business world there are no second chances.
4. Quantity Still Come First?
HR world is still a huge fan of quantity. However, the reality is the opposite. “Less is more”, they say. Yes, quality over quantity is also key in today’s business and social environment.
Understand what resonates with your organisation and its business goals. Keep the number of designations to a minimum. Thus, there is more accountability in the ranks – and keep the definitions and job descriptions distinct and precise.
5. Imitation Games: Lack of Innovation
Build on innovation. Understand what works for your organisation. Don’t imitate and implement what other organisations are doing, unless you know and are convinced how it will improve your organisation’s performance.
Make sure you can get tangible results from your implementations. Training is a tool, not a solution – how you utilise it is important. Leadership is developed – it comes through coaching, mentoring and a lot of planning – not through a series of trainings. We are dealing with people and uniqueness – so one size does not fit all.
6. Poor Service Orientation
HR has customers too. We are more than in the business of people – we are in the business of customer service too. Remember, service is what we provide to pleased customers – it’s not justifications to unhappy customers. Understand why your customers and stakeholders are unhappy. What do they expect from your service? Understand why they need what they need. Then analyse all possibilities and what it would take to deliver that service.
7. Outdated Practices
For today’s business practices to thrive, we must utilised the ‘replacement theory’ or ‘improvement theory’. Discard old practices that don’t work or don’t give your organisation the needed returns. Implement the concept of ‘doing business at the speed of change’ into your strategic culture. How people interact in the world has changed – how you reach out to people should change.
Change performance management from formal to informal, and from fixed to frequent. Keep your company’s job application system simple – we live in a technology-driven world, it’s all about ‘clicks’ and ‘scrolls’. Don’t make your online submission longer than physical forms – they should take one-sixth the time of filling a physical form.
8. Not Keeping Up With Change
Honestly, the world is quite fast-changing now. Every HR professional should keep that in mind. Stay tuned with the change that’s taking place – economic climates, market trends, human behavioral migrations, cultural shifts, new technologies… in short, everything that’s changing, that will have an impact on your HR business and your organisation. Change is not only for today – it’s the constant that will define your performance of tomorrow and the future.