There are many factors that drive performance leadership in an organisation. According to the 2015 analysis of The Hackett Group’s HR benchmarking database, it revealed the hallmarks of current world-class HR organizations and the critical capabilities they leverage to achieve superior results.
Some of the hallmarks of world-class HR organisations are as stated below. At the highest level, world-class HR organizations are distinguished by four distinct characteristics:
Here are some tips for HR managers to get started on the path to achieve world-class performance leadership:
One of the biggest challenges facing HR organizations is “becoming fluent in the business” – that is, understanding and being able to comfortably discuss markets, strategy, competition, operations and drivers of revenue and profits.
Plan of action: Hire or train HR staff with the skills and business acumen required to meet the current business needs of senior executives. Start with HR business partners who have the most opportunities for interactions with business unit executives.
Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) is like a GPS for managing talent, making the road ahead more visible for company managers and helping them to find the most efficient route to success. SWP translates business strategy into its implications for future talent.
Plan of action: Develop SWP capabilities and processes, including data management. The first steps should include benchmarking to set baselines for employee cost and staffing levels, performing a Total Cost of Workforce (TCOW) analysis, and developing standardized data elements to enable uniform analysis and reporting of workforce data.
Technology/automation strategy provides the road map for creating an electronic platform that enables efficient and effective HR processes and service delivery.
Plan of action: Design a technology strategy, implementation road map and data architecture for building a delivery platform comprising of comprehensive HR services. Inclusion of performance measurement and analytical capabilities is essential.
Employee and manager self-service deliver information and tools directly to users, to improve their productivity. This helps HR managers focus attention on activities that bring on more value to the organisation.
Plan of action: Establish or expand manager and employee self-service functionality, focusing on a high-quality user experience will help HR resources to be redirected to higher-value activities.
The Hackett Group’s research has previously documented the strong correlation between leaders’ people management skills and the strategic performance of HR and the business.
Plan of action: Target training initiatives and on-the-job experiences will help increase the people management skills of leaders. It will further provide people with opportunities to take on challenging assignments aimed at developing specific skills.
Processes and systems that are both unified and streamlined make it possible for HR to operate in a cohesive and productive fashion.
Plan of action: Implement uniform processes and supporting technology to enable efficient and effective HR delivery.
World-class HR organizations are more advanced in their development of performance measurement and analytic capabilities. Their reports on performance are thus more meaningful and insights more applicable to decision making.
Plan of action: Strengthen performance measurement and analytics capabilities. HR must be able to report and advise on topics with concrete value to business management. Create a dedicated analytics group to fully leverage skills and tools across all areas of HR.
Where to Begin: Define your HR function’s Current State
Start by identifying the gaps. What are the competencies the business seeks from HR, which you are unable to provide? Rethink job descriptions, define new competency models and assess your current staff against them.
Once you’ve identified the gaps, create a plan to develop your people’s skills or to recruit the necessary outside talent in order to partner more effectively with the business vision. While these may sound like heavy-duty investments at onset, however considering all that HR organizations are up against, it’s a bet worth making.
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