Wednesday, April 13, 2016
I have noticed over the last year that expectations for speedy HR delivery has increased. In past years, it was ok to say that an HRIS implementation will take 18 months and a compensation review would take 6 months. I have been involved with both projects recently and the expectation has been cut in half. As a consultant, my client feels these pressures, which for me, becomes hard to strike a balance between what the customer wants and how to best deliver a quality project on time and on budget.
The drivers behind these expectations seem to be born out of the organization's business needs. The business has to deliver quicker, smarter and on time and so should HR. Another source that impacts the expectation around HR service delivery is our own profession telling us to "be more strategic." Its hard to be strategic when you are mired in inefficient processes and legacy technology.
As I look back over the last year's worth of projects and customers, I have noticed five common themes in terms of making sure HR service delivery is successful:
1) Does leadership support HR's vision for effectiveness and efficiency? Business leaders just want things done correctly and timely. Timely usually means today or even yesterday. HR must be able to articulate the value of improving service delivery and WHY it matters to the business. A business case is the best tool for this type of communication.
2) What is the current state of HR delivery? Be careful what you ask your customers. A simple survey regarding performance and importance of HR services can be a huge eye-opener. For example, you ask managers what they value most from HR, and they respond management training but give HR a needs improvement. What do you do?
3) Is there opportunity for process improvement BEFORE any technology solution is considered? Do not automate bad processes. If you have a recruiting process that is cumbersome and paper intensive, automating that process to "paperless" won't make it a better process. If you automate multiple approvals with complicated routing, you will be at the same exact place you started, minus a huge stack of requisitions.
4) What is the impact to employees? If any HR process changes, HR needs to explain the WIIFM clearly to employees. When you announce an Employee Self Service approach, do you think employees think that benefits them or HR? I have heard comments like, "what is HR doing now, that they aren't processing my W-4's?
5) How will I know HR is successful? Calculate the ROI. Period. End of story. In addition to ROI make sure you have a very good set of HR metrics coupled with analytics that point to HR efficiency, effectiveness and HR IMPACT!!!!
I believe my job is to be able to support HR leadership in the five areas above. Its difficult to manage all of these balls in the air, but I love it. I enjoy working in this profession that is changing rapidly both in terms of expectations but also skills sets and definitions for success. I say, "Let's be more than an HR business partner, Lets be a BUSINESS LEADER, that just happens to get HR!"