HR Best Practices and Competitiveness

We are obsessed with HR best practices. We love challenging benchmarks, those great success stories and examples to be followed and the complex people management procedures of large corporations. However, we have to take in mind what our business needs. Is it something complicated that almost no one understands? Is it the best practice we can blindly follow? Alternatively, do our employees wish to use the system that suits their preferences and needs? Do not we kill or impact strongly our competitiveness by implementing the best in class solution that works great in another business?

We love to watch presentations where the results of the research are summarized and commented by the experienced HR consultant. They always look amazing and surprising. They promise a high productivity and employee engagement increase. The key message is usually straightforward and easy to understand. They just do not show all obstacles to be solved during the implementation. It just presents the ideal solution without any tailored features to meet the requirements of the business. Does the proposal address the challenges the business faces every day?

We usually forget to ask critical questions about our approved HR strategy when we watch the fancy presentation. You should never allow any consultant change your strategic plan. This plan represents a wider agreement of the leadership team. It represents the vision of the company. You should always ask critical questions during the presentation. Does the proposal suit our needs? How will it improve our competitiveness on the tight job market? How will we fit the project to our HR environment? We forget that it is easy to transfer processes and procedures, but it is the corporate culture that makes solutions successful. As always, it is easy to destroy, and it is hard to build something new.

HR Best Practices and Competitiveness
HR Best Practices and Competitiveness

The organization can hurt the competitiveness if it follows various HR best practices. You can quickly implement a too big solution for a relatively small business. It will hurt your competitiveness on the market. Think twice before applying a new externally designed idea.

First, it has to make a decision what are the strategic areas of a focus. No company can excel in everything. The HR team has to make a proposal what areas it will excel in, and the leadership team has to approve them. Second, everyone in the leadership team has to understand why and how the proposal was approved. No excuses.

Just then, the HR team should monitor all HR benchmarks to find the optimum way. However, it should not implement proposals without a critical evaluation. The strategic thinking is a must when it comes to core competitive advantages. Otherwise, the HR team can fail.

The HR consultant never talks about obstacles. As a consultant, he presents great opportunities (to earn additional income). He benchmarks the proposal against the average non-existent company. He compares the potential client with the best in class HR solution.

Finally, the consultant draws the primary requirements. The commitment is usually among them because the HR advisor understands the proposal can be rejected a few months after the implementation. This refusal reason is regularly called a lack of commitment. Often, it is just the denial of the leadership team because it wants something else. However, the beautiful presentation can suppress our ideas and thinking. We do not think how the solution will improve our HR competitive advantage.

On the other hand, managers and Finance department usually love HR benchmarks. It is an excellent tool to demonstrate the issue of the over-employment in Human Resources. However, they do not realize what HR benchmarks indicate. They do not show the best practice in the industry. They usually combine the least critical HR processes for the particular organization. If the organization X makes a strategic competitive decision to be strong in the talent acquisition, it will not be displayed as the best in the class company. It will focus its resources on the recruitment and staffing procedures. Naturally, it will employ more employees in that HR functional area because it sees the area as a source of the competitive advantage.

All HR Best Practices are a great business opportunity for HR consultants. They do not want to sell the unique solution; they sell what they know. They usually observe a great practice in one organization, and they transfer it to other clients. However, the corporate culture does not like the copy-paste approach. It likes to be designed and cultivated inside the business. It needs to become a core driver of all decisions.

The HR leader has to build a strong relationship with the Finance departments. The finance analysts usually ask for various benchmarks to identify weak and costly spots in the organization. They have to understand the HR strategy, and they have to be aware of the investments required. The company cannot improve its employer brand if it does not invest into it. It can seem like a waste of money in an Excel spreadsheet, but it enhances the productivity of the workforce and employee engagement. Without a healthy relationship HR costs and headcount will always be under attack.

Various HR best practices can inspire your strategic thinking. That is how you should use all HR best practices and benchmarks. You should not hurt your competitiveness; you should just enrich a few strategic ideas. Human Resources should run the internal discussion what topics and ideas seem promising. They should be critically evaluated against the HR strategy. They should not be seen as examples to be followed; they should be regarded as an inspiration.

The best HR organization never implements HR best practices. It creates them, and it has many followers and copycats. However, they do not have the same tremendous results because they do not transfer the corporate culture and leadership values. They copy and paste processes and procedures; they cannot copy employees, leaders and the spirit of the business. The HR team has to cultivate Human Resources function to be different from competitors. It is the best way how to become the one to be followed and copied.

A highly competitive business always builds the unique corporate culture (it is a sustainable basis for the competitiveness). Employees love the company because it is not the same as other organizations around. They can be proud that they work for the team that brings great products and services. They love to talk about Human Resources because it is something others do not enjoy. It is the best way how to build the employer brand. Be unique and evaluate carefully all HR best practices.

How to improve employee productivity

Being a strategic partner, Human Resources cannot ignore the employee efficiency issue. HR has a shared responsibility with other business leaders to increase the operational effectiveness of the organization. The competitiveness of the firm always depends strongly on the productivity of the workforce. The best organizations outperform competitors, and this competitive advantage allows them to invest in the research and development. They can invest into new markets and run the business at a loss there. Moreover, these companies invest into the development of employees. Being the top performer from the performance and productivity point of view brings tremendous benefits, and it has no weaknesses. However, the increase of the employee productivity is a complex task for the leadership team, because it is the essential component of the employer brand.

Also, it is important to mention that by the improvement we usually mean the sustainable increase of the labor productivity. Most managers still do not think out-of-the-box when it comes to new people management practices in the business. They still use old ways that do not work today. Employees have more opportunities to change the job, and the fear as a management tool does not work anymore. The active stimulation is always a plus; in this case, it is a must. Just the highly engaged and motivated employee can think about the job creatively and propose relevant improvement and changes. Managers are not the best source of innovations; employees are.

The employee productivity improvement should always be a long-term initiative. Most leaders and managers are great in gaining a short-term increase, but it is usually followed by a long slide again if it is not supported by the fundamental changes in the organization. The constant pressure on employees does not work as the best management tool. It brings a tremendous result, but they are not sustainable. Moreover, the workforce does not respond positively to another wave. They expect the same approach just repackaged again. Another mistake is mixing employee engagement and employee satisfaction. The satisfied workforce does not have to be the most efficient one.

How to improve employee productivity
How to improve employee productivity

From the financial point of view, the employee productivity is always reflected in net profits. The best performing organizations always have a higher net profit per headcount than the competitors. It is a source of a very strong competitive advantage. These businesses have found a secret how to produce more with fewer resources. They can also use it as a communication tool towards employees. Everyone want to work for a winner. No one intends to work for a loser. Each man in the company wants to be proud of the employer. He can identify with a strong brand name of the company. He can promote different techniques used in the business, and he can promote the corporate culture and values. Everything mentioned has a significant influence on net profits.

The productivity in the workplace is always a question of the management. It makes the issue highly complex because Human Resources cannot bring a significant improvement without influencing and changing the mind of the line management. Most managers have to change their approach to manage employees, and they have to become true partners. Employees can usually run their tasks autonomously, and they just require help. They do not want to be told how they should perform individual tasks. It is also about the mismatch of employees´ and managers´ expectations.

There is a great employee productivity measure that indicates a significant yet hidden issue. It is the retention of the key personnel. When top performers and high potentials start to leave the organization, it is a sign that the business will significantly suffer in coming days. They usually talk about better job opportunities, but they do not see a future for them in the business. They do not ask for a change because they gave up. It is a serious leadership issue that needs an immediate attention of the CEO. It is not just another mission impossible task for Human Resources.

The best way how to improve the employee productivity

First, Human Resources has to make sure that all leaders understand their roles in the business. The employee morale is not a responsibility that can be delegated to lower hierarchy levels. It always starts with the CEO. She always acts as the role model. If the CEO is positive and open minded, most managers will follow this attitude. It is the role of Human Resources to teach the CEO how to demonstrate the full ownership and accountability for the employee productivity. If there is no owner, Human Resources has no chance to bring a better operating model. It would rather not start any initiative.

Most leaders and managers do not know where to start. They know they can upgrade and increase personal goals and objectives. However, this is not the right approach. They should focus on employees first. They have to ask them where they see the potential. Employees have to express what they miss in the business. The Employee Engagement Survey is the best tool how to catch emotions, feelings, and ideas in the organization.

It has to be followed by several closely focused workshops where employees can talk about results. Employees are the ones who know everything about questions asked in the questionnaire. They can evaluate the position of the organization against competitors. It is usually based on interesting facts, and the leadership team should know them. The team should also understand them. The CEO has to ask employees to be open, honest and willing to change the business. He can ask individual groups to compose the action plan that can be prioritized later.

The leadership has to read the action plan carefully. It usually contains small visible improvements in the workspace and individual cubicles. Employees often wish a quieter workplace, more colors and a better relax area. These items are easy to improve, and the leadership team should take actions quickly to keep the momentum. However, there are issues about the corporate culture, Human Resources and management practices used in the company. These are much harder to tackle and require a coordinated and committed answer from leaders.

Next, it is time to update the HR strategy. It has to reflect all findings from the employee survey. It is usually about the corporate culture and the need to improve managerially and leadership skills in the organization. It has to strengthen the role of the direct superior. It also has to introduce a new look at the empowerment and delegation skills. Most managers do not like changes that limit their power. However, the business is in danger, and they have to understand that without this transformation the organization will die. Managers are usually the biggest obstacle to improving the employee productivity. The update has to focus on a new and meaningful goal setting procedure. We usually stick to old processes that do not work anymore.

The last step to improve the employee productivity is the change of strategic planning processes. The leadership has to invite employees; everyone has to feel the opportunity to influence the future of the business. This is the only way how to make sure that the organization does not stop and stagnate. It has to gain its speed again.

Talent Management Strategy Update Urgently Needed

For many years there was no any significant difference between the strategic talent management and the well-defined recruitment strategy. Most organizations did not make any strategic decision about managing the life cycle of the workforce. Most employees were hired for a job, and they were left alone to find another job opportunity inside or outside the business. Human Resources played no proactive role in the process. It was just the manager who was supposed to manage the process of acquiring new skills and competencies within his or her team. This traditional approach does not work anymore. Nowadays, the talent management strategy is an essential part of modern HR Management practices.

Employees generally love organizations that invest into the meaningful development of the workforce. Each man likes to choose the way how to grow and gain new skills and capabilities. He or she wants to learn new things and they want to enrich their thinking about responsibilities. Everyone wants to become more valuable to the organization, and he or she wants to be invited to and heard during strategic sessions. No one intends to stay as the junior analyst when there is the opportunity to become the senior expert in the functional area. That is the basic idea behind the talent management strategy.

Moreover, organizations face enormous staffing and recruitment issues. In most cases, it is not the business who make the final decision. It is the job candidate or the employee. They can refuse the offer because it does not match with their personal career plans. Just to make it more difficult, it will become worse and worse. The position of Human Resources will even worsen shortly. This makes a great business case for the update of the talent management strategy.

Talent Management Strategy Update
Talent Management Strategy Update

The visible and impactful update is not just about publishing and distributing a new talent management handbook. It is about the complete redesign of the approach of the organization. It is about embedding the talent management and management into a company´s DNA. Each and every manager has to invest a significant proportion of the working time into coaching and mentoring sessions with all direct reports. All line managers have to be trained to be valuable development partners for employees. They have to collaborate with Human Resources to identify all best options across departments, branches, cities and even continents.

First, Human Resources has to implement robust predictive analytics tools in Talent Management. The global system generates a lot of data, and HR Managers have to access required information instantly. The HR technical solutions have to produce early warning automatically because most HR leaders are blind when it comes to predicting shortages of talents. They always spot the most demanded skills and capabilities. However, they do not have any data about specific market niches.

The HR team has to understand what is the current status of the organization and what are the principal dangers in the future. A competitive business always finds best talents on the market and matches them with the internal needs and requirements.

Second, a new recruitment strategy needs to reflect requirements of the competitive and performance driven business. The staffing procedures have to become proactive. Currently, we usually post a vacancy, and we just wait for job applications. The driving idea behind the active Talent Acquisition is different. HR should not wait for talents to come. HR has to actively scan the job market and offer all the best talents to line managers. They should identify a challenging opportunity for a highly motivated person.

On the other hand, Human Resources has to make sure that it scan the market a clever way. It cannot attract potential candidates and have no offer for most of them in the end. That is the reason to use the predictive analytics. It provides clear guidance to HR recruiters which skills and competencies are the most promising ones.

Third, Human Resources has to strengthen the role of the succession planning. Top Talents come and leave. No organization has resources to keep them all. A great succession plan is the essential component of the talent development. It clearly navigates employees to gain most promising skills, capabilities, and competencies. It provides no guarantee, but it increases the chance of being promoted at the right time. It usually comes sooner than later.

A succession planning should not be strict and administrative; it has to play the role of the regular organizational health check. Managers have to feel no worries to reflect an actual status of their teams. They should clearly indicate strengths and weaknesses of particular teams. They offer best talents to other managers because they can enrich the team, as well. That is the core purpose of the tool.

Fourth, the updated talent management strategy has to cover all employees. It is not just about the recruitment and new hires. Also, the intensive development driven by the organization can be strictly focused on selected groups of key employees. However, the snapshot of the business has to be clearly captured. Employees have to understand how the system works. They have to accept that there are certain rules to be included in the selected group. Otherwise, the turnover will quickly indicate that the solution is not efficient and working.

Mission Critical HR Goals and Objectives 2016

Human Resources enjoys great times; leaders value HR as a strategic business partner. It is the fundamental source of the sustainable competitive advantage. Most leaders listen to their HR people carefully because they bring valuable and beneficial proposals. It is a sign that the trust between leaders and HR Department grows. A company that runs great HR practices is more profitable and more attractive to top talents. Human Resources should build its future using this firm foundation. It should reflect the required changes in HR Goals and Objectives 2016.

We can divide HR Goals and Objectives 2016 into three big HR topics on our agenda:

  • Employee Engagement and Employee Empowerment;
  • Performance and Productivity;
  • HR Marketing.

Employee Engagement & Employee Empowerment as HR Goals and Objectives 2016

Employee engagement and empowerment are essential success ingredients for each business. However, we usually fail to design, develop and cultivate the environment supporting these cultural imperatives. They should not be important just in 2016. However, next year will be the challenging one. We are at the end of the growth cycle, and just the best organizations will continue growing during the coming recession. That is the reason engagement and empowerment need to be supported strongly by HR Goals and Objectives 2016.

HR Goals and Objectives 2016
HR Goals and Objectives 2016

The job market and work habits change; it is the employee market again, not the employer one. It always has always worked like that for top talents and recognized talents. However, most employees can change the job within days today. They just have to make a decision about leaving the job they have. Moreover, the employers that can build a strong relationship with employees have a lower turnover and higher productivity. This is the key reason Human Resources has to put employee engagement into HR Goals and Objectives. However, HR cannot reach this goal just by only writing engagement on the HR priority list. HR can achieve a high level of employee engagement through different activities that should act as individual HR Goals.

Diverse team bring better results because they tend to think about the solution from different angles and points of view. The team finds a solution that meets most requirements and balances features and costs. Human Resources has to support the diversity in the organization. Moreover, diverse teams are not worried to ask to be empowered. They want to protect a team decision, and they need the power to push it through all levels of the organization. It should not focus just on the number of female leaders; it has to support the diversity as such. Most employees like to work in organizations that are diverse, and all voices are equal. HR has to support various approaches and solutions across the entire business. HR has to keep the diversity as a key HR Objective 2016.

Millennials are the workforce generation that is currently coming to the job market. They demand jobs and leadership style that is different from habits of their parents. They do not like to build a long term career within one organization; they like challenging short term projects. The organization needs to adapt to offer job opportunities for this new workforce, and it has to protect its know-how. It is the another HR Goal 2016.

Performance and Productivity as HR Goals and Objectives 2016

HR as a valuable business partner recognizes the importance of productivity, performance and efficiency. It needs to continue to increase the credibility of Human Resources in the company. It has to speak the same language with other leaders. It has to calculate cost-benefit analyzes for all proposals before coming to the Board Room. It needs to increase its financial literacy. It has to become an integral part of HR Goals and Objectives 2016.

Human Resources needs to discover its ROI and how to influence it positively. Human Resources has to evaluate the efficiency of provided programs and activities for employees. It has to propose to the leadership team that procedures should be stopped and which should be widely promoted. HR ROI needs to become one of the strongest communication tools with the leadership team.

Human Resources needs to redesign the Performance Management process again. The performance appraisal does not work for Millennials and the value added of the PM process can be questioned. Most employees do not gain any benefits from the procedure; Human Resources needs to revive the process to make it useful and act as the engagement tool. Employees like challenging goals, but they should not be rewarded as they meet them. It limits taking healthy risks; no one likes to risk when the bonus is on a stake. They should innovate without risking the comfort of their families.

The innovation management is still a painful process in most organizations that has a significant impact on future profits of the business. They are seen the as the key of the company growth. However, most companies do not support employees in creativity. They do not cultivate new ideas and proposals. They build barriers and design various complex evaluation criteria to slow down innovations. HR has to become the employee advocate again. It has to create new processes and procedures that support employees in bringing new proposals to the table. Proposals need to be widely discussed, and the informed decision has to be made. It needs to become an integral part of HR Goals and Objectives 2016.

HR Technologies have developed substantially over past few years. Cloud technologies change the way we see IT today. It is easy and cheap to rent the system, no internal resources are required, and the vendors make systems reliable and stable. We will not buy the new system or develop internally. We will just rent the solution and pay per the employee using the system. It is flexible, and it can bring significant savings. Human Resources has to make the organization ready to accept HR solutions in the cloud.

HR Marketing in 2016

Millennials are picky; they do not accept job offers coming from all companies. They choose companies with the compelling story, great visions, and socially responsible approach. They prefer the experience over salaries. They want to enjoy every day at work; they want to learn new things and explore new great relationships. They do not build the career as we did in the past. The HR Marketing becomes essential to attract Millennials.

Human Resources has to support the Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is necessary for the new workforce; employees want to be sure the company supports local communities and does not focus just on profits. They wish to feel that they contribute to making the world a better place for all. They do not require big gestures, but they require the sustainable approach. HR has to do it a part of its objectives.

Moreover, HR has to strengthen its social media skills. Most millennials know about job vacancies from Twitter or LinkedIn. They do not visit regular job boards because they use the Internet differently. HR has to cover many topics about the organization in media to become attractive to the new young workforce. HR needs to invest in its engagement skills to become the attractive employer again.

Ongoing HR Goals and Objectives

Other initiatives should become an integral part of HR Goals and Objectives. HR has to make sure that the organization grows new leaders. HR has to make sure it understand the business. It has to develop its financial management skills to become a valuable partner during Board Meetings. It has to change the Talent Acquisition processes to attract more millennials. Moreover, HR has to focus on the development of the Human Resources function.

The leadership development is a strategic imperative that cannot be just an objective for a single year. No business can survive without a strong succession planning process. It can be successful for few years, but it lacks the next generation of leaders who can develop the organization further. The company needs to be ready to replace the current leader at any moment within hours or days. There must be a contingency plan in a place.

The HR Development and the Business Acumen are closely connected. Evolving as the strategic business partner, Human Resources Professionals need to understand the financial management. They need to propose solutions that are beneficial for the organization. They have to calculate Cost Benefit Analysis that can survive the review with the Finance Department. HR has to lead changes in the organization, and it needs to gain additional skills and competencies. It needs to attract the high-quality talents from universities; it has to design individual development programs aimed just purely on HR employees of the future.

The next HR Transformation is coming. Now.

We are just at the beginning of the next HR Transformation. HR Big Data, Social Media, and the predictive analytics will bring another level of HR services. We will run deeply customized processes and procedures for many target groups inside organizations. We will directly influence employee engagement of specific audiences because we will be able to identify them.

HR Big Data represent a new great opportunity to improve the performance and productivity of Human Resources. Our data are once again relevant for the business; HR can provide more information than just monthly graphs about the voluntary and involuntary turnover. Together with the predictive analytics HR Big Data can identify painful spots in the organization. Conflicts and weak process points can be discovered and thoroughly discussed in the leadership team.

The predictive analytics in Human Resources is not just about a new piece of the software. It is the automated learning platform that learns from the past. Based on the solution it can also learn from experiences gained in other organizations. The cloud solutions offer new ways how HR can build a sustainable competitive advantage. They will be closely linked to the general HR Big Data implementations, and they can deliver a significant difference compared with other competitors on the market.

Next HR Transformation
Next HR Transformation

Social media gurus present the current online development as the revolution. It is not one; it is just the evolution how we communicate with each other. It does not change the content; it changes and enhances channels. Human Resources gets a very sharp knife with social media. For the first time, we can choose more options that just two we had previously – we can communicate and engage targeted audiences int eh organization and outside of it. Additionally, it is a both ways communication – it is an authentic dialog then.

The granularity of the workforce is another challenging opportunity for Human Resources. Social Media can allow employees to join groups of the common interest. They can form expert panels that can also include resources outside the organization. HR Managers can create other specific groups, and it requires almost no maintenance.

Moreover, the predictive analytics and HR Big Data can identify other specific informal teams in the business that should be heard. They can be silent, but they can be highly innovative and productive. Just their voice is not strong enough today. Can we introduce any better tool to improve employee engagement? It will not impact just a few selected groups of employees; everyone will be heard in the organization again.

The next big transformation of Human Resources begins. We had been a service center in the past. We acted as the business partner and evolved into a strategic one later. Now, we will have to individualize our processes and procedures again.

This all will lead to the transformation of Human Resources. Employees and managers will demand new tailored services provided to them. Right now we build our processes and procedures around hierarchies and social status. As a senior manager, you can decide this and that. As the employee, you can determine just a few things. That is how we work today.

This will change as organizational structures will become less relevant than they are today. We will build our processes and procedures around individuals and weakly defined target groups. It can seem like a complete mess right now, but it will positively influence employee engagement.

Human Resources will become the individualized partner as we will recognize more target audiences in the organization. Employees will expect us to know more about them. HR Big Data and Social Media are a great enabler for this next evolutionary step in the HR history. It is the next transformation.

Is your HR Planning strategic enough?

The HR Planning should be strategic, and it should reflect dramatic or mild changes in the business. It should reflect all modern trends in the industry, and it should allow the organization to focus resources on the most promising areas of the future growth. In reality, we usually take the current status of the workforce, and we just make small adjustments to keep everyone in the business happy. We do not plan strategically; we just maintain the status-quo. We construct the plan this way every year till the external environment does not push us to change our approach dramatically.

We have lost our predictable and long-term stability due the increased globalization and international competition. The external business environment changes rapidly, and it has to be reflected in the organization. No company can afford to avoid changes; it is just a beginning of a slow corporate death. All competitors will start grabbing the market share; they will introduce better products and services. They will start winning all battles. The role of Human Resources is in provoking the leadership team to take the full ownership of the urgent need to change. The HR Planning is just one small step and action point in the effort.

The workforce planning procedure needs to follow several stages. No leader has a clear idea where the organization has to focus its energy. She is not able to recognize which functions need strengthening and which managers have the overcapacity. Managers will not speak about savings when they are not directly asked to deliver workforce reduction plan. This is a key reason why the leadership team needs to go through the entire planning process. They cannot just receive and accept results prepared by the HR director.

Strategic HR Planning
Strategic HR Planning

Each strategic HR planning has to begin with the SWOT analysis of the current status of the workforce in the organization. Human Resources needs to facilitate the procedure, and the evaluation of the business has to be as accurate as possible. Everyone needs to be challenged; no one should base assumptions just on the past development. The SWOT Analysis offers a real picture of workforce allocation in the company. This is also the moment when the predictive analytics can help most. It can confirm or reject many myths in the business.

The leadership team has to explore how the HR plan fits with the requirements coming in the future. It has to make sure that all required skills and competencies will be onboard at the moment when the business needs them. The team has to make sure that all employees are at right spots and capacities are allocated to departments where they will generate the greatest value added for the company and shareholders.

The strategic HR plan needs to be confronted with the approved HR strategy. The vision of the business should not be abandoned during the first or second business planning cycle. It can be slightly adjusted, but it should not be canceled. The leadership team is the right place to have a deep-dive discussion. It is the team that forms and influences the corporate culture most. This body has to make a final decision to update the HR strategy. However, they have to provide the explanation why the update of the primary HR document is necessary.

When all previous HR planning stages are over Human Resources can prepare the tactical, operational plan for the year. It is about recruitment needs, promotions, and new training courses. This is the last step in the process, not the first one.

The HR Analyst becomes the scarce resource in HR

Making critical people management decisions is a highly complicated HR process. The business world gets more complex, and we need to gather many information and opinions than we have collected before. Just after that we can proceed to the next step in the strategic decision-making procedure. The HR Analyst become the critical member of the HR team so that she can support all the decision with the predictive analytics. However, we usually miss the bright analysts in our teams. It takes a time to develop a new one. It is also difficult to steal one from the competitor. They are usually well salaried, and the HR team takes care not to lose them.

Today, the business is too complex to make just gut-feeling decisions. Emotions often spot the right director, but the HR leader needs to support all proposals with correct information and data. That is the role of the HR Analyst to gather right pieces of evidence. She needs to ensure the HR leader has compelling information to attract the rest of the leadership team.

Moreover, there is always the competitiveness issue. Finding the best mix of compelling HR practices to gain the competitive advantage is difficult. The HR leader has to choose the right opportunities that will be attractive to employees and job applicants. Most organizations tend to be the average ones; becoming the one unique pains. However, the HR Analytics can explore potential organizational areas where the company can excel at low costs.

HR Analyst - A scarce HR employee?
HR Analyst – A scarce HR employee?

The modern business requires decisions backed by the predictive analytics. Human Resources plays no exception in this. The HR leader cannot just monitor the past development; she also needs the forecast of the future. The HR Management Team can implement business improvements that are recommended by the HR Analyst as the most impactful. Well-defined HR KPIs will automatically navigate the HR team to look for the best development opportunities. They just need a small help from the analytics guy.

The HR Analyst has the role profile that never existed in Human Resources before. The core HR skills and competencies were always about communication, people management, leadership style, and negotiations. The analytics competencies were never critical. It is not just about analytical skills; it is also about forecasting and strategic thinking competencies.

The analyst can choose from many data to analyze. However, she needs to identify best target areas quickly. Even this position is about impactful outcomes; it is not about tons of Microsoft Excel sheets. She needs to have extraordinary communication skills. She needs to discuss with HR Manager and identify issues as they talks. HR Managers usually do not spot the problem clearly; the analysis can help them to target the right solution.

We have the issue that it was difficult to attract analysts from other departments. Human Resources has no a great name in the business when it comes to numbers. We never follow the same methodology, and we always have to explain what is the content. The HR Analyst is an excellent person to provide stable, agreed and approved definitions for all KPIs. However, our instability makes the recruitment of an analyst a mission impossible. Internal transfers are blocked because no one sees it as a great career advancement opportunity.

There is the only way how to attract new analysts to Human Resources. We have to change HR rigors. Numbers must become a part of our job; we have to care about budgets, plans, and overall business development. That is the only way how we can attract new analytical guys and finally – implement HR BIG DATA.

Connect HR Strategy and HR Analytics

Too many things happen in Human Resources. Everyone is late, deadlines are not met, and everyone works on several projects at the same time. We miss our strategic goals and objectives because we spend a way too much time dealing with daily operational issues. We solve immediate problems instead of line managers; we re-invent the wheel every day. We put them in front of tasks required to deliver the new HR strategy. We do not use the predictive HR Analytics to ensure the proportion of operational HR agenda decreases. However, we need to find a way forward. We have to align the HR Strategy and HR Analytics again, including learning the skills of data mining. The organization pays for Human Resources because we promise to deliver the strategic change; we promised to give a competitive advantage.

The HR Manager is the most critical resource in Human Resources. She has to dedicate her time to create the value; she should not just pass papers in complicated HR processes. She should advise internal clients how to manage employees better than they manage them now. In reality, this story is not true; the HR Manager spends time recruiting new hires and solving workplace issues instead of managers. She does not use the benefits of the HR Analytics to be more productive and efficient. That creates the constant pressure on Human Resources because the department is not delivering on its promises. Everyone works hard, but no one sees any results. HR does not provide any value added. HR Managers are overwhelmed by daily routine and operational tasks.

HR Strategy and HR Analytics
HR Strategy and HR Analytics

It is time to return to the basics of the people management. Human Resources cannot solve issues and problems instead of line managers. They just like it because they do not have to deal with difficult persons in their teams. They just call the HR Manager to solve the issue. However, we are here to design procedures for managers; we are not here to run them. In such a case the HR Director can be called the CEO.

Human Resources has to focus on its primary goals – delivering the HR Strategy and building active HR processes and procedures for line managers. Moreover, it has to support both activities by the HR predictive analytics. Managers in the organization have to be autonomous and fully accountable for teams. They just have to learn best and compliant approaches from HR Managers. The HR Team needs to teach managers to act on their own.

The HR Team needs to deliver the HR Strategy first. It is the change the organization requires. The HR leader cannot make any compromises when it comes to implementing the strategy that builds a significant difference. The sustainable competitive advantage is a must. The HR team has to employ the HR technology to enable the improvement of the people management practices in the business.

The implementation of the HR Strategy is the best moment to introduce a significant change in the HR Analytics. The strategic goals and objectives need to be supported by trends in the industry and the business. That is the target area for any analytics in Human Resources. The HR team has to connect meaningful data and information with the main HR processes. It has to demonstrate the value added.

The critical imperative for Human Resources is the simplification of processes and procedures. It has to introduce the full service-service portal for employees; it has to bring automated smart reports for line managers. It has to allow to HR Managers spend time with the key employees in the business.

HR has to employ the predictive analytics to ensure that it manages trends. The leadership team needs to be informed about the healthy and unhealthy trends in the business. That is the real value added created by HR. The HR Analytics is the only way how to ensure that the leaders do not miss any opportunity how to manage employees better.

HR Analytics is a strong foundation of the HR competitive advantage.

No leader likes to make uninformed decisions. The supporting information and data are the essential part of each strategic document. The leaders require a broader picture to shape the decision. They need information and data as supporting evidence. That is the case for Human Resources; we have to focus on developing and enhancing the HR Analytics and HR Business Intelligence. It is not a story about HR Big Data; we can start with HR data and turning them into useful pieces of information. A modern Human Resources department sets HR KPIs, measures the performance of processes, publishes HR dashboards and tries to project the future using data from the past. That is the best business case for the HR Analytics.

The modern management and leadership are about data and processes. It is not just about grand new visions and ideas. Most leaders require data prepared by employees before they take actions. They usually decide about challenges, the company knows about. They were created in the past; the team can collect useful data and build a business case. Human Resources is not the exception. We can build business cases, as well.

HR Analytics and Competitiveness
HR Analytics and Competitiveness

There are many examples how the HR Analytics can increase the productivity and importance of Human Resources. It just needs to be focused on the entire organization and all business processes. The measurement of HR processes is vital, but it does not say anything about the value of Human Resources for the firm. There are a few stories how the analytics can help HR become better.

The sustainable competitiveness of Human Resources is based on the ability to predict future trends in the organization, industry, and country. It is hard to predict changes on the country and industry level, but we can forecast the development in the company. We just have to work with available data cleverly. The introduction of the HR predictive analytics is the sound basis for the elaboration of a competitive organization.

A vital role in modern Human Resources is the HR Business Partner. The evolution of a competitive advantage always starts with an energetic HR professional. She identifies opportunities both at a client and in the HR department. She acts as a single point of contact for internal customers. She implements new HR solutions in a client’s department. She needs to come with useful data and information, pointing ill and healthy trends in the unit.

The HR Business Partner cannot be just a renamed Recruiter (RPO). She needs to come with challenging proposals. She has to deliver a significant change. In close collaboration with the internal client, she has to analyze data, and they have to act together. This is the key objective of Human Resources – building the competitive organization in close cooperation with internal clients. She needs to support her standpoint with useful HR Dashboards.

The competitive HR Management relies on data and information. The HR leader cannot put all proposals on pure emotions. She needs to mix emotions and exact pieces of data to push the proposal through all difficult conversations. That is the reason why the HR Analytics needs to become a solid foundation of every HR team.

Organization Design needs your attention.

The efficient design of the organization is one of the main success factors for any company. Human Resources still plays a passive role in the organization design. We usually play a role when recruiting new employees into specific jobs; we do not challenge our partners in the business when talking about the organization structure and jobs required to deliver results. However, the Organization Design is clearly and closely attached to the new role of Human Resources. It is a tool how to build the competitive organization.

There is still a wrong belief that managers know best how they should structure their departments. Human Resources usually accepts all proposals or make just cosmetic changes to the proposal submitted by the manager. We do not challenge the number of employees in the team. We do not ask about potential career paths. We just We expect managers to be the experts who know and can clearly describe all required job profiles to deliver targets.

Human Resources needs to act a more active role in designing organizations. The effective team has a higher productivity; collaboration is closer and roles and responsibilities are clear to everyone in the team. The employees understand what their objectives are. They know how they can improve the performance of the team. They do not have any double work, and the manager has almost no contingency because it is not required.

Organization Design
Organization Design

Human Resources has an ultimate objective to develop the sustainable competitive advantage, and it has to intervene when managers set up teams. HR Business Partner needs to be kept in the loop, and she has to challenge the manager almost daily. She has to ensure the new team will be as productive as possible within a short time.

The HR Department has to define design principles for all managers in the company. It saves the money and resources. It also impacts the satisfaction of employees positively. They clearly see the same principles rule all departments. They see no place acts under a different set of procedures and policies. They can compare the efficiency of teams across the firm. They can apply for new jobs because they will not lose any benefits.

Moreover, clear Organization Design principles give clear boundaries to managers. They have to learn to live inside the system; they have to learn how not to erode the system. This is a huge victory for the long term sustainable business.