Changing HR for the better: Hard work does not automatically mean success
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One of the most frequent comments about HR you will hear from business leaders is that we work hard – not really glowing praise!  This then begs the question is HR working hard on the right stuff or is it more concerned with being busy as a way of proving its business value?  This implies not only a sense of insecurity but also hints at a failure by HR to truly understand what its business value could be.

All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward Ellen Glasgow

The golden rule when it comes to effective change is to be clear why you need to change.  It is not enough for HR functions to simply restructure and re-title.  Research shows organisations which focus on the ‘easy’ bits of change … do so at their peril.  In other words, HR tends to focus on the:

  •   How and not the Why
    •   So HR transformation is poorly defined but well executed!
  •   What and not the Who
    •   Does HR know what it is selling and who to?
  •   Words not Actions
    •   An inability to turn talk into tangible deliverables
  •   Processes not the People
    •   A failure to appreciate transformational change takes time

The result is HR regularly over promises and under delivers.  Why is this?  Well, the sad truth is that the skills of existing HR staff are lacking.  If this is the case, then why is it that much more effort and money is put into structural, process and outsourcing changes whilst the investment in developing HR Professionals is either static or reducing?

From our own research and client work we have identified the key factors which will determine how HR can guarantee the success of its HR change programme:

  •   Clarity on What HR delivers
    •   Understanding the business needs – strategically, operationally and tactically
    •   Working with the business to determine the people priorities (co-creating a People Strategy)
    •   Implementing a HR Value Chain that matches these business needs and people priorities with HR Deliverables which are not only future focused but can be also readily adaptable and customisable.
  •   Commitment to How HR delivers
    •   The business value of HR Partnership will be determined mainly by the ‘quality’ of the HR people – recruit the right people, invest in developing the whole HR team and dare people to be different
    •   Creating a HR community which is professionally proud
    •   Living out  a ‘partnership culture’ within HR and across the business
    •   Adopting a consistent HR Partnership Way of Working with the business and within the HR Community

At CourageousHR, our starting point when working with clients on transforming their HR Function is to be clear what value HR could or should be delivering to the business.  This then guides us to identify how effectively all the parts of HR are performing. 

We have identified five ‘Transformation Zones of Activity’: Strategic Focus; Structural; HR Deliverables; Professional; and Relationships.  How successful HR is able to deliver the value required to an organisation will be determined by how well aligned are these Zones with each other:

  •   Structural
    •   Focusing on how HR is structured and how it operates
    •   Exploring how HR aligns itself to the business
  •   HR Deliverables
    •   Identifies what HR delivers to the business
    •   Highlights how strategically business aligned are the HR deliverables
  •   Relationships
    •   Explores the power dynamics between HR and the business and degree of HR's influence
    •   Highlights how the internal HR relationships work
  •   Professional
    •   Emphasises the key HR skill sets required for each phase
    •   Identifies the core behaviours demonstrated by HR Professionals

There is no short cut to success.  If HR is to change for the better it needs to be patient, plan better, ensure it has the right skill sets to deliver on its change promises and then work in partnership with the business leaders to make these changes a workplace reality.

To find out how CourageousHR can support the development of your HR Function please email enquiries@courageoushr.com to arrange a call to discuss your specific development needs.