[Learnings from Dave Ulrich on HR Transformation]
“Planting a best practice from a previous company into the business.”
“Implementing a new HR system.”
“Change the organisation structure in the business.”
… are the answers you hear when you ask some HR folks what HR transformation means to them. These alone, unfortunately, are not true transformation.
A true HR transformation starts with asking 4 most important question – the why, what, how and who.
WHY are we doing transformation?
HR transformation is done to better respond to a business context. The business context consists of external business realities and stakeholders.
What are the external business realities? Could it be a new regulation (ie. GDPR in Europe), growth or technology? What are the internal consequences of these realities?
Who are the stakeholders? Are they competitors, investors, customers or regulators? How does it affect us?
When we understand the business context, then, it gives us clear direction and a rationale for doing HR transformation.
WHAT do we get from HR transformation?
What does transformation mean to us? Transformation is not what we do, but what we can deliver.
Some people say that a HR transformation happens when the activity we do is now done in a more efficient way. I tend to disagree.
A HR transformation is not just an activity – it is an outcome of the activity, and we must focus on the outcomes.
HR Transformation = Delivering Outcomes
In traditional HR, a HR manager will ask the team the following questions:
- which schools did we reach out to for recruitment activities?
- what is the percentage of managers who have not went for the managers’ training?
- which HR system can manage the performance reviews?
However, in progressive HR, transformation is what we accomplish because of what we did. Some questions asked would include:
- how would the run rate change when we add 2 sales rep into the APAC region?
- what are the values we create when we implement a Broadbean recruitment system?
A good recruiter is not measured by how fast he could close a job requisition, but by the quality of the talent (ie. performance, attrition rate). A good sales rep is not measured by the number of companies he visit to pitch or the numbers of calls he made daily, but whether those calls results in increase in business revenue.
HOW do we “do” HR transformation?
When we align with the business strategy and deliver valuable outcomes, then we have succeed in doing HR transformation. How do we align with the business?
We review the current HR structure
Do we have the right structure? Should we have a shared service model?
We review the HR practices
Should we carry out annual performance review? What is our philosophy? What HRIS could allow us to be more efficient in the way we do HR? How do we engage the stakeholders?
We evaluate the HR people
Do we have the right people to perform the role? Do we have the correct skills-set? What are our HR competencies?
WHO does HR transformation?
HR is no longer an administrative role, but a partnering role with the business. The bar has been raised for HR. Do we have the skills to partner the business? Are we still living in the past?
HR transformation is a shared agenda between the business and HR.
Line managers are interested in the change – they are the ones who would receive the outcome of change, and they use these changes to support their business.
Employees and customers are end recipient of the transformation. Are we doing the right thing to keep the right people in the right role? Are we doing true transformation to serve our customers?