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5 concepts where HR has fallen short & HR fields to be improved.

5 concepts where HR has fallen short & HR fields to be improved

A little time ago we talked about the new trends of HR in 2020 including payment transparency, data and cyber security, chatbots and other. But now let’s have a look into the past and see what are the things that went wrong in HR.

HR is still blamed for bad employee motivation or lack of business performance. Furthermore, in the recent decade HR had become a scapegoat for all failures in the businesses and lost the trust of employees. Since then there is plenty of throwbacks that can tarnish the overall picture if mishandled.

But while looking at HR now you can see its undergoing drastic change. HR is not solely an organization that cares for the employee, but it is shifting towards an experience manager. The reason for that is a digital revolution. The impact of HR is tremendous. The major change is forcing HR not only to position itself as a more valuable strategic partner but also to become extremely tech-savvy. HR is more than personnel, more than the “people” department, and engagement is already a term on its way to being obsolete. HR is now morphing into an experience function, and the digital revolution is clearly the guilty party for this disruptive shift.

#1 Traditional concepts of COE, BP, and HRSS have to change

Concepts like COEs (Centers of Expertise), HRBPs (HR Business Partners), and HRSS (HR Shared services) being expected to lead to impactful business results turned to be useless since the people couldn’t handle it and were little or not skilled)

/ Time consumption. The internal company culture at big firms takes about 3 years to change while at smaller firms, this can be shortened from 1 to 3 years.

/ Lack of guaranty. CoEs are very flexible and can both innovate fast and fail fast, what leads to pure guaranty. “I know of a standards group in one organization where the people have been in the role of an average of 7-10 years. They’ve been telling others the “best practices” since forever and similarly, have not been out rolling up their sleeves and getting work done. They are career bureaucrats that are disconnected from the real value work being done by teams and they specialize in the writing of processes and standards that others need to follow. Wrong! Instead, establish term limits and rotate people in and out of the central group to keep them from getting stagnant. That rotation should be from agile teams and business areas, into the Champions team, and back out to the agile teams.”

/ HR business partners (HRBP) and HR centers of excellence (COE) are not always working well together. The HRBPs do not want to fill out info required by CoEs and COEs complain that the HRBPs have other priorities and are not focused, etc.

   Dan Price, CEO of the startup Gravity Payments, learned this the hard way. While his intentions for implementing a minimum, guaranteed salary of $70,000 were well-meaning, the company lost customers, employees and Price had a suit filed against him by his own brother, the company’s co-founder.

HR tools usage

#2 HR tool usage

HR tools often serve the sake of HR, e.g. just a better tool for recording and collecting the data. So they benefit solely HR, not the organization, and don’t show the real value in order to provide the broader business application, the responsible for HR must effectively manage the results of HR tools and apply human factor. The automated standardized tasks need to become systemic and akin to a lifestyle change

#3 Silo of HR. HR Transformation won’t make the entire organization automatically better. 

HR transformation in the past was too much focused on itself. New tools, processes or teams in HR might result in better, more efficient processes. HR Transformation has to result not in inwardly focused process optimization but to empower all other departments in the business since the workforce is the key factor in every business.

HR silos, HR hierarchy

#4 Focus of HR.

HR is often too restricted by rules and processes to find solutions, so many innovations fall by the wayside. Many resources are invested in topics other than HR, such as Data security, personal rights, legal. But actually, HR is about managing people! Legal and data security are not core HR topics. They are core business topics. Not just HR, but the whole company must comply with them. It naturally costs a lot of resources in terms of innovation. “Can I do it?” instead of “Let’s do it!”, legal and data security will make sure we play by the rules. But in fact, that is the responsibility of the company, not the HR department itself.

Let’s do it!

imitation game in HR

#5 Do not imitate but listen to what works best for you.

The principle of imitation of the successful tools, technologies, approaches and even people from the other successful companies is not always useful. A business must apply it all only in concordance with its own features, depending on its current challenges and needs.

This is like the imitation game: if there is a lack – of Innovation, qualified workers, budget, etc., then the first thing one must do is to understand what works for the organization. Don’t imitate and implement what other organizations are doing, unless you know and are convinced how it will improve your organization’s performance.

   eG. In an internal pilot project, Google is building a machine that mimics the actions of human recruiters, agencies and hiring managers to attract, assess, and eventually hire an external candidate. This Google hiring project failed in its goal of identifying people who were particularly good at hiring, finding the data to be a complete random mess. For companies who are not fancy and probably don’t need such googlish extravaganza, there are many much simpler tasks that can be robotized”.

Time to wrap it up and draw a conclusion. So, what is the line on this?

Despite the failures of HR, we see organizations spending millions of dollars pursuing HR efficiency without fulfilling the overall promises made to the business. Most large enterprises have gone through at least one HR Transformation in the past decade or so. This means there is already an adequate structure, technology, and processes put in place for the HR organization.

The truth is that HR transformation has to result not in inwardly focused process optimization but to empower all other departments in the business since the workforce is the key factor in every business. Last but not least is technology. Now, when one got enough proficiency to tackle HR issues, it becomes possible to recover the HR reputation and improve it through Tech – prefix. So, technology is a driver that allows HR to focus less on administrative tasks and concentrate on the strategic ones.