Sunday, September 26, 2010

10 HR technology / HCM systems capabilities many wish they had ...

HR technology solutions have unquestionably come a long way in “technology attribute areas” like configurability, usability, inter-operability and lower cost of ownership. Fortunately for business users of these solutions, business benefits and impacts now extend beyond the virtues of the tool or platform itself … thanks to advances in facilitating workforce collaboration, leveraging embedded analytics, enabling more robust workforce planning, achieving a more integrated, cross-functional talent management model, etc.

That said, here are 10 capabilities that many end-customers would say they are still waiting for --- particularly as it relates to true Line Manager Enablement. These capabilities are much more about managing Human Capital risks, problems and opportunities -- than about the automation of a standard HR business process.

1. Provide guidance as to when it is best to fill a staffing gap by using a temp or contractor, training an incumbent, transferring or redeploying another employee, or hiring a new employee.

2. Identify “enrolled employees” (good performers who could be excellent if they were more emotionally connected or engaged) and what actions/programs should be considered.

3. Identify “key employee retention risks” and viable options for stabilizing those situations … [Note: A retention risk might be someone in the last year of stock option vesting who is paid under market in a business unit with below-average engagement].

4. Highlight employees or business units experiencing a “trajectory change” in productivity, engagement, retention, etc., and business-related variables that could be causing the change.

5. Highlight instances where the value of certain competencies (e.g., consultative selling) are becoming much more important to the organization; and related to that, identify otherwise good-performing employees who may consequently need to retool, be redeployed or replaced.

6. Highlight key employee situations where “non-financial rewards” would offer a very favorable “perceived value-to-cost ratio” … [Note: Non-financial rewards (such as assigning a coach or mentor, or allowing an employee to work from home) also typically have a cost attached].

7. Provide guidance as to where to look for possible talent management-related reasons for declining sales, declining customer service ratings, longer product development cycles, losing more high-performing employees to competitors, etc.

8. Provide a broad and realistic perspective on “organizational readiness” for such events as a shift in business strategy, change in product / services mix, M&A transactions, etc.

9. Identify situations where changing an employee’s role, manager or business unit might convert that employee from a good to very good or excellent contributor.

10. Highlight where a particular HCM metric or KPI is “actionable now” … or if it’s more appropriate to investigate further (with related metrics) before taking action.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

ONE SENTENCE that says a lot about HR Technology implementations

Since it's Labor Day weekend, this is my shortest blog post to-date ... although I have to admit, this ONE SENTENCE distills much of my 25 years of 'lessons learned' from implementing HR Technology solutions:

Success is more about project governance, people management, change management, vendor management, end-user involvement/ownership, marketing and post-implementation infrastructure optimization than it is about making commercially viable software do what it's supposed to do.

Have a restful holiday weekend all!