Tag Archives: Strategy

HR Video Roundup Version I

I am testing out something new this week and have been publishing short, 1-2 minute videos on YouTube daily as a way to get some quick thoughts out there on a variety of topics. I’m rounding up this week’s content here. Let me know what you think about the topics, format, etc.

\Subscribers will need to click through to view the videos below)

HR: it’s not about finding a seat at the table, it’s about finding the food truck

Today we’re looking at how HR isn’t necessarily about finding a “seat at the table,” but it’s more like “finding the food truck.” It’s often a moving target and to be strategically relevant we need to put some effort into the process to make it work.
Credit to Chris Powell, CEO of BlackbookHR for the great quote!

Innovation, HR Conferences, and HRevolution

Talking about how to drive innovation and innovative thinking when the traditional training and conference events are created to help us continue doing things as they have always been done. In addition, events like HRevolution (http://thehrevolution.org) DO create those types of thinking.

Making the workplace better: micro and macro views

How can we make the workplace better? Some people look at a massive innovation across the board, while others seek out how to make one-on-one relationships better and build out from there. Good discussion.

Have something you’d like to see me discuss? Let me know!

63% of Organizations Have No HR Strategy In Place

Study Shows HR Doesn’t Do Strategy (Shocker)

The other day I was reading some data (be still my heart!) and ran across something that didn’t initially surprise me. However, the more I think about it the more I am puzzled that this is still an ongoing issue. I reported on some other data  a while back that ties in pretty closely with this topic.

HR strategy chartSometimes you have to stop and wonder where common sense has gone. Companies are expecting more from their HR team than ever before, but according to data gathered by XpertHR, companies are increasing the number of employees relative to the number of HR professionals.

This leads to a number of trickle-down effects, but the major one is forcing those human resources employees into a more administrative function. There’s no hands-on, friendly interaction. There’s no face-to-face discussion of what the company has to offer to you as an individual. Read more about the HR to employee ratio.

So, in short, the more employees you have relative to HR pros, the more transactional the HR team has to be. Now let’s take a peek at the latest and greatest on HR strategy:

Only a little over one in three respondents (36.5 percent) say that their organization has a documented HR strategy.

Where such a strategy exists, nearly three in four (73 percent) say it was developed as an integral part of the overall organizational strategy, while just 18 percent say it was developed as a follow-up exercise once the overall organizational strategy was adopted. Just under one in ten (8.4 percent) said that their HR strategy was developed independently of the overall organizational strategy, suggesting a potential disconnect from, or lack of integration with, the organization. Source

Approximately 63% of organizations have no HR strategy in place. That just astounds me. The business world needs HR pros to provide business-minded, strategic leadership, but the profession as a whole can’t seem to get its act together and take charge of setting its own path.

I think the conversation around branding an HR department is applicable here. No matter what you say, your actions will always betray your true motives. Don’t just talk about being a strategic partner–live it.

What are your thoughts on this data? Is it surprising? Why or why not? 

Differentiation is Critical for Long Term Success

Today we’re talking about the importance of differentiating your HR practices to increase your value and the satisfaction of your customers, both internal and external. Check out the video (subscribers click through to view):

The bottom line? You should explore the possibility of differentiating your offerings where you can. I’ve long said that as technology and globalization make the world smaller, the gap between competing companies shrinks. The best way, therefore, to stand out from the crowd is through excellence in HR service delivery. World class HR helps organizations deliver world class service.

Differentiate your HR practices from other organizations. Customize your offerings to the degree you can.

But beware the trap of trying to be all things to all people. below you’ll see some excellent advice on how to know when to accept or reject an opportunity to customize your HR service delivery.

The argument for and against customization

Here’s a snippet from my friend Kris Dunn on how customization can be used to improve your HR service delivery based on lessons learned in a software development environment.

The bottom line is that customization causes complexity. The same logic holds true for your HR shop.  If you’re good, you’ve got a set way of doing things, and if you do it the same way often enough, it’s going to work pretty well.  But you’ll have requests from your client group often to do it different ways.  It’s hard to say no, but you should say no when you can.  Complexity eats away at your ability to deliver in an efficient way.

You know when customization for your HR client group really makes sense?  The same time that it makes sense for a software company.  When the work that you’ll do to customize creates features that can be rolled out to more than one person/client.

Say yes to custom work that results in your HR practice being deeper and capable of delivering more.  Make sure you approach it like a product manager, to make it replicable.

Run away from other custom work if you can.  But the take above means that if you run away every time custom work is requested, you’re probably transactional – not strategic. Source: The HR Capitalist

I’d love to hear from some of you about what you do to differentiate/customize your HR practices to increase the value you’re offering to your candidates, employees, managers, and customers. 

Forget HR Strategy: Get in the Trenches

This isn’t a call to completely forego the HR strategy that undergirds your long term success. However, it is a reminder that some of the things you’ll have to do to ultimately be successful include more than just making plans, developing schedules, and keeping to those guidelines. Sometimes you might actually have to jump in and help. Step away from the flowchart, roll up your sleeves, and get into the thick of things.

A vivid example

In college, I had an HR professor who spent years in the medical industry working as an HR manager. He had great stories, but one he told has stuck with me over the years. One day there was an accident and several people were brought into the hospital at once, overwhelming the staff. He happened to be walking by and saw the chaos, then he realized there was a puddle of blood in the floor from one of the injured patients. Continue reading

I Have a Strategy, No You Don’t (Book Review Video)

I Have a Strategy, No You Don’t by Howell J Malham, Jr.

Recently I received this book to review. Honestly I picked it because of the title–it sounded unique and I was interested in checking it out. Once I got into the book (it’s a quick read), I was sucked into the funny dialogue and unique illustrations of what a strategy looks like.

The book was written because the author realized that we as a society have begun to “strategy” every little thing around us. Everyone has a strategy for everything.

And most of the time, it’s not actually a strategy at all!

With that in mind, check out the video book review below. I enjoyed the book, and if you’re in a role where you are trying to define what a strategy is (or help others with that task) I think you would enjoy it. The book has occasional illustrations, witty dialogue, and a great message to help us all remember what a strategy really is, and more importantly, what it is not.

Subscribers click here to view the video.

Interested in getting the book? Here’s a link to that.

Click here to read other HR book reviews.

Human Resource Mission Statement Sample Idea

Developing a human resource mission statement sample from scratch? It could be a great opportunity to flex your strategic HR muscles.

Earlier this week I talked about understanding the business as a part of the strategic HR planning process. Then I ran into something else that made me think of another area where we can align our HR practices with those of the business.

human resource mission statement sampleOne of my friends is going through school to get his MBA right now, and he using upstartHR as his “model” to develop. That basically means that we’ll have to do forecasting, develop a business plan, etc. as part of that. I thought it would be a fun exercise to get some outside insight into the business, but even the most basic piece (a mission statement) challenged me to step back and look at things from the 30,000 foot view.

That’s a good thing, by the way.

My human resource mission statement sample

So we walked through the process of developing a mission statement, and here’s what I boiled the entire purpose of upstartHR down to:

Provide human resource products and services that improve the human resources field, one professional at a time.

I don’t know about you, but that feels pretty powerful to me! It inspires me to think about the higher calling I have beyond just “write another blog post for Friday.” Each of you really matter to me, and I think of the interactions in person and via email that I have with you all every time I sit down to write.

So that’s my little piece of the world, but what about you in your role as an HR professional?

Now, let’s jump back into the business and look at how to develop a human resource mission statement sample from an existing organization-wide mission.

Creating your own human resource mission statement

Here’s a snippet from the textbook on what a mission statement is for:

Your mission statement is meant to be a simple, internal message for you and your employees: What is the core value and purpose of the company? What is the vision, which will guide company decisions, now and in the future? Think of it as the rally cry for you and your employees; this is the reason why you do what you do, every day. All other goals should support this mission.

Makes sense, right? Now, let’s update that to reflect the process of human resource mission statement sample development:

Your HR mission statement is meant to be a simple, internal message for you, your leaders, and your employees: What is the core value and purpose of the HR function in this company? What is the vision, which will guide talent management decisions, now and in the future? Think of it as the rally cry for you and your HR staff; this is the reason why you do what you do, every day. All other goals should support this mission.

If we have to break it down into bullets, here’s what I have:

  1. Simple
  2. Depict core purpose of HR
  3. Rallying cry

Don’t make it complex and confusing. If you can’t share it with your employees without a two page explanation, it’s not worth developing in the first place.

Show/share the core purpose of the HR function within your specific organization. Don’t make people wonder what you do everyday–it should be pretty darn obvious.

Finally (the fun one!) it should be a rallying cry. You should be able to use your human resource mission statement sample to lift your spirits when the going gets tough. It needs to be inspirational if at all possible.

Based on my company’s core values and culture, my view of HR is this:

Deliver HR support that enables our staff to meet customer needs on time, every time.

Short and sweet, but it covers about everything I run into in the course of a week. It includes our #1 core value (on time, every time). It focuses on our staff, not my own preferences. And it doesn’t stick to any specific area of HR, it includes recruiting the right people, locking in great benefits for our team, communicating changes to ensure operations are not interrupted, etc.

All that said, does anyone have a human resource mission statement sample to share? I’d love to see some examples. 


HR Strategic Planning Process-Understand Your Leaders

The HR strategic planning process is often discussed as if it’s some sort of secret or highly technical concept. In reality it has a few pieces that may or may not be technical, but the underlying foundation is fairly simple.

  1. Understand what matters for your company.
  2. Align your HR practices to support and lead in those areas.

hr strategic planning processViola! The HR strategic planning process in a nutshell.

But how do you accomplish #1? What do you do to understand what matters in your company? How do you find out what the senior leadership needs from you (or the HR team as a whole)?

Here’s one way to make that happen.

A glimpse at what matters for my company

My manager, the President/CEO of Pinnacle, was tapped recently for a podcast with ExecSense (click through the link to listen). I thought it was worth sharing, because it gives everyone some key insights from a business leader (and you’ll see why I love my job so much). :-) Here is a sort of “table of contents” in case you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing and need to skip around:

  • The Best Places to Work award is better than getting on the Inc. 500 due to the focus on the people.
  • 4:10 leadership
  • 6:10 priority #1: understand customer challenges and solve
  • 6:27 motivation/engagement practices we use
  • 7:50 goals/performance alignment for strong results
  • 10:10 leadership beliefs
  • 10:30 sees the company as a trusted personal partner for employees
  • 11:35 honesty is key foundational belief
  • 13:50 interviewing and selection process
  • 15:20 how to handle issues/problems
  • Organizational metrics–these include basic HR info that I provide, but the neat part is that I as the HR lead see key areas as well and stay in tune. I understand how our vendors are performing. I see how our sales, receivables, and other metrics are faring.

If that leaves you wanting more, here is a link to the expectations Mike has for the leaders within our organization. Good stuff!

HR strategic planning process challenge for you

I hope you enjoyed the responses and maybe even learned something that you can implement in your own organization. However, I want to challenge you. The HR strategic planning process needs to be done in your organization, too. Get in touch with someone and ask them similar questions to those that the interviewer (I’m not the only one who thinks she sounded like a robot, right?) asked Mike.

When you get those answers specific to your own organization, you’ll truly be able to partner with the business leaders and show them the value of the HR function.