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Universal HR Capsule Guide

A compulsive job reduction which in turn triggers voluntary attrition among other employees whom the Organization could have very well retained, demoralized employees who have lost faith in the Management and a host of mammoth problems come looming to HR which we cannot skirt around with.

These cyclic events though impossible to be eliminated can for sure be kept under control if HR does a quick self audit on some basics which directly or indirectly influences the human capital management function. Each of the below areas could be a complicated process by itself and depending on where each Organization stands appropriate focus needs to be placed. But there are certain universal principles and guidelines we can all agree as a HR community. According to the guide, a check over the modular priced usage should be done through the person. The needs and requirements of the business should be satisfied through the services of the software.

Many problems that we combat to a large extent point to the fact that our foundations may not be strong. Below is a reference guide with some check points to gauge whether we are on track. It talks about the major HR functions in brief with a quick check list to weigh the process within your own Organizational set up.

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Staffing Strategy

The interviewing and recruitment phase is critical as the Organization is stepping into its initial contact phase with a potential candidate if selected for the position will constitute the workforce that influences the success of an Organization. If a Company views them as one in a hundred or thousand that they might recruit it could mean that the Company does not have a strategic staffing process in place. Just as a Company needs vision and a mission to take it forward every HR function should have a strategy to make its existence worthwhile and Recruitment is no exception. It is sad to see that many Companies use Recruitment as a body shopping activity which only ends in a frenzy recruitment of excess or mismatched workforce who later forms a dissatisfied workforce. There is a general saying a company is only as good as the people that work for it. Christopher W Pritchard in his book ‘101 Strategies for Recruiting Success’ rightly says “It is a clichéd but true saying “when you fail to plan you plan to fail’.” Recruiting is too often a reactive rather than a proactive process'”

Check points

  1. Establish a Staffing strategy to guide the process with set goals and parameters to be followed.
  1. Train Hiring Managers to outline the realistic job expectations before filling a job position.
  1. Train the Recruiters to hire people who closely match the job description.

On boarding

On boarding is a critical component which goes a long way in making the employee feel a part of the organization. Their decision to make the Company as a place of abode depends on the experience they get during this phase. Many employees express disconnectivity when the on boarding process is poor or in some cases never done. The word orientation means you are making the employee get acquainted with key people/processes /policy and benefits available to them as employees. If these exposures do not occur during the initial period HR has failed to grip the most valuable opportunity to make the employee feel integrated with the Organization which eventually would play a key role in the loyalty they would reciprocate with. Retaining and nurturing our workforce starts with the right welcome we give to the new employee. Companies with effective on boarding program experience lower turnovers rates. According to the Pryor Report “Studies show that a negative perception of your Company during the first 60-90 days of employment can lead new personnel to look for a job within the year.” For Companies to sustain one of the worst recessions our on boarding process needs to be based on an employee care model. Fortune magazine in its annual list of 2008 “100 Best Companies to work for in America” ranked Google as the top most Company because they care for their employees well.

Check points

  1. Formalized on boarding process
  1. HR appropriately trained to conduct the on boarding sessions
  1. Develop a comprehensive module to share any vital information that an employee would prefer to have
  1. Follow up mechanisms to ensure the employee has settled in the job

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Compensation  amp; Benefits

Money they say may not be the number one reason for a person to leave an Organization but nevertheless it could be one of the primary reasons that could motivate their decision to leave. Jack Welch says “If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings – and put compensation and rewards as a carrier behind it – you almost don’t have to manage them.”

Check points

  1. Conduct a due diligence to ensure Compensation  amp; Benefits are fair and equitable.
  1. Bench mark the process- most Companies may not be in a position to excel market rates but they should be able to atleast match it.
  1. If Compensation cannot be matched to market standards atleast the benefits offered should be able to offset the difference.
  1. If exit interviews reveal more and more people leaving the Company due to inadequate compensation then it is high time the Company takes a serious look at this.

Rewards  amp; Recognition

Money is not the major motivator. Bob Nelson in his book ‘1001 Ways to Reward Employees’ says “Money is important but thoughtful recognition works better.” Many experts think that even non-monetary recognition rewards makes the employee valued and appreciated. Recognition when needed should be expressed as we are in a people business irrespective of the domain of services or products we might offer. Any business is driven by the human capital. Humans crave for attention and recognition. When this is not given over prolonged periods of time it could result in a demotivated and demoralized workforce.

Check points

  1. Have a formalized Rewards  amp; Recognition program.
  1. Allocate budgets for this initiative- it could never be an expense but only an investment.
  1. Administer the program fairly and equitably.

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Performance Reviews

An annual or semi- annual event when the Organization recognizes and rewards its employees for their superior performance, dedication and loyalty. I have stated the definition in a lay man’s terms as with a technical definition we often lose it meaning and importance. The simple result of an appraisal not meeting any of the above criterias has not done justice to its existence and purpose. Performance evaluations happen in almost all Companies but not many are professionally done. It is quite ok to use off the shelf softwares and vendors to administer the program but care should be taken to align the process with the strategic objective of the Organization to yield proper results. According to Dick Grote in his book ‘Performance Appraisal Question and Answer Book’ says Performance Appraisal is the “most important management tool” but yet an “underappreciated management technique.” He further emphasis its importance by stating “Used well, performance appraisal can focus every person’s attention on the company’s mission, vision and values. But used poorly, the procedure quickly becomes the butt of jokes and the target if Dilbert lampoon.”

Check points

  1. Set realistic and achievable goals for the employees.
  1. Periodic reviews to keep them on track and focused.
  1. Evaluation should not only focus on past performances but also what the employee needs to meet future performance standards.
  1. Chart out career development plans based on the appraisals.
  1. Eliminate common performance evaluation errors such as halo, bias or leniency errors by appraisers through proper training.
  1. Train appraisers to conduct objective appraisals.
  1. Always match employee with appraisers who know the work they have done.
  1. Use multi-raters to ensure fairness.

Learning  amp; Development

When hiring we go for the best talent with right skills and it is also imperative we come forward to do what we can to help them develop their skills to match the Company’s strategic growth. A mismatch in current people skill sets with the Company’s revised objectives to meet the growth, external competition and changing client requirements will yield a poor and under trained workforce who cannot meet the performance standards. Every Company should invest in employee’s skill building activities to see ROI. Career development and progression areas that springs from Performance evaluations can be intertwined with Learning  amp; Development cycle. By so doing we can meet both the Organizational as well as individual goals.

Check points

  1. Develop a Learning  amp; Development process  amp; ensure it is equally administered.
  1. Formulate career development programs.
  1. Form internal trainers for key areas so that they can train others.
  1. Establish a systematic knowledge sharing forums among different groups of employees.
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