Vani Mullapudi
Training Manager

In today's volatile marketplace, it is essential to jump the curve, as it

were, to establish competitive advantage. Anyone can purchase resources at

market prices. The differentiator is an organization's human capital. People

are the key lever of the 21st century. Therein lies HR's opportunity and

challenge.

*Build an Operating Model*

To seize this opportunity and meet the challenge of the war for talent, we

have to fill a major void in human capital management and the human

resources function. HR does not have a comprehensive, well-defined operating

model as do other corporate functions.

Rather, HR consists of various functions and services that are not collected

into a model such as production has with enterprise requirements planning or

marketing has with customer relationship management. There is no base

structure on which the uniqueness of the enterprises will operate.

In HR, there is no such structure, only disconnected activities.

Human resources is a relatively new profession — 25 years ago, it could not

be called a true profession. Theories of human resource management were

scattered and often conflicting, and quantitative formulas to measure and

report human resources work were nonexistent before 1980.

It was only after the dot-com crash that people started talking about

employee commitment and talent management. Today, these terms still are not

well-defined. If HR is going to become a strategic contributor to the

enterprise, it needs an operating model that integrates its various

functions and has predictive capability and a measurement system focused on

human capital management.

*Integrate Operations*

It should go without saying that to achieve competitive advantage, we need

to work together. Very few HR departments, however, can show evidence that

their services of hiring, paying, training and retaining operate

synchronously. Rather, it is quite common to see each working on its own

timelines within its own interests. If you question managers in any one of

the service units, as I have repeatedly, you find they know little or

nothing about what is happening in the others.

Independently operating units within a single department do not achieve

optimum levels of performance. Additionally, they cause confusion for

employees and managers with inconsistent and mistimed messages. A common

example is that hiring managers seldom communicate with compensation or

development staffs about coordinating operations. This lack of communication

results in problems such as a new hire expecting something related to pay

increases, incentives or training opportunities that is not true. A sample

build-out of the key elements in an integrated operation includes:

• Establishing a human capital management plan that supports the strategic

business plan.

• Working with senior management to facilitate necessary changes in the

company.

• Auditing HR processes and re-engineering them to work together to meet

future needs.

• Developing a workforce plan that is linked to business imperatives and

budget processes.

• Delivering integrated HR services to optimize the company's investment.

• Designing a future-facing measurement system with strategic performance

metrics, leading indicators and intangible measures.

*Apply Performance Data*

Managing human performance in today's markets requires a type of information

not commonly found in most HR departments: leading indicators. Almost all

data produced in organizations are lagging indicators.

Accounting, production, sales and service report the past. When it comes to

numbers about employees — our human capital — we exclusively see reports of

the past.

A human capital management plan should position the human resources function

squarely in the middle of strategic business management. Then, it will

survive the tsunamis in today's market — instead of constantly reacting to

an unexpected new wave, you will be able to steer the HR ship on a steady

course and avoid sea sickness.

[About the Author: Dr. Jac Fitz-Enz is Founder and CEO of the Human Capital

Source and Workforce Intelligence Institute.]

8th December 2007 From India, Hyderabad
is it really required to manage tomorrow today .......if i think tomorrow ..what about present situation in changing cabal environment ... minutes by minutes
10th December 2007 From India, Hyderabad
Hi,
Its a nice & thought provoking article. I'm sure the organisations which have an eye for futuristic needs will steer current situations in a meticulous manner so that they will race ahead.
Regards,
Vani
10th January 2008 From India, Pune
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