Friday, December 7, 2007

HR works system and alignment

There are two HR deliverables. The first is stable high talent staffing in the R&D function and the second is optimal staffing levels in the manufacturing unit.

R&D staff must have competencies and possess high tech knowledge in their area of R&D. They should not be influenced by internal production or technical problems. Because the staff has the competency and high-tech knowledge with several years of experience the company must keep the R&D staff turnover low.

Both of the aforesaid deliverables have clear implications for Hi-tech’s overall performance. One contributes to revenue growth while the other influences the productivity growth.

High-Performance Work System

Once the HR deliverables have been clearly defined, we can begin to identify and measure the foundational High-Performance Work System (HPWS) elements that help to generate those deliverables. We term these elements a HPWS to represent the fact that they have been selected specifically with the intent of implementing strategy through the HR deliverables. In the case of Hi Tech, this means designing and implementing a validated competency model linked to every element in the HR system, and providing regular performance appraisals to all employees. As with all of the other elements of the HR scorecard there are a variety of ways that these data can be represented. The most common approach is to present the proportion of achievement on each elements , although it is also possible to indicate whether or not each elements is either up to standard or below standard .

Identifying HR System Alignment

What HR system elements need to reinforce one another so as to produce the two HR deliverables? In the case of stable, high-talent staffing in R&D, we can assume that the firm has developed a validated competency model. At Hi Tech, selection into these positions must correspond to the existing competency model, and the quality of the hires should be at the highest levels. These alignment goals would strongly influence the particular sourcing decisions needed to produce those results. However, the sourcing decisions do not have to be part of the HR Scorecard. The assumption is that since you are measuring the outcomes of those sourcing decisions and since “what gets measured gets managed? the sourcing decisions will be guided by the need to achieve these outcome goals.

Hi Tech also needs to enact the kinds of retention policies that build experience in the R&D unit. Note, though, that understanding that retention policies are a key leading indicator is more important than the actual selection of policies, which are unique to each firm. At Hi Tech, a carefully chosen range of HR activities and policies, from supervisory training to unique benefit packages, might be in order. The key thing is that seemingly irrelevant HR “doables"? have a clear strategic rationale.

To achieve optimal staffing in manufacturing, HR must keep its recruiting cycle time short. The appropriate alignment measure—for example, a fourteen-day recruiting cycle time—- would reflect progress toward that objective.

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