Strategy Execution Blog, Research and Analysis
How HR can work better with the CEO
Quick! Your manager wins the lottery and quits her job. Now you are the senior HR leader in your organization reporting directly to the CEO. What is your game plan? How are you going to make this new relationship with the CEO better than it was under your predecessor?
Take a lesson from Wordsworth: Simplify, simplify, simplify. We all know HR doesn't make any money for the company. We can talk about how we impact the bottom line but it is tough to actually measure that impact. So we don't make any money for the company and our impact is difficult to measure, that is why you start with simplifying everything.
Simplify everything to do with HR and you will be loved by all (OK not all, but more people will you now than before). But how can you possibly do that? There are laws you have to comply with! Processes to manage!
I get it. There are certain things we can't get around (FMLA procedures anyone?) but there are lots of other cumbersome processes that can be easily simplified.
- Do not over-complicate annual processes - What does your performance management process look like? If it's like most of the processes I've seen it's either driven by an out-of-date job description or 10 competencies with names like "incubating innovation management." Get a party thrown in your favor narrowing down the process to three or four core competencies based on the user's role in the organization. Don't think that can be done? Check out "One Page Talent Management" by Marc Effron. See our cheat sheet here.
- Reduce costs – I don't mean cutting headcount (unless you have a team full of process heavy bureaucrats), instead look at your processes and determine where you could be more efficient. Are you still sending out 10,000 Open Enrollment brochures? If your employees are office workers those usually end up sitting in a pile in the kitchen where they are eventually trashed. Instead why not just send brochures to those employee's in the field or who do not use email frequently? Everyone else can just go online to view their benefits information.
- Make it easy to find things - Now that you've reduced costs it's time to spend some money (yes!). Hire a web designer or get a resource internally to: a.) Re-design your careers page - this is the first thing candidates see when they are interested in working for your company. It makes sense that this should be easy to navigate and easy for people to find information. b.) Can your employee's find information they need on your company intranet? Is that information updated regularly?
- Re-evaluate all processes - This includes process within HR and processes that face customers. Is it easy for an employee to make a benefits change or do they have to fill out a three page form, get it signed by two people and then wait until after payroll runs for the department to actually enter the change? Don't laugh, these situation really do still occur.
Some of these ideas may work for you others may not; the idea here isn't for me to tell you what to do with your organization. Instead, I want to jumpstart your thinking about what is necessary and what’s fluff. What is meaningful and what is useless? Time and resources are precious don’t be “that gal” who bogs everyone down with yet another HR process.