HR – Predictive strategist, business partner and trusted colleague?
Dave Ulrich the “father of modern HR” was recently quoted as saying that “every two and a half to three years I should have 50% new material because if I’m not generating fresh ideas then I am teaching what was appropriate for the past and not the future”. Somewhat of a wake-up call for those of us involved in facilitating impactive HR progress and aiding the business success of our clients. DU is of course one of the primary thought leaders of our profession and increasingly his voice has been joined by others providing fresh perspectives, insightful survey results on particular aspects of our HR offerings, research on new approaches etc. All good for those of us who work “downstream” of these originators providing our own origination, sifting and translating service to determine what is likely (or is proving) to work in impacting business results positively. We concentrate on sorting the “trend” from the “fad” (ie. an idea or an approach that might shape a significant shift in HR impact) and take a view on what is best for a business client at this particular point in their evolution. We also look for those initiatives that might have a certain (albeit increasingly shortened) shelf life to provide a return on any change and improvement implemented.
I doubt I ever meet the 50% new material in the timeframe DU suggests (probably too married to positive experiences of something working well and having a tangible result, to shape a change in approach as often as I should) but I do conduct an ongoing review of what new ideas, suggestions and data is out there and what is shaping improved HR approaches ie. what might help my consultancy clients or workshop attendees improve the chances of continuing success for their business.
Studies, claims and statements:
Here’s a few things that caught my eye in my latest review – claims and statements from a variety of sources:
– Only 1 in 7 high performers are also high potential.
– Of those who have decided to leave you for elsewhere and then accept a counter offer to stay, 93% will leave within 18 months.
– 37% of those identified as high potential intend to leave their current firms within a year
– Only 16% of junior HR practicioners feel they need to combine commercial and HR expertise to bring value to their organisation. This rises to 27% for
HR middle managers.
– Replacing talent costs on average between 50 and 90% of their annual salary and rises to as much as 200% for “top talent”
– Of those participating in a “wellness at work” activity – 50% said they were more productive, 40% said they were more likely to stay with the company and 30% said they were taking fewer sick days.
– 7 out of 10 employees feel disengaged at work.
– Only 25% of line managers think Learning and Development is critical to achieving business goals.
– When being interviewed for a job 67% fail to make eye contact, 47% have little knowledge of the company and 38% don’t smile.
– 98 of 100 FTSE members include a values statement on-line or in their annual report.
– In 2014,Boards of Directors for publicly traded companies containing at least one woman outperformed their all-male counterparts in the US, India and UK by 1.9%, 0.85% and 0.53% respectively in terms of return on assets. The non-diverse companies lost out to the tune of USD655 Billion in total.
Now, we need to be a little cautious in swallowing all of this whole – in a leadership workshop I conducted recently we looked at a study that suggested up to 80% of leadership research ultimately proves the starting hypothesis of the researchers. The same may be the case here. However, even if the case being made from these claims is overstated – “say” 3 of 7 high performers is also high potential or increased gender diversity at Board level will add only USD300 Billion in return on assets etc.
– the numbers remain potentially significant.
But what IS the significance of all this?
Those HR leaders and teams who are working at the predictive strategist, business partner and trusted colleague end of the HR continuum would see these statements and claims and look at how they may relate to their own industry, market and business. They would be comparing their own businesses’ success and benchmarks against what is quoted here, looking for improvements that would aid their search for competitive advantage – hiring times, L&D’s (measurable) impact, engagement results, business acumen of junior and middle HR staff, senior gender diversity etc. More importantly, they would be looking to action improvements in those areas found to be less than supportive of business success, prioritizing the ones where a change gives the business most “bang for its buck”.
Of course, it is hard when you are running or part of an HR team that is serving a demanding business day to day to raise your head and look at what is out there or on the horizon and may be coming your way. When I was running internal HR teams
I certainly could not devote the time I now do to this type of review and translation. However, it is critical to HR continuing impact and success and I can only encourage those reading this to do their best to “find a way”.