Leading Innovation = The HR Differentiator

 

bulb

By, Cari Desiderio

I am reading through Deloitte’s 2015 report on global Human Capital Trends.  One of the best reads this year.  It is a steady reminder that our profession of HR is changing.  HR is truly shifting into two categories. The first is the migration of basic compliance and transaction tasks to shared services, outsourcing and administrative management vehicles.  The balance of tasks then become what one may call true HR strategy.  In a way, we must move into a more mainstream business mindset to survive the HR shift.

What corporations need more than anything, are good HR Strategists to advise and lead optimized human capital performance.  Deloitte’s in depth report, which I recommend be read by any leader in business today, focuses on four key areas: leading, engaging, reimagining and reinventing (http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/human-capital/articles/introduction-human-capital-trends.html ).

The reimagining and reinventing in particular hits home for me as a manufacturing business professional.  A couple years back I wrote about the skill gap in our field, estimated as 600,000 unfilled jobs in manufacturing due to lack of skilled workers. A new study says that by 2025 we will have as many as two million unfilled positions due to lack of skilled worked (http://dupress.com/articles/manufacturing-skills-gap-america/ ). This is certainly shop roles, but also a great shortfall of creative, engineering, R&D and new product development talent.  Harvard and MIT research has made the case that a nation’s ability to compete with complex and successful manufacturing products is a lynchpin predictor of long term economic success of the nation (http://dupress.com/articles/manufacturing-skills-gap-america/ ). Not a minor issue.

Now certainly  the need to innovate and drive engagement towards this end is a transcendent issue in every business. Businesses rise and fall on the backs of great ideas and innovative products.

As HR practitioners, I think we need to shift gears.  Upskill ourselves by staying in tune with business climates, best practice ways to coach our leaders and best practice ways to attract and engage great talent. This includes a considerable more focus on learning and development of our employees to equip them to be able to reimagine, innovate and invent new ideas to bring our corporations to next level. Doing this requires dynamic leadership at the top.  The best spent time of an HR practitioner, is the study of leadership principles and the study of how to become very effective executive coaches.

Maybe it’s time to change our name?  Human Resources is not a bad term, but it is not reflective of the high bar calling we now have.

To be effective change agents in the competitive business climate we find ourselves in, we need to up our game and become true leader and human engagers.

Perhaps a good resolution for 2016 – time to upskill and step up to the challenge of becoming the leaders we know we can be!

 

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Diplomat. Strategist. Fortune Teller. Job = Modern Day HR Business Partner

hrbp

By, Cari Desiderio

The trendy term for HR today is business partner. But, what does it mean exactly?  And how does it differ from the way HR used to operate?

The simplest explanation is to say that HR is shifting away from more transactional work, to become more business focused. This does not mean that we can give up our technical HR and compliance knowledge base.  Just because the day to day task loads are shifting to outsourcing options or in house centers of excellence, does not mean that our knowledge of what the content is comprised of should disappear.  Our knowledge base of HR compliance in all the states or countries we operate in needs to remain.

But, in addition to knowing how to manage files or how to administer FMLA, there is a whole new world of competencies required in order to be valued in the modern day organization.

HR partners who make the cut are those who get the business. And who have an uncanny good ability to advise and lead the type of people decisions that get results.  This is not an easy thing.  In fact, I would argue that successful HR business partners can only be those with a very strong intuition for people and strong intuition for business.  Some of this can certainly be studied and taught.  However, there may be some HR professionals who are hard wired for task orientation and struggle with boundary less terrain that requires utilization of many senses to guide the path.

In a way, to earn credibility and be needed, HR now has to offer a special skill set that the operational and business leaders don’t have.  Strong HR business partners have heightened natural people and situation management acumen. I call this the art of diplomacy.  What does a diplomat do?  He/she engages varying sides and negotiates.   Acts as the peacemaker and integrator of different groups. It’s not much different in business.  A strong HR partner is able to move through all of the crowds and cultures and help them find common ground. There is no better example of this perhaps than a corporate acquisition resulting in the merging of two cultures.  In today’s rampantly changing business world, such activity is commonplace.  My company has been through eleven of these in recent years.  The success or failure of an acquisition is based on far more than the financials and a good product to sell.  If the people cannot come together, don’t expect the business to succeed.  Diplomacy can help smooth the path of integration.

Another critical HR Business Partner competency is what I call the art of strategy.  This is where keen business understanding comes into play.  If you as a HR partner are not studying your business climate, understanding what markets are facing, understanding the global climate, understanding the SWOT analysis, then you best not force any idea on your operational teams.  If however you are a HR partner who studies these things and then looks at ways to shape and move the people performance in the direction of business opportunity, by engaging and deploying talent, then you have shifted to the position of an HR strategist.

My last competency is perhaps a bit comedic. I call it the art of fortune telling.  Silly perhaps and of course I do not mean literal crystal balls.  But, rather, a strong HR business partner necessarily must be a student of culture, people, environments and as a combination of these observations have a good handle on predicting what is ahead.  Some time back I found myself in a culture that was pretty broken and lacking trust.  I assessed this and in a few months time advised the business leaders that if we did not correct course we were at risk of losing a number of very long term and critical members of the team, including critical managers.  I wish that my prediction did not come true.  Through this situation my credibility and respect with the leaders grew.  Call it uncanny intuition if you will.  I call it keen observation of what is going on, followed by courage to respectfully speak up about it.  Know your people. Get ahead of things.  Advise your leaders. You will be invited into meetings and executive committees that you never thought you’d be part of, once they realize you are a true subject matter expert in the art of people leadership. 

The cool thing about being a modern day HR Business Partner is that there is never a dull day!  People and business and strategy are complex, engaging, challenging and rewarding. Hats off to the HR professionals who step up to the challenge and become tomorrow’s business leaders!

 

The Talent Games – Why Engagement Matters

chess

By, Cari Desiderio

My favorite part of human resources, by far, is the opportunity we get as HR leaders to invest in managers and grow them by teaching them how to motivate and engage their employees.  It is also the part of our field that I take most seriously. And, if I’m honest, that some days I feel ill equipped to teach.

It is safe for most of us to become experts in a technical area. To learn a product.  To become proficient at planning events. Or writing marketing material. Or crunching numbers on spreadsheets.  Things like this can be planned, executed and managed without too many surprises.  Just like any household chore, once I master a task at work I can advance from basic to advanced to even expert levels of proficiency at said task.

The part of business that isn’t quite so cut and dry is the fuel that we need to accomplish business tasks.  Namely, our people.

Do you ever wish your employees came with a user guide?  Say this specific phrase and Sally will perform at 100% level of engagement today, with a smile at all times.  Train John this way and he will consistently and reliably execute on the task you give him.  Send Jane to this sales and customer service course and your customer satisfaction scores will sky rocket. Check the box, check the box, check the box.

Silly, right?

Of course people do not come with user guides.  We are moody, emotional, fragile at times, in need of unique kinds of motivation based on how we each are wired, and depending on the day we may or may not be as perfectly reliable as our managers wish. When we get fed up with bureaucracy at work or your style of leadership, we just might abandon ship and go work for the company down the street.  The user guide didn’t explain how to handle that.

The reason why I have days when I feel ill equipped to teach managers how to lead well, is because if I am honest I am still learning.  It takes energy, care, and a lot of managing with intuition and patience to lead teams well. It takes stepping off of my throne, and looking around to tend to my team members’ needs first.

Yet, without our people, no business will succeed.  Being able to hire good talent and keep good talent will make or break a company. Companies who learn to do this with proficiency will have a competitive advantage over others in their industry.

With this said, no greater investment can be made than an investment in the culture of a company and the methods in place to both motivate and grow talent.  A good read on this topic is this one –http://www2.deloitte.com/sa/en/pages/human-capital/articles/employee-engagement-culture-human-capital-trends-2015.html?id=sa:2sm:3li:4dcom_share:5awa:6dcom:human_capital

In this simple article, Deloitte highlights some critical pieces to engaging your employees.  The first is to ensure the leaders at the top care about the employees and care about engagement.  This seems a no brainer. But not all companies get this.  You see engagement and good people management is not something one can farm out.  A smart CEO who has little interest in his people will not have a loyal company.  Caring comes from the top.

The last few areas this article points out have to do with making work meaningful and simple.  Make it easy to come to work and get the job done, and provide an environment that is inviting.  The simple part reminds me of a time when I was in an opposite situation where excess rules and a handbook thicker than was healthy, led to a “big brother is watching” culture that disengaged and angered team members.  Similar to raising a child, make rules and standards logical and use the less is best rule.  We may not be children anymore, but the desire for freedom and flexibility is human.  When we are trusted we become more trustworthy. When we are given freedom to create, we innovate. Focus on what counts with your teams. Make goals clear and focus on the minimum required to get maximum output.  Add a bit of meaning to work by showing how your employee’s contributions impact the bottom line. Celebrate this.  Reward this. Give employees opportunities to have experiences and exposure so they can grow.

The last and final point of this article is to get in touch with the Millennial generation.  In other words, be sure we know what the group that will be half the work population in three years wants!  I would extend this sentiment further for the global companies.  Get to know the culture of each group, especially if you lead teams that are not from your native part of the world.  This sounds scary perhaps. But it’s not.  If you are a manager who is curious and caring enough to ask questions and spend time with your employees, you will learn.  Paying attention and caring… go a long way.  You don’t have to be the smartest person on the team to lead the team. You actually need to hire smarter people than you to be on your team. Then treat them well.

Good luck playing the chess game of talent!  May the best people engagement strategists win!

If you Measure It, They will Listen: A Case Study in Why Lean can help HR get its Groove back

LEAN HR

By, Cari Desiderio

I often tell people that I am not a very attentive to detail person.  My DiSC score is a high I with some gravitation towards D.  Meaning I move fast, love to talk, love to win, and absolutely hate getting into the weeds.  The thing is, people don’t believe me.  That is because despite my natural orientation, I have changed my behaviors.  You might say I have gotten drunk on Lean Kool-Aid.  This not so naturally detailed lady now loves metrics.  Because metrics done well, spells out success in our field.  The soft and touchy feely field of HR suddenly goes from a field leaders give a half way nod to, to a field our leaders see as crucial to success. This changing of the reputation only happens once we can measure and prove our worth. That’s where Lean, Six Sigma and continuous improvement (CI) theories can help.

My journey in CI actually started with the tenets of Six Sigma, but in recent years I have evolved to embrace business system thinking that infuses a deep culture of CI into the very fiber of culture and people.   Whether it is the Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) that Six Sigma teaches, or the Kaizen brainstorming and VDM (visual daily management boards) that Lean introduces, there is a common pattern of measuring things.  They teach a culture of constant stretching and improving.  Recently a team member still in her on boarding period asked me about how serious we are about our goals.  I gave her the analogy of standing on her tippy toes with fingers outstretched, trying to touch the ceiling.  Think about the goal as the ceiling.  This is how a good goal feels.  Lean teaches us that when we start hitting our goals repeatedly, the goal needs to be adjusted.  We’ve settled.  We should never contract back to a standing position, or we are becoming complacent.  I told this team member that it’s good that she feels the stretch effect.  That yes for sure we are serious about our goals. But not to be discouraged.  The culture embraced by Lean and CI, embodies a spirit of trial and error and success learned through mistakes and repeats and then, finally, improvement.  But those bumps and ebb and flowing are part of the story.  There is no smooth ride.  The learning happens in the bumps along the way. But if we stay the course, in the end we will win and see strides forward and goals hit.  That is because when CI is applied, with visibility and goals and team engagement not abandoned, some form of success just has to eventually ensue.

Now I need to state a disclaimer. I’m still a bit of a newbie to Lean.  I’m still learning.  But I’ve seen some immediate successes in the recent years and it’s got me sold. My first learning journey in Lean was when I was involved with an action improvement plan (AIP) focused on cross training a plant.  We looked at our problem statement.  It started with an American problem that was impacting our plant and many others. Namely, that close to 600,000 American factory jobs cannot be filled due to labor shortage due to lacking technical skills.  A compounding problem statement is that factory workers tend to be older and the Baby Boomers are retiring.  A third and also compounding issue was that our engagement scores (again – obtained via measurement) were showing that team members wanted opportunities to grow and develop.  Neglecting to do so would lead to dissatisfaction, poorer engagement and more turnover.  Add all of this up, and we have a risk situation around adequate factory labor to make our materials on time and well. So all of these factors led to an initiative to map out the skills and competencies required to hold various positions in different departments in the shop. Direct labor staff members were evaluated on skills sets and given learning plans to stretch and learn new skills.  The outcome?  We were able to avoid numerous outside hires for some of the more complex jobs because we were growing out talent.

A second area I’ve enjoyed seeing Lean applied to is talent acquisition.  In this endeavor we’ve brought more of the formal tools of Lean into play. A kaizen workshop to dissect the process, and using mapping tools to have cross platform teams critique the talent acquisition process and build a future state.  VDM regular report out meetings to dissect the problem areas and adopt a discipline for team members to come together to speak to and address issues regularly.  VDM is great because sometimes by merely exposing issues on a timely basis, they are solved faster and better.  One can also apply formal countermeasure solutions to solving recruiting issues, when issues are more complex.  Easy? No. It takes discipline.  But in the end the hard work pays off.  Over two companies, I have seen time to fill reduced by 25% to 50% using principles of Six Sigma and Lean. It pays off!

The lesson is simple.  Measurement.  Visibility.  Accountability.  Goals.  Engagement and inviting team ideas and ownership.  Eliminating waste. Relentless improvement baked into the culture.  There are many great things that can happen when the tried and true principles taught by various continuous improvement theories are applied to any field. Including HR!  I read a recent report by Deloitte that said HR gets a D+ grade with most operational leaders. Let’s change this story!  By getting serious about measuring our field, we can go from a D+ to an A+. Let’s define what a good HR partner looks like, and starting adding value to the bottom line!

References:

http://d2mtr37y39tpbu.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/DUP_GlobalHumanCapitalTrends2015.pdf

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/us-manufacturing-sees-shortage-of-skilled-factory-workers/2012/02/17/gIQAo0MLOR_story.html

The Symbiotic Relationship of Talent Management and Talent Acquisition

TATM LOGO

By, Cari Desiderio

Who is the stand out boss in your life?  If you have been so blessed with that great leader.  For me it was my boss in 2009, Jim.  Jim had an interesting perspective on a lot of things in life and remains a bit of a life coach to this day. He also had an interesting perspective on developing team members. A perspective that was game changing for me, which I benefited from. It went like this.  Hire people that you can invest in and build up, who are apt and able to take on projects. And give them work. Don’t fear they will be a threat (if you do that you probably ought not to be a leader).  Rather give them opportunity. Exposure.  Coaching.  Jim essentially was following the 70/20/10 leadership development model.  In my time with that company I was sponsored to get my SPHR at no cost. I was trained on change management through a great college program. I was stretched to the point of fearing I might break (that was the point – challenge you until you really grow). And within four months Jim got me promoted.  When a new role opened, he didn’t suggest the company go to the outside because he was preparing me to take on the role. Without his preparation I am sure I would have failed.

And luckily I’ve been so blessed with other strong leaders. I humbly hope I can follow the same model as I have the responsibility of shepherding of my own.  Why?  Two important reasons why.

Important Reason Number One: When we develop our team members we engage our team members.  This leads to money in the company’s pocket in the form of more work and great output and innovations. Because I knew that Jim was my advocate and my coach and committed to my promotion, I was all in. All in because I was being cared for and developed.  Contributing admittedly a bit more than I may have in some other jobs. Because I had a great leader who knew he would be stronger, if I was stronger. Wow.  I know that the field of training and development is a bit more complex than this and I spent two years studying it. But frankly in a nutshell this is the heart of it.  Leaders who enjoy developing and teaching and promoting their people, lead companies that win.

Important Reason Number Two:  When we develop our team members we reduce our turnover and quite simply don’t need to keep hiring as many people from the outside.   This is pretty simple one to quantify.  Recent survey results pointed to the fact that 40% of employees who receive poor training (this doesn’t even get into the more advanced development side of things) will leave their company within one year of employment.  Another statistic projects that 1 out of 4 employees expect to leave their job within a year.  Common reasons cited are concerns around job stability, pay cuts and cuts in training and investment. And I suppose we might factor in the millennial generation which is a generation that leaves jobs every three years or less and development and engagement are key drivers for them.  Considering the millennial generation will be almost half the workforce in a few years, this ship is not going to stop sailing. The average cost per hire can be computed many ways but a common rough estimate is $2500 per hire (raw cost not factoring in tribal knowledge lost or the impact on team).

One idea to promote more promotions within is to actually connect your talent acquisition and talent development teams.  Create a funnel of ready candidates (the results of your 9-box, or whatever talent management and succession tool you use).  Make sure your recruiters all have this list.  And, measure it! Set stretch targets.  If your current internal job fill percentage is 15%, make it 20% for next year, 25% the year after, and keep going. A really healthy goal is to grow to as high as a 50% target.  Because if development is really happening, this will happen organically eventually!

Simply put, it is good business to coach, develop, train and care about our employees. I just got off the phone this week with a dear business friend who once worked for me. He is celebrating his new HR Director job that he more than earned.  Hats off to him for developing rapid fire to earn a seat with a big company and a great job.  Having him on my team when I was his boss years back, only made me stronger because he delivered unbelievable results and together we turned around a somewhat broken HR department. I could not have delivered at the level I did without the team I hired at the time.  And truth is that hiring the best and promoting the best is a big win win for all.  The company – wins in the form of business results.  The manager who develops – wins because their team IS their reputation.  The employee being developed – wins in the form of career acceleration and achievement. So go out there and invest a little more time in your team – let’s win TOGETHER!

RESOURCES:
https://www.trainingindustry.com/wiki/entries/the-702010-model-for-learning-and-development.aspx

https://www.go2hr.ca/articles/employee-training-worth-investment

http://www.refreshleadership.com/index.php/2013/09/employee-development-important/

http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/01/07/in-5-years-millennials-will-make-up-50-of-the-work

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/08/14/job-hopping-is-the-new-normal-for-millennials-three-ways-to-prevent-a-human-resource-nightmare/

Talent Acquisition Competency Model

comp model two

By, Cari Desiderio

For the past 18 months of my career I’ve been having a blast doing a deep dive into a function of the HR body of knowledge.  Talent Acquisition.  It’s probably one of the most appreciated pieces of our field in terms of customer appreciation, when done well. And probably the most painful piece of our field when not done well.  As my job coach told me once, they (internal leaders and customers) won’t believe anything you tell them as HR practitioner if you cannot fill their empty seats!  I didn’t believe this seemingly silly statement until I had my first crack at hard core make it or break it recruitment demands in 2009.  We had a mega staff up and without this successfully accomplished (in a few short months) a big government demonstration in the healthcare division I was at would have not been operational.  I don’t know that any of my work on talent development, employee relations, retention and engagement or other critical projects would have been quite as supported had my team not filled those jobs in New York. Recruiting gained us a positive reputation.

Of course, being a curious person I am not one to camp out in one function of our field without beginning to do what I just do.  Study it.  Try to write the success formula.  Apply a little HRD and try to write the competency model for the field.  Before I went as deep into this field as I am now, I honestly did not realize how much of the job had nothing to do with finding candidates.  Now that I’m neck deep in this field, I find myself drawing from my sales training in college more than any HR master’s program or SPHR prep class.  Because recruiting done well is really sales and project management I’m learning.

I’d love to get the input of my fellow talent acquisition community members on this blog.  Here’s my short list of what competencies I think make the top seven list for recruiters.

  1. Tenacity. A good recruiter is stubborn.  Most of the candidates surfaced may not get hired. That’s OK.  A good recruiter keeps digging for gold.  When hiring managers say no to the first three rounds, a good recruiter won’t give us.  Stubborn tenacity to win until the position is filled.
  2. Network Build. This is really all about relationship skills.  One of my best recruiters told me one time that her great hires take about a year to woo.    A year to woo seemed long to me when I first heard this.  But the principle here is that a good recruiter builds a funnel.  Grooms the funnel. Keeps up with good leads.  And when the time is right a person from that network becomes a hire.
  3. Salesmanship. This is both inside and outside the organization.  On the outside, the good recruiter needs to reel in good leads.  Sell the company.  Sell the role.  From tone of voice to knowledge and generation of enthusiasm about the company, it’s the whole sales package. And internally the recruiter needs to get the hiring manager interested in the candidate.  Never provide a resume without a nice profile/summary of attributes to showcase the candidate.  Now this doesn’t mean embellishment.  Truth still stands.  We need to weed out the unimpressive.  But presentation matters.
  4. Project Management. This is an interesting one.  On the one hand, this is basic organization to keep track of the funnel and leads and present at the right time.  But on a larger scale, this is about leading the hiring manager through the process.  A good job scope discussion.  Adequate touch points.  Driving the hiring team to respond to resume submissions, have timely interviews, and make fast decisions to keep good leads interested.  Really there is a lot of project management skill and a good recruiter has the organization and confidence and skill to lead this indirect management of the team members involved in hiring.
  5. Market Intelligence. Plain and simple. Know thy market.  Know the going salary for a position. Know how to write an appropriate job description that both grabs attention and showcases the job as the market expects it to be showcased.  Be able to guide the hiring manager and team to understand what they get for the dollars spent.
  6. Sourcing Skill. Good recruiters are up on the latest technology and methods of sourcing.   We can call this looking under every rock or finding a needle in a haystack. Technology and sourcing method change just about every year, sometimes much quicker.  Recruiters can stay up on this via networking with other recruiters, using online education forums via ERE.net, SHRM.com, CEB and more.
  7. Behavioral / KSA Assessment Accuracy. This is a big credibility maker or breaker.  A good recruiter can do a solid screening of fit for job, culture, team, etc.  Typically this is a blend of skills assessment questions and certainly many behavioral and situational questions to get at deeper levels of competency.

By, Cari Desiderio

Shared Services Model and the Rebirth of Human Resources as a Field

bear

By, Cari Desiderio

HR has undergone a transformation in the past decade.  Some find it frightening. Some are part of this transformation and leading it and in so doing making themselves more valuable as HR business partners than ever before. Much like the symbolic meaning of the polar bear (rebirth and transformation) this can be a frightening and exciting journey for us in the field.

Not too many of us in the field know how it came to be. We all felt the change when it impacted our organization.  For me the first shared service model was implemented when I worked at a company that had just hit 35,000 employees in 2010.  We rolled out a model where our central Denver team had a HR call center, a file retention team, legal support and shared recruiting.  At the time this was new but very welcome to me. I was able to spend the majority of time on some key projects.  We reorganized our insurance call center to increase employee performance. I was freed up to have more plane time to spend time with my field teams throughout the US. I was able to create some new training on performance ownership and change management and teambuilding. We even were able to dedicate more time to succession planning and creating development plans for our critical retention group.  At the time I wasn’t truly thinking about the roots of what I now see as the revolution of HR.  But as I felt the benefits of it, it made me a believer.

I am now on the side of the administration simplicity team.  I am creating the strategic value equation for HR leaders in the field by creating a piece of the shared recruiting services, recruiting.  I’ve enjoyed having both vantage points.

The reality is that we are over ten years into this new way of doing HR.  David Ulrich was the architect.  I have only worked for one Fortune 500 Company in my career so admittedly my initiation into this “new way” of doing HR was perhaps a little late to bloom.  But as I’ve experienced it I know that there is probably no going back.  With globalization and the omniscient demand to do more with less, more with less, more with less, as we compete across continents and with two countries triple the size of the US, the game has changed.  How can I create human capital value that will service India, China, Latin America, Europe, Asia, The Middle East and the US?  Certainly I cannot serve every personnel need alone.  Rather, the concept of carving out each function and creating a center of excellence model is a brilliant solution.  Create a labor relations legal team to stay attuned to the legal climate on a global scale and build a team of partners with global background.  Build a recruiting team with talent acquisition personnel in different countries, and give them visibility to a CRM tool that can help them place multiple roles in multiple geographies because they have the right visibility and the right focus time to just recruit.  Create a call center to be able to handle the basic “HR 101” questions and give them a database with access to all of the local and regional policies, benefits programs, global HRIS data, etc.  Build a learning team to run the LMS and build curriculum and training plans. Then of course have field HR leaders who can focus on the client facing work. Essentially the administrative pieces of HR are consolidated, streamlined, made scalable and handled by shared services. Then the field HR staff can focus on being change leaders, employee engagement advisers and HR business partners for all of the necessarily employee/manager facing activity.

On the whole, this new vision for HR is a brilliant one. I remain a firm believer. This said, it is not without issues that must be addressed.  The first issue is a combination of skill evolution and perception of threat.  If HR professionals are not shown the value proposition and logic of this journey into shared services, they can be caught unaware and experience great stress.  Some may see the central team as a threat to their job.  Hopefully this issue can be addressed by transitioning most team members into new roles on the future state HR team.  This can only be successful however if the HR professionals are prepared for this skill change.  Personally I made the choice to move from a long career as a HR generalist leader, into a functional role.  For me this is something I see as a period in my career to grow out a critical skill set in the area of talent. However, to prepare for this I had to immerse myself head first in learning just what it means to be spending 100% of my time on a function I had previously spent only 20% of my time on.  I had to learn new skills.  If a company prepares their HR partners for this skill evolution, then they can address both the threat (will I lose my job) and the potential talent short fall (being put into a functional role for which one is not prepared).  The third issue to address is really about boundaries and working together in the new environment.  As the field staff moves to relinquish many of their day to day tasks to the shared service team, the two teams need a leader to help build trust and respect and rapport. If the team has any hint of “us versus them” then the new model may be a failure.  Rather, to see the new model as one that is complimentary is the goal.  This requires clear roll out of the new process, a definition and delineation of “who owns what piece of the HR Process” and, lastly, some real strong training and team building efforts should be tended to in order to build rapport across the central team and the field team.

In any event, shared services is here to stay as long as we live in a global and competitive world. It is the only way to make our field scaleable and strategic.

Resources:

http://www.henley.ac.uk/web/FILES/corporate/cl-Henley_Centre_HR_models_desk_research_October_2009.pdf