Ideas for Improving HR Programs and HR Service Delivery

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Human Resources Management > Best Practices > Ideas for Improving HR Programs and HR Service Delivery

Ideas for Improving HR Programs and HR Service Delivery
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
Many organizations are looking for innovative and creative ideas. Including in HR.
If you were advising your HR Department on new approaches to HR Services and Programs, what would you suggest?
- Would you outsource by eliminating transactional functions?
- Would you transfer responsibilities to recruit and reward to clients?
- Is the use of a policy framework enough to manage services performed by clients, while still protecting people?
Hope the members have some good ideas. Thanks.

Defining Human Resources Policies | Definiendo Políticas de Recursos Humanos
Sergio Candia Contreras, Teacher, Chile, Member
1. Proper attention to the customer and knowledge about the featrues and quality of the product / service should be present knowledge, and, with similar importance, knowing the possible psychological reactions by customers concerning the products offered, and being able to react adequatly to their demand, basically focusing the interests of the organization to the request of the client, exposing the alternatives the organization is offering to satisfy them.
2. The HR policy should consider training in public relations aimed at better customer care, including a generic orientation according to the quality and genre of product and visually appealing to potential customers; a warm and empathetic treatment is essential to create an environment of trust.
3. Past behaviors are not transferable to other agents. Each human resource of the organization must be able to meet customer demands supported by appropriate internal resources.

1. La correcta atención del cliente, debe estar en conocimiento de las cualidades y calidad del producto/servicio, y, con similar relevancia, conocer las posibles reacciones psicológicas del cliente frente al producto ofrecido, y tener adecuada reacción a su demanda, básicamente en centrar el interés de la organización en el requerimiento del cliente para, desde allí, exponerle las alternativas que la organización ofrece para satisfacerlo.
2. La política de RH debe considerar una formación en Relaciones Públicas orientadas a la mejor atención del cliente, que incluya una ambientación generica acorde a la calidad y género del producto y visualmente atractiva al potencial cliente; el trato acogedor y empático es fundamental para crear un ambiente de confianza.
3. Las conductas anteriores no son transferibles a terceros agentes. Cada recurso humanos de la organización debe ser capaz de satisfacer las demandas del cliente contando con los apoyos internos necesarios.

New Approaches to HR Services
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
HR is an integral part of any business. It engulfs both Transactional and Strategic functions. A business always looks for growth & development. It cannot eliminate transactional functions. It is imperative that transactional functions are well tuned to the strategic functions of the business.
Business organizations should look into (1) having strong empowered individuals; (2) looking forward positively to develop business; (3) building strong networks and and (4) building a base plan to covert into a connected & aligned business organization.
Outsourcing is possible, provided that the agency hired is well tuned to the organization's business strategy functions. This involves keeping the hired agency abreast of hiring process and maintaining open lines of communication throughout the process.

Strategic Human Resource Management Ideas
Belay Gezahegn, Director, Ethiopia, Member
The idea of making the HR department a business partner is the strategic direction of the day. HR management has been more concerned about transactional functions or personnel administration than about strategic business issues.
Nowadays however, HR development is the concern of many organisations and governments. The career and succession planning, development of performance management system, designing retention strategy through an appropriate and well designed compensation and reward system and training and development are all parts of your core business.
In my view you do not need to outsource these functions as you might compromise your competitive advantage. The rest which are more transactional activities have to be outsourced.

HR Delivery: Outsourcing, Recruitment, Employee Respect
Dr. Alan Williams, Professor, Thailand, Member
As a consultant, I have seen many examples of:
- Poor delivery, lack of focus, slow, by the outside consultant, and even worse the provider taking an attitude that everything has to fit into their 'rules'.
- Cost. There is a case that outsourcing costs should only be allowed when it's much closer to creating value or turning value into revenue. In fact I've seen some heated discussions at senior management meetings with design, production and marketing managers saying "I'm not allowed to increase costs but HR spends money (often not cheap) on outsourcing HR work, why?" "Why can't they do it themselves". "Prove to me that outsourcing HR provides strong extra value!"
I do support HR developing dedicated HR spreadsheets.
RECRUITMENT - yes line managers should be more involved with HR specialist guidance, especially in terms of behavioral / attitude fit.
RESPECT FOR EMPLOYEES. This third point is obvious, respect for employees should be there automatically, always!

Suggestions for Improvement of HR Practices
Suku Mathews, Analyst, India, Member
I have two suggestions for the HR Department:
1. Outsource HR: In doing so, the HR department can get rid of the transnational / repetitive activities and focus on more important activities to improve employee job performance and satisfaction
2. Talent Management: It is important for organizations to recognize their talented employees and retain them. This is good for both employee career development and leadership succession planning.

Learn to Listen with the Intent to Understand
Bill Boynton, Teacher, United States, Member
I have been retired from working for a Fortune 100 company for over 20 years, and from all my experiences, I would say, the ability to create as well as build relationships, is critical to building a positive organizational culture. A culture where everyone can participate to the degree they are able to learn and grow.
The tool for making this an opportunity lies in the discipline of "Dialogue," where we learn to communicate with shared agenda's.
Where we feel safe in our convictions, but are willing to learn and change as the benefits of that change displays itself.
Where we can leave our prejudices, and out of date paradigms behind and except reality as it really is.
Where we can listen with the intent to understand, to clarify and ask questions, that builds our learning repertoire, and increases our ability to want to listen and learn more.
So. If I was starting over I would push for a communication coarse of "Dialogue", that somewhere along the way would include everyone in the organization.

More Frequent Performance Appraisals
Bibi Mussarat, Student (University), Afghanistan, Member
My suggestion is that most of the companies do a performance appraisal of their staff only once per year. Whenever an employee is doing something wrong it will have become their habit by the time they have an appraisal and changing a habit is difficult. So do them more often.
Also companies must try to keep their operational cost to a minimum than program cost in order to be successful company.

Performance Appraisal-HRD
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
@Bibi Mussarat, Salams, I agree an employee doing something wrong for months - unnoticed by managers (supervisors) - this is indeed bad. Mistakes are to be corrected immediately before it becomes a habit. I would like Managers (Supervisors) to think of the "Hot Stove Rule"
As for regarding operational cost is concerned it should be as minimum as possible.

Annual Performance Appraisal not Acceptable
Dr. Alan Williams, Professor, Thailand, Member
In other words the manager / supervisor allows poor performance / unacceptable behaviors until the annual appraisal date.
In my view this constitutes poor performance by that manager / supervisor.
It worries me that so many organizations lose time and results by such approaches.
Managers / supervisors have a responsibility to monitor and correct on a continuous and urgent basis.
Is that difficult? No!

Engage in HR Strategy and Research
Adeyinka Oluwaseun, Student (University), Nigeria, Member
The HR department should not be outsourced so as to ensure continuous Human Resources motivation and management, in order to enhance the employee performance and the the productivity of the organization.
The HR department could engage in thorough research and keep strategizing on how to facilitate employees to perform more effectively to achieve the organization's goals and objectives.

Outsourcing and Employee Devlopment
Ramakrishnan, Consultant, India, Member
Transactional activities can be outsourced provided there is no compromise in strategic interest, it is cost effective, the outsourcing clients have some commitment to the stakeholders of the company, we do not lose competitive advantage, and always get high quality jobs done on time. Some efforts need to be made to constantly monitor outsourced jobs and it must be subject to periodic reviews.
Transferring responsibilities for recruitment and rewards to clients may not be the best idea in most occasions:
- This process may erode development of highly productive and committed employees and may eventually affect the organization. Perhaps the responsibility for initial levels of recruitment may be given to clients but at final stages we need to know better which people we hire.
- Similarly on rewards program, who knows the employees better than the in-house HR people! Even if inputs from clients can be encouraged.

New Approaches to HR Services
b.shankar, Management Consultant, Member
I fully agree with the alignment of transactional and structural functions. But if the intention is to realize the four mentioned factors with only formal competence development based on the cognitivistic approach and planned change, I doubt if a lot of improvement will occur.
In my opinion the involvement of the cultural constructivistic perspective is also of great importance in any sort of process of informal competence development. Long life learning wise. To create a continuous high level of interdependence consciousness: balance between autonomous and dependence thinking and doing. For me, this is a sine qua non for cooperation en goal realization.
As far as outsourcing is concerned, my experience is that consultancy must be based on multicultural insights and expertise to succeed in developing the balance between structural and transactional functions.

Recommendations Towards HR Outsourcing
Suku Mathews, Analyst, India, Member
I am supportive of outsourcing transactional HR activities. But be aware that outsourcing HR activities is not like outsourcing other functions like information technology. HR outsourcing should be done gradually. Organizations should start with a few HR processes and develop a level of understanding between the organization and the outsourcing service provider. Such outsourcing can have various benefits:
- Organization can focus on core activities and strategic HR management
- Outsourcing can be cost saving
- Organizations can benefit from the knowledge and experience of the service providers
- Gain better flexibility and efficiency to changing labor laws
- Outsourcing can reduce risks
But outsourcing HR is a learning process and organizations have to take it step by step.

New HR Focus for a New Generation
jorge anibal hoyos hoyos, Manager, Colombia, Member
I think (and already applied it) we need to instill a Value Creation Culture everybody must focus when any activity is performed, at any level of the organization. Each employee must work as his own manager, like the whole company would depend upon their activities. Indeed every movement at every level affects the company.
Everybody, starting at the Top Management must be aware about the whole company and work with the same spirit, goals, plans, cohesion, good governance practices, care of the brand etc. Any aversion will cause failures to others. The major thing is not what the learning system into the company must face up, but how the goals mentioned above must be reached.

New HR Focus for a New Generation
Dr. Alan Williams, Professor, Thailand, Member
@jorge anibal hoyos hoyos: Sorry but I can't see how this works. Where's the accountability system and what are the processes to ensure the outputs assigned to / expected to be achieved by each job are actually achieved? And how do your differentiate rewards in this new model?

What is meant with Policy Framework?
Hamad Al Sadd Al Ali, Student (MBA), United Arab Emirates, Member
@David Wilson, with my respect... Could you shed light on the last question? The policy framework and securing people. Kindly add what did you mean by this?

Policy Framework and Securing People
Dr. Alan Williams, Professor, Thailand, Member
I was reacting to a 'concept'; which I find to be just warm words.
In reality any CEO / HR manager knows well that there should be structured management systems to run / operate / measure the many activities needed to achieve agreed outputs and to measure outputs. This is management 101.
The most critical point, in this thread, is a well focused Performance Management system, not too complicated but well-focused on achieving agreed outputs. Securing people. In my experience this is where many companies fall short - they are just not good at recruitment and internal selection, and especially in terms of focus on the 'on the job behaviors' the company wants, including Emotional Intelligence and the operational behavioral competencies needed for each job.

Services Policy and Respect for Persons
Sergio Candia Contreras, Teacher, Chile, Member
@Hamad Al Sadd Al Ali: There are organizational managers who think a general policy framework provides sufficient services to it's customers - "this is what we are and this is what we offer" - but this is a false economy of resources and procedures.
It establishes a stiffness that forces the client to adapt to what the organization offers, limiting their options. On the contrary, what the organization is about should be considered primarily is customer satisfaction to the maximum extent possible, which implies that a policy framework should be considered to respect and protect the interests of the people. This principle seeks not only to develop ethically planned management processes but is also a permanent and current form of a "study spot market" that will allow the organization to reorient its production and improve, managing its services and enhancing its participation in the market.

Policy Frameworks for Securing Talented People
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
Key principles for making a HR policy framework for securing talented people are: integrity, diversity, respect, accountability and the public good.
These are fulfilled by factors like: competitive pay; work/life balance; competitive benefits; challenging works; performance-based pay and the organization's reputation as a good employer.
So, such a policy framework should be made with factors like: 1. seeing the big picture, 2. changing & improving, 3. making effective decisions, 4. leading and communicating, 5. collaborating & partnering, 6. building capability for all, 7. achieving commercial outcomes, 8. delivering value for money, 9. managing quality service, and 10. delivering at pace.

Policy Framework for Client, Offering Service Management
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
To set up a HR policy framework for a client for service management, following questions should examined:
What cost does the company choose to allocate? How many and what kind applications should be considered? How often the client services will be upgraded? What service level the company attempts to deliver, device and specific users?
Service Management Model involves three elements:
- People/Organization: the staff who performs client management activities;
- Process: the client organization activities;
- Technology: the supporting technology.
A maturity model can also be considered at 4 levels:
1. Activity which acts as foundation for service management;
2. Efficiency: which moves then to changes or results;
3. Responsive: moving further to problem analysis, and
4. Business Driven, which moves towards closer integration.
If above are satisfied then there's no harm in taking up Service management through the Client.

.... Service Management
Dr. Alan Williams, Professor, Thailand, Member
@K.Narayana Moorthy: Actually I don't understand your comment, please be specific and give some examples with relevance to the day to day / long-term business strategy development and implementation of the agreed strategies.

Policy Framework and Securing People
b.shankar, Management Consultant, Member
Dear Hamid, I see this subject in the light of integration of organization and personal goals. By which I refer to satisfaction of collective and individual needs at the same time. As a result of policy. Developed in a sort partner and ownership process. In which actors and stakeholders, are as much as possible informally involved. Creating a climate of cooperation with (spontaneous) exchange of problems and solutions. Resulting in early mentioned interdependence consciousness. With the possibility of voluntarily acceptance and readiness to implement the policy. Because it reflects not only the balance between structural and transactional functions. But this also covers essential needs of partners as owners. In other words, it gives shelter to everyone.

What is a HR Policy Framework?
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
Hi @Hamad Al Sadd Al Ali: A HR policy framework is a defined set of policies and practices used to describe the services to be provided. The framework outlines the policies and practices the HR organization agrees to provide to their clients. Some organizations will call it a service level agreement or SLA, where the HR organization describes its services, resources, timelines, and practices.
I prefer the use of a policy framework because it describes the work and the actions in broad general terms. It also allows the HR organization to partner with their clients. A policy framework still allows HR to respond to each specific client need as opposed to using a rigid set of rules, which provide much less flexibility.

What a Value Creation Culture Means
jorge anibal hoyos hoyos, Manager, Colombia, Member
@Dr. Alan Williams: The failures that leads always up to the back in for costs, not to bear in mind the effects of the failures and the errors depend upon the spirit (satisfaction into the company, to be aligned with the policies, the strategical plan), the personal mastery of the activities, the acknowledgement of the risks ALL activities load no matter the level, the effects on the company image (learning system), innovation, co-creation, pro-activity interest (empowerment, confidence from the higher-ups), personal awareness about the effects into the organization of any action involved (learning system regarding the processes affected by your work like it is can be indicated into a Strategy Map) amongst others.
All of these must be focused as a whole but applied specifically at every post, handled by the people in charge of any division and analysed in conjunction with all the groups likely to be affected so as to reach coordinated actions and possible changes to perform.

Meaning of a Policy Framework
Hamad Al Sadd Al Ali, Student (MBA), United Arab Emirates, Member
Dear Mr. David Wilson, a policy framework is a set of policies. Now it is more clear. So these defined polices are approved to describe the services. And the staff are the clients of the policy framework, right?

The Clients of a Policy Framework are Staff
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
Hi Hamad Al Sadd Al Ali: Yes, clients are staff in other departments.
Remember, a Policy Manual and a Service Level Agreement are not the same type of document. However, if you use the two concepts within an overall framework, you will be able to satisfy clients and the service providers, because they will understand what is required. Both policies and SLAs should support the business vision and business strategies.
Remember also, clients may have there own policies.

Exceeding Policy Statement / Service Agreement as the Norm
Dr. Alan Williams, Professor, Thailand, Member
I've worked with many major corporations across all of Asia who have such processes and in most cases they work well.
The best I'm aware of is one high performance company from Singapore which includes in the written service agreement that the HR manager / officer (case by case) must contribute more than what is specifically written in the service agreement deliverables. If not then the employee involved cannot even get a 'fully satisfactory' personal performance rating. "... More than what is specifically written in the service agreement deliverables" can be in terms of operational efficiencies, cross department collaborations, capabilities, building better work climate, more motivational leadership behaviors and more. An 'expressed idea' does not count, it must be something which has been implemented and is delivering obvious value.

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