Friday, January 09, 2009

...when HR chaps gets the slam dunk or plonk u mean? hahaha

Associated Press(AP) reported unemployment rate in the US bolted to 7.2 percent in December 2008, the highest level in 16 years, as nervous employers slashed 524,000 jobs. The labour market (US) is expected to remain weak as mass layoffs continue. At the same time, top Democrats, as reported by AP, disliked key provisions, especially the designs of Obama's tax cuts! Obama Oh Obama...and if that's not enuf, the whole world it seems, is putting pressure on the US over the Gaza Siege. And then, in today's NST plax, a report of the Satyam Scandal dubbed as 'India's Enron'. But of course, despite all of these gloom & grim, confidence-shaking headlines, there is this news that's equally of world class standards.. hahahaha(evil wink). Hah, u guess right: the prez conference to say they are ok...sape lagi? kesah Datuk Siti and Datuk K ler..hehe. Takyahler buat prez conference. Bimbang nanti kok kok akan lebih hangat, lebih sensasi plax... ish (hehe). Kita doakanlah yerk...semoga ianya hanya tinggal gosip sahaja k?
Ok ok, on a much much more serious note, this is a time when HR chaps get the plonk, the dirty looks, the kick (in the you-know-what-where-lah hehe). Its performance management, review, evaluation, salary increment, bonus and whatever else lah time, fellas ... hahaha. Kesian HR kan? They always get the blame. But they have always been the punching bag, record-keeper lah, clerk-of-work lah, policeman lah, spy management lah...ish dan bermacam2 lagiek (evil wink). They are, like the shock absorbers of a car. If you go on a smooth first-class highway...the ride will of course be smooth. Even if you put a monkey as your HR chief, the organization will sail purrfectly (wink). BUT, if you masuk jalan kampong, hah...that's when you really know the condition of your car... err I mean your organization aah (need I explain more? heehee). All kinds of intervention has been offered. Balanced Score Cards (BSC) have been around since 1995 but somehow or rather it has not really taken off. Some elements of it in the HR domain perhaps merit some serious re-look, by both HR and non-HR people so that there will be a much better understanding that can assist in real transformation (corporate) exercises that puts HR's role in a much more strategic a position even though it is a universally accepted fact that there are no full proof PMS (not pre-menstrual pains ok? but acronym for Performance Management System hehe).
Here goes: in HR Performance Management, there are 2 things: one is HR Performance Driver (HRPD) and the other is HR Enabler. Example of HRPD is employee productivity and example of enabler is 're-skilling'. There are plenty of examples of disconnect between HR enablers and HR Performance Drivers in the broader organization. You can find them in your own organization, I am sure (wink). Ok, lets take an example from financial services (fictitious, no names please). Now this particular outfit has decided to do a strategic shift: i.e focus of retail business from service to sales. A set of performance drivers have also been identified as follows:
  1. increased cross-selling to existing customers
  2. teller product knowledge
  3. sales skills

but the HR enabler still emphasised SERVICE!

e.g the organisation continue to have the following:

  1. training programmes focus on service rather than sales
  2. performance appraisal and merit pay that reward service rather than sales
  3. recruitment practice based on service competencies rather than sales
  4. turnover rates that undermined relationship building between tellers and retail customers and;
  5. low pay and benefits for tellers, who were considered overheads rather than a source or revenue growth

Lesson learned?: HR SYSTEMS influences EMPLOYEE BEHAVIOUR from many points.

( adapted from pages 30-34, The HR Scorecard, Linking People, Strategy, Performance, Ulrich et al, Harvard Busniess School Press, 2001)

Employee behaviour is driven by value (personal and cultural) see here. Most organizational vision mission core values statements are quite generic and it seems to me, much of a cut&paste job...hehe using terms like our core values are honesty, integrity, commitment bla bla bla... what ever that means ish...ya what izzit? so nebulous so celestial one leh? Why not use simpler and something employees can relate to, quite ezily like the following value behaviours:

  • staying flexible
  • adaptable
  • taking initiative for one's own development
  • resolving issues in an objective manner

for example lah. You can then integrate into (directly) performance criteria with equal weightage to traditional performance measures ( half of bonus and merit pay for financial performance results, the other half to employee adherence to the value behaviours. There is a saying that illustrates the rationale for such consideration of balanced approach to performance management "You can't simply get results too often while leaving a pile of dead bodies behind you" hehehe.

Think about it folks, thanks for visiting and reading this far (hahaha) and please do have a great weekend....

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