Posts tagged ‘Compensation’

December 10, 2015

HR’s Top Priority for 2016 – Engaging all of HR to be true Business Partners

HR’s Top Priority for 2016 – Engaging all of HR to be true Business Partners

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I predict that 2016 will continue to be a period of change and transformation for Human Resources functions. This is true across organizations of all sizes, industries and business models.  I have been an HR and Talent professional for over 20 years; during this time I have worked with some of the top organizations around the globe, across many different industries. I can confidently say that 2015 has been one of the busiest years for all of our four Advisory Practices (HR, Leadership Development, Recruitment, and Total Rewards) since our inception 8 years ago.

Organizations are continuing to come out of the economic slowdown. We are finding that with many of our clients their business’s expectations of their Human Resources team has increased and evolved.  Whether HR likes it or not, the “bar” is set higher now for HR to meet the business’s expectations within their organizations.  The current reality within most organizations is that HR is still struggling for additional headcount to be allocated to their function to meet the increased demands from the business.   Unfortunately, the business isn’t interested in hearing how HR is stretched so thin these days, with limited resources, and their demands are only going to grow in the years ahead.  HR needs to ensure their function is fully optimized, not just in terms of resourcing but also in skills and competencies.

So as an HR professional, focus on what the business needs versus what you think they should want.  Prioritize HR’s focus for 2016. Don’t try and boil the ocean………select the critical initiatives that will have the greatest positive impact on the business and focus on them.  Don’t try and tackle everything at once, have a plan for 2016 and ensure the business is in complete alignment with the plan.  For the plan to succeed, the business needs to buy-in to the “why” of the plan and be surrounded by effective business partners who execute the plan alongside the business.

For HR to step up to meet the business needs in 2016, this is an opportunity for HR to re-engage itself with the business and develop their HR resources to be more effective as true Business Partners in their roles regardless of their specialization within the HR function.  It shouldn’t matter if your HR resources are specialists or generalists, if they are managers or coordinators, if they are in Total Rewards or in Recruitment or Talent. Every role within an HR function should be focused as a Business Partner in the way they work.

I partner with a number of Colleges and Universities across North America on improving the content in their Human Resources program curriculum geared towards educating students of HR.  Unfortunately very few of the HR programs I have encountered had any content geared towards teaching students of HR on being an effective business partner.  Most of the programs are geared towards learning the various specialty areas of focus within Human Resources but very little on the desired behaviours of a great HR business partner.  The most successful HR professionals are effective business partners and if we want to elevate the function to the next level, we need to ensure all HR professionals are focused on being a true partner to the business.

Here are the top 4 steps to follow to become more effective as a true Business Partner within your role as an HR professional:

 

1 – Understand the Business

  • Understand how your organization makes money.
  • Understand the barriers the business faces when it comes to making more money in your organization.
  • Listen and translate the business’s needs directly for your area of focus. Understand the part your role plays in reducing these barriers allowing the business to make more money.

 

2 – Be a Coach to the Business

 

  • Business Partners focus on long-term relationship building rather than a specific transaction or project. Always be focused on the outcome – not simply the process.
  • Don’t be a barrier, be an enabler. Enable your business to be successful. Be a Business Partner who works with the business on improving their effectiveness and being successful.
  • Great Business Partners are always prepared. Be prepared to ask smart questions. Be prepared to challenge assumptions. Be prepared to apply your judgement. The business is buying your judgement, not just your time.
  • Business Partners know how to read the “mood” of the business.
  • “Trust” is the most critical aspect in the relationship you have with the business. Being known for your integrity is the most important factor in being a successful Business Partner.

 

3 – Be a Consultant to the Business

 

  • Be an expert – recognize you are your organization’s expert in your HR area of focus. Invest in your own development to enhance your own expertise – know the market trends, what your competition and other industry leaders are doing within your HR area of focus. Network, network and network. It’s the best way to learn how trending practices are being successfully implemented.
  • Business Partners always provide their customers with Value – your relationship with the business is never more stable than when your business trusts you completely to take care of them.
  • Be accessible. A good Business Partner’s voice is comforting. They are easy to find. They promptly return calls and emails with a sense of urgency.
  • Set realistic expectations with the business – don’t be all talk with no action.

 

4 – Don’t Be Afraid to Deliver Tough Messages to the Business

 

  • The business hates unhappy surprises much more than timely bad news – don’t be afraid to be honest with the business.
  • The business is NOT always right – don’t agree with the business just because they are your client. Always remember you are an expert within your role and the business needs to hear your message even if it won’t be popular.

 

Each of these steps are simple to state but actually pretty tough to successfully execute. The Talent Company provides a number of development and training programs for corporate HR teams including a program specifically focused on HR professionals becoming more effective business partners.

We work with organizations every day to help them prepare their HR, Talent, Recruitment and Total Rewards functions to be more effective in meeting the demands of their businesses.  As an HR, Recruitment, Talent or Total Rewards professional, what are you doing to become a more effective Business Partner in 2016?

 

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Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for Recruitment, Talent and HR Solutions at The Talent Company – www.thetalent.co  Simon is recognized as a global thought leader in the acquisition and management of talent and has successfully transformed the Talent function for organizations of all sizes. Simon works closely with clients to build, develop and innovate their Recruitment, Talent and HR functions. He is a former global leader of Recruitment and Talent for a Fortune 100 company. Simon is a featured speaker at a number of HR and Recruitment conferences across North America and an author of many acclaimed articles on innovative Recruitment, Talent and HR trends and best practices. Simon’s full profile can be found at http://ca.linkedin.com/in/simonparkin1

For more information on The Talent Company please visit us at www.thetalent.co

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April 15, 2015

The 3 Steps to Talent Optimization

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First of all, what is Talent Optimization?

I get asked this question often and usually by individuals who confuse it with the function of talent development or talent management within their organization.

My definition of Talent Optimization is simply the alignment between the business strategy and the plan for your most important organizational asset, your talent.

It involves three critical steps:

  1. Start with your business strategy and assess its impacts on your talent needs.

The business strategy needs to be at the core of talent optimization.  The business strategy has to drive the desired organization talent outcomes.  Every talent initiative your organization develops, sponsors and participates in must be steered directly from where the business wants to go.  Without this alignment back to your business strategy your organization is simply wasting its time, efforts and money for initiatives that aren’t supporting what is important to your organization’s success.  So many companies have invested heavily in talent focused programs and initiatives over the years which look great…..but many times when I ask them why the created the program they aren’t able to align the purpose of their high visibility programs back to the business strategy.  Simply put, these companies have spent lots of money on “window dressings” and failed to focus their investments into ones that will shape their organization’s talent to where it needs to go.

  1. Assess your current talent to effectively understand current skills and capabilities.

Similar to analyzing the value of an organization’s asset, understanding your organization’s own talent and their capabilities is another critical factor within talent optimization.  Companies need to properly gauge their own talent’s skills, abilities, and limitations to effectively understand the gaps between their current talent and the desired skills and abilities needed to successfully achieve their business strategy and goals.  Very few companies are able to do this successfully.  Most companies understand the skills and competencies needed within each role but fail to understand the full capabilities and experiences of the talent working within that role.  Companies recruit and hire simply to fill their roles and fail to recognize the other skills, abilities and experiences of the new hire beyond the requirements the role.  There are so many great tools and technologies available for organizations to gain a better understanding of their talent which is essential to building an effective organization talent strategy and plan.

  1. Move, develop and recruit talent successfully to meet the organizational needs and goals.

An organization’s ability to effectively move, develop and recruit talent is the third critical factor for an organization to optimize talent.  Companies must be self-aware and understand their true capabilities within talent management, talent development and talent acquisition.  An organization who isn’t effective in managing and developing their own talent will need to rely more on hiring new talent to fulfill the requirements of the business strategy.  The organization must understand the limitations of their talent function and make the appropriate decision to either invest quickly in resolving their functional deficiencies or work around them.

Talent optimization starts at the top of the organization and shouldn’t be just another HR exercise which the executive team and the rest of the organization isn’t fully supporting.  Talent optimization is an organizational function – not just an HR function.

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Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for HR, Recruitment and Talent Management Solutions at The Talent Company – www.thetalent.co  Simon is recognized as a global thought leader in the acquisition and management of talent and has successfully transformed the Talent function for organizations of all sizes. Simon works closely with clients to build, develop and innovate their Recruitment, Talent and HR functions. He is a former global leader of Recruitment and Talent for a Fortune 100 company. Simon is a featured speaker at a number of HR and Recruitment conferences across North America and an author of many acclaimed articles on innovative Recruitment, Talent and HR trends and best practices. Simon’s full profile can be found at http://ca.linkedin.com/in/simonparkin1 and he can be reached at simon.parkin@thetalent.co

December 2, 2014

The Talent Company’s 12 Days of Talent: Day 11 – 11 Effective Total Rewards for Your Organization

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11 Effective Total Rewards for Your Organization

At The Talent Company our main focus is advising organizations on how to recruit, manage and motivate talent. It’s a simple goal, but can be challenging to execute.

A key factor in doing just that is to create a robust total rewards plan that is aligned to an organization’s talent strategy. Most organizations understand that the foundation for engaging their workforce is having an effective total rewards strategy in place. This includes compensation encompassing base pay and incentives for each employee. We all want to be fairly compensated for our work; but what constitutes fair compensation is the subject for another article.

Where most organizations fall short is in their understanding of how leveraging other total rewards programs can have an equal or greater influence on talent engagement and satisfaction. In our opinion, the programs listed below are some of the most overlooked yet effective motivators that a company can employ to attract, retain and motivate their talent:

Benefits

Offering the right mix of health benefits, disability and income replacement insurance, employee assistance plans and retirement savings programs can be a key differentiator when it comes to recruiting and retaining talented individuals.

Employee purchase plans

Offering discounts on your own company’s product or services encourages brand loyalty, deeper product awareness and further engagement with the company’s broader mission.

 Flexible work arrangements

The benefits of flexible work arrangements can be profound. It drives recruitment and retention, improves morale and productivity, enhances cross-training, facilitates knowledge transfer and improves talent and succession planning.

Formal recognition programs

Looking to create closer alignment between HR and business objectives? A recognition program that is well designed and implemented is a good first step. Take the time to clarify the priorities of the business, identify which activities will drive results and encourage those behaviours through continued communication.

Gifts/prizes

When tied to clear team and/or individual goals and awarded in a transparent and fair manner, gifts and prizes can be a fun and effective results driver. In my opinion, however, they need to be used judiciously. This form of acknowledgement can alienate the remaining 80% of employees who do not win prizes often.

Group discount plans

Group discount plans are low cost, and sometimes free to implement but offer a high perceived value. The most common group discount plans include transit, entertainment or gym memberships are also worth considering.

Informal recognition

It’s simple, yet often a sincere thank you goes a long way. Take the time to acknowledge someone’s efforts privately and/or in front of the team.

Space

Space is an under-utilized commodity. The tech companies get it and you may want to consider it too. Ensuring your workplace is ergonomic, creating space for collaboration and/or offering room for socializing and personal activities creates a sense of community and makes for a happier and more productive workforce.

Subsidies for education and/or professional development

If you want top talent, recognize that you and your employees play a role in keeping their knowledge and skills current. Yes, you may lose an employee once they complete a course but then again one can assume they were probably leaving anyways.

Vacation time

Vacation time is very important to your employees. The key is to foster a culture of vacation entitlement and acceptance. Provide for an environment where employees feel comfortable in taking all of their vacation days. After all, vacation time taken does lead to decreased absenteeism and improved productivity.

Wellness programs

The characteristics of wellness programs can vary widely. They can include basic information on health and wellness issues to onsite services like seasonal flu vaccines and health screening. The return on this investment will be high as a healthy workforce is a more productive one.

 

At The Talent Company we advocate for customized solutions and as with all programs, care and consideration must be given to how each program can best be used in your company. If you are interested in learning more about current trends in total rewards or in enhancing your current total rewards offering, feel free to contact me.

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Kathleen Jinkerson is the Director of HR & Talent Solutions with The Talent Company, a human resources consulting firm that works closely with clients to develop, optimize and innovate their Recruitment and Talent practices. Kathleen has over 10 years of experience in partnering with organizations to help them build their talent capacity as well as their HR and leadership teams. Kathleen is very active on both LinkedIn and Twitter

For more information on The Talent Company and our 12 Days of Talent project, visit www.thetalent.co

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