I value the annual trend reports from Deloitte. It provides a good baseline for what is going on and should, as a minimum, also serve as a sanity check for each organisations HR agenda.
“This year, culture and engagement was rated the most important issue overall… HR leaders (needs) to gain a clear understanding of their organization’s culture and reexamine every HR and talent program as a way to better engage and empower people.” – Deloitte 2015
This increasingly important soft item is not new under the sun though. Job applicants increasingly search for values when applying for new jobs. If values are hard to find or does not makes sense, please ring the alarm bell!
I personally always seek the values of each company I am to meet, to see if there are any overlap and if so where. I also try to understand how values are lived in every ones daily life, if at all. Most of the time it’s just words. Values that makes sense on a corporate level are rarely interpreted on BU, group, project or individual level. “Who is my personal customer? How do I innovate, in my role? How do I secure it is a great place to work?” etc.
You rarely see public organization talk about living their organizational values either. Do they even have any? Unfortunately I personally start to doubt who is in charge to drive employee engagement overall. It’s at record low 13 %. What a waste …
The naked organisation represents the full transparency enabled by social media. Today you can’t fool anyone in the company. You really need to understand how you engage your people and what makes them prosper the limited time they get paid by you.
Some weeks ago I spoke with a top HR leader who recently finalized the implementation of a global Talent Management program. This type of project should represent some of the most exciting things one can work with in HR today in order to demonstrate business value. I asked about the business case and if they, after knowing what they know today, would change the structure of the original business case if they could go back in time. First she did not understand what I asked about. Then she claimed they where happy as they indeed had reduced the cost levels they had targeted. Cost, cost, cost … if anything a talent management program should not be cost driven, it should be capability driven, performance driven, revenue driven… I sighed. How about finding out employees passion indicator – like we did when I worked for HCL – and remove all the barriers to be totally engaged at work? Maybe you recruit and promote people with the wrong mindset but the right formal qualifications?
“Every program in HR must address issues of culture and engagement: how we lead, how we manage, how we develop, and how we inspire people. Without strong engagement and a positive, meaningful work environment, people will disengage and look elsewhere for work.” – Deloitte 2015
Later in report it also made very clear that one should not link talent management and performance management to compensation. The Bell Curve is dead etc. However we all know there is a linkage – from a process perspective with a role based organizational structure – one should be compensated for what is being achieved irrelevant of when it is done. Time capture per role must be done and managed and calculated with flexibility. This is a time consuming mess in Retail and in Health Care business…
Said that it is obvious that whatever HR should be focusing on, core HR – such as payroll, time management, travel management, pension & benefits, sick leave, local compliance & reporting – is not on that list. It’s assumed to be working.
Let us do that work! The overall mission for Zalaris – my current employer – is to help our clients maximize the value of their human capital through excellence in HR processes. We focus on core HR operation excellency so that our clients can transform their HR organisation to do whatever Deloitte says they should focus on. Transactional HR and payroll is our core business, including legal compliance reports and statistics. It’s not a support function. We live and die by it.
It’s unlikely that HR of today – living in a bubble of cost – will get MORE money to do what is expected of them, is it? Bottom line you need to find a self-funded HR transformation approach where you reduce cost + invest + build new capabilities at the same time to perform better overall.
It is far easier today to do Business Process Outsourcing of compliance and control (e.g. Core HR) in the private sector. However, if any sector, this should be paramount in the public sector as well. Still the public tenders are focusing on extending existing capabilities, not dramatically changing them, where lower bidder wins and where there is no room to strategically discuss how to lower cost + invest + create new capabilities to be able to provide a new services to the society. The future or of the disengaged professionals paid by the state is dystopic.
It’s a suitable and feasible agenda Deloitte outlines. However it faces organisational inertia and hence has a low internal doability. HR still has low priority, is cost driven and HR themselves seriously need to work with their self perception. One indicator is to look at the high turnaround of HR executives around you. Why is that?
In a global services business HR should be the place to be. It is still not that sexy.
Recommend to read the full report from Deloitte at
Please comment or reach out for a 1:1 to discuss Core Operational HR vs Strategic HR
Sven Hultin – Business Development Director at Zalaris, Sweden