Over the past two decades, unprecedented change has swept workplaces around the world. Companies have practically revamped every business process in their search for a competitive advantage, apart from the area of human capital.
Many organisations are still lacking the concepts, strategies, models and measures that matter most to effectively manage their most vital intangible asset – their people. They most likely have a marketing strategy and an IT strategy, but they do not necessarily have a people or HR workforce strategy to manage what is typically their highest cost item.
At the same time, most of the data HR provides is nowhere close to business in driving any decision. I am from the IT industry and I have constantly observed incidents of HR getting challenged by business on the inputs they provide as part of their HR analytics.
For example, simply highlighting the attrition for a particular country as “nine percent” doesn’t give any insight to business and what to conclude from it.
For most companies, HR is still living in the 20th Century where business is constantly chasing the competition of the 21st century. This is the time for HR to move up the value chain and transition from HR Support to Strategic HR Partnership.
An ideal starting point in addressing these challenges is the development of a comprehensive HR workforce strategy which is in sync with the business strategy. HR workforce strategy includes a detailed 360-degree strategic workforce plan that ideally incorporates location strategy, the labour pyramid, and a detailed assessment of functional capability with pivotal roles. This should all be tied with the business’s integrated strategy.
Connecting back with the above example for instance, instead of just providing a dated attrition snapshot, it would be much more beneficial for the business if they received a triangulation of information with: job levels compared to employee ratings compared to tenure.
Another perspective could be the segregation of manager vs individual contributor attrition, and a quick segregation of regrettable vs non-regrettable attrition. Before recommending any action, it’s important to assess external benchmarking with high, medium and low cost countries.