Thursday March 9, 2017
Guest blog by Sally Brand
Transactional or transformational? What role does HR play in your organisation? And is the approach delivering the necessary business results?
These questions are all the more thought-provoking taking into account ever evolving business needs, and challenges, such as advanced technology, globalisation and more informed customers who have greater demands than ever before.
In today’s climate it is largely recognised that to deliver a people strategy which meets the needs of today’s VUCA world, organisational plans and approaches need to be agile, forward thinking and joined up. This requires a HR team, supported by the wider business, that is clear on its objectives and values and takes a partnership approach with other departments. For example, HR working with marketing to support a joined up approach to customer and employer branding to drive aligned employee behaviours and brand strength and awareness. Time and collaboration is required to deliver this, though, with it comes increased scope, consistency and reduced silo working which offers real competitive advantage.
Taking a transformational approach is not to underestimate the transactional value of HR either – the mechanics need to be timely and right. In order for HR to be transformational, the two need to work hand in hand and organisations need to refine and embed the necessary transactional elements and processes. Transactional tasks should be delivered with a transformational purpose. This includes using fit for purpose HR technology, with reporting metrics, to support business decision making around employee retention, engagement, succession planning and achieving business goals. Effective technology will reduce administration and provide HR with enhanced business intelligence meaning their time and resources can be used more productively to drive the organisational agenda, culture and profits forward.
A growing number of organisations are adopting this approach. For example, Valor Hospitality Europe have a measurable people strategy, which is automated in parts to support timely and effective decision making and transparent processes such as succession planning. Their journey is explored here.
Adopting this approach means that leadership teams need to be open to new ways of working and to be open to wider feedback (and doing something about it!)
To get buy in to support transformational ways of working HR teams need to PR the added value that the function can bring and share the outcomes and results so that the benefits are clear. If your business is uncertain about the value that good HR can bring, starting small, and working with external partners who ‘get’ you and your agenda, is a beneficial strategy.
Overall a transformational approach, encompassing the way transactional tasks are delivered so that administrative work supports overall strategic goals, is proving to be a recipe for success in helping many organisations get better results, quicker.
At Purple Cubed's Breakfast Club event in April, we brought together some of the leading lights of UK HR to debate how to create a transformational people strategy that nurtures true employee engagement and impacts the bottom line.