Tuesday, May 8, 2012

HR's 3 Most Important Areas of Focus

Ed Nangle is our guest blogger today.  Ed has many years of HR experience spanning several industries such as electronics, manufacturing and  management consulting. Ed has been a trusted mentor of mine for years as well as a valued teacher for Kennesaw State University.  

Knowledge Management is a topic near and dear to my heart as my business partner, Barbara Hughes and I embraced this concept 15 years ago this month!


Over the years I have determined that these three programs (Pay for performance, knowledge management and talent management) could be the catalyst that makes Human Resource Practitioners more acceptable to the Executive Management Team in successful companies.

Talent management has become more important in the past few years since the demand for experience and skills has increased when the supply has declined substantially. We continue to educate students in curriculum that does not meet the needs of the growth in industry. Business needs are not the driving force when it comes to curriculum design and education programs. So given that, companies need to retain their human capital once attracted and educated to the culture of the companies. By combining Job Analysis, Recruitment, Staffing, Training, and Retention functions into one umbrella, Human Resource Practitioners can become more visible to Executive Management Teams. The executives can see the value in having the experience and skills on board instead of continuously turning over and recreating the wheel over and over again. The loss of productivity and negative ROI is very costly and very evident to executive management.

Pay for performance is something all executive management teams understand and can see the 
are very eager to have financial rewards attached to measured productivity rather than hoping that the numbers are reached at the end of the period for a guaranteed wage. For instance, in the manufacturing industry cost analysis is paramount to bottom line results. But for some reason when we get to some companies outside manufacturing, we pay for non-performance or for almost performance at the same rate as meeting the expectations of the job. Many companies continue to evaluate performance at lower than acceptable levels but continue to pay 100% of salaries? How can we continue to absorb the lack of performance and continue to pay salaries and bonuses?

Now, that I have beat pay for performance to death and most companies still don’t want to
pay the investment of time to get the best results possible, I would like to hit on Knowledge Management as the subject today.

Many, many years ago in the dark ages I have read that the natives scribed on stones and wood so they always had a record of what occurred and so it could be used for future development. In the early 1950-70’s companies required each employee to record their daily, weekly, and monthly duties so that they could always add to the manual as they learned more or was given additional duties. Then when an employee passed, terminated employment, or became unable to perform the duties, another replacement would be able to step in and study the manual to perform the duties without loss of productivity.

Now many, many years later, we have become very lazy and most companies state that it takes too much time to record everything we do on the job. So when an employee leaves the company for any reason, we must start from square one to educate the replacement so they can start to produce up to the level of the previous employee. What a severe loss of knowledge and what a negative ROI on all the experience and education supplied in previous years.

With E-Communications and all the advanced options of data storage we should all require that our companies initiate a job duty manual for all positions in electronic format. This should become one of the job expectations of each job and become part of the evaluation for performance issues. Come on salvage knowledge management as one of our contributions to the bottom line. Be a hero!! 

No comments: