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Some Critical Factors for success of HR


Human capital has always been the unique competitive advantage for the success of any 0rganization and innovation. It is critical in a competitive world to measure and improve the HR activities to align with the growth strategy of the organization. Companies  rely on the HR department to work on strategies that focus on recruitment, retention, development, productivity evaluation and enhancements, career progressions so that their workforce is aligned with the overall vision that accelerates their growth. A multi-level strategy needs to be developed that helps an HR organization to sell its capabilities internally and that helps to view HR from a cost center unit to a profit generating department. The coordination and synergy with different units is essential to the success of the strategic growth in today's highly competitive digital world.

Some Critical Factors for success of HR:

1) Employee Engagement

A recent research conducted by Gallop1 survey indicates that for more than five consecutive years the employee engagement has remained less than 33% and this needs a clear boost to ensure that the organization can fast forward towards its strategic goal.  The lack of focus by delivery managers or line managers on this soft skill to keep an employee engaged and the lack of push from HR organization in developing managers to focus on this key aspect creates a huge gap that needs to be bridged effectively. The below statistics from Gallop1 survey shows that on an average only less than one third of the population is actively engaged with the organization.



Employee engagement is the critical factor towards the strategic success of growth of any company and is often undermined by many organizations. To outperform competition, improve productivity and improve customer satisfaction, it is a must to have a high percentage of engaged employees - those who are involved in, motivated and committed to their work. HR organizations need to start to strategize on improving the level of engagement by its human capital to achieve its strategic growth and outperform the competition. This is critical in the digital transformation that the world is undergoing rapidly. This soft skill ranks the highest among the strategies to be focused by the organizations to ensure that they can achieve more out of their human capital.


2) Workforce Planning


27% of CEOs surveyed by Gartner2 have listed workforce to be the third important strategic priority after growth and customer and is linked with each other.


                Also workforce planning is not just the strategic goal of CEO, CHRO alone but as per the Insights from the 2016 Gartner CIO Agenda Report3  even the CIO concentrates on improving their talent planning. Delivery Platform, Talent Platform and Leadership Platform are the key focus areas for CIO to penetrate into achieving strategic success.




                The single biggest challenge standing in the way of CIO's achieving their objective is globally recognized as talent management. The skill gaps were something that CIOs have identified four years ago as the primary challenge and is still continuing to the be the biggest gap as per the Gartner report below.



The important transformation that all organizations focus to improve is to rotate staff from outside IT on related functions especially like HR consulting and HR operations that can be outsourced/crowd sourced.



3) Digital Transformation Initiatives


                The digital transformation space is ever emerging at a fast pace that any organization failing to meet the race is killed. As per Forbes 4 CIO transformation survey in Forbes CIO Summit 2016, the time spent on IT budget that stands next to Human capital expenditures will be spent more on digital transformation in the coming 5 years.


                The organizations have already identified the skill gaps in the emerging area and have clear strategies to build skills and competencies to meet the market demand. Also Gartner in "Predicts 2016: Digital Dexterity Drives Competitive Advantage in the Digital Workplace," 5 emphasizes the suggestion that the ability to promote digital dexterity in the workforce will be a critical source of competitive advantage, based on the simple notion that an engaged, digitally literate workforce capable of seizing technological advantage will drive better business outcomes. By 2020, the greatest source of competitive advantage for 30% of organizations will come from the workforce's ability to creatively exploit digital technologies.


4) Data Driven Analytics Initiatives


                Gartner6 in their IT score for BI and Analytics emphasizes that highly matured organizations focus primarily on business strategy driven BI and analytics data initiatives jointly run by business and IT organization, and supported and governed at the highest levels of the organization. Information is treated as the Organization's strategic asset thereby utilizing BI and analytics in revenue generation, operational efficiency and expertise in best-in-class customer service.




                To achieve this strategic goal, the right level of governance for various aspects of organization's BI and analytics initiative is put in place. However, it is critical to maintain a balance between control and freedom, ensuring a bimodal approach to BI. In general the principles are mandated by top management, however governance bodies are allowed to have freedom to make decisions about specific protocols or technologies to standardize on. In addition, it is necessary to establish formally an innovation lab for continued investigation of new and disruptive technologies and stay abreast with the leading tools. The HR organization strategy should be in line to achieve this organization goal and they need to revise the  workforce deployment and development goals to align with the growing market needs.


5) HR operations and logistics Initiatives


                From 1992, when Kaplan and Norton introduced the concept of "The balanced scorecard", organizations have derived their own HR score card that keeps operational excellence at its pinnacle to ensure success. The HR organizations need to identify their operational skill gaps and optimize efforts  through process innovations that reduce the process cycle time and ensure on time or before time delivery and improve the end user experience as well as better return on investment.





                 HR Organizations need to understand the line of business that the organization operates in and  need  to communicate on the business language rather than HR language that emphasizes on policies and policing on micro management of day to day tasks. The transformation is to get to the big leap of going up the value chain rather than being stagnant on the bottom level.  








5) Gartner: 100 Data and Analytics Predictions Through 2020 dt: 24 March 2016 | ID: G00301430 Analyst(s): Douglas Laney, Ankush Jain

6) Gartner: IT Score for BI and Analytics dt: 08 July 2016 | ID: G00304066

Analyst(s): Cindi Howson, Alan D. Duncan


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