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Understanding the "Pulse" of HR

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Evolution of Human Resources 

In the past, the role of the Human Resources (HR) function was to make people and organizations grow. It revolved around administrating employee life cycle from hire to retire process, primarily managing attendance, trainings and compensation.

The HR team used to perform functions that added limited value to organization, like performing mundane tasks and operational reporting like % complete for   performance reviews completed, number of employees hired , number of managers trained etc.. In case of large or global organizations where the HR data resides in various disparate systems, at times HR faced issues due to inaccurate reporting of head count data as- one of the important decision data point for business & finance. All of this resulted in HR functions being merely treated as an administrative function.

Over a period of time, the job of HR evolved in managing employee aspirations, organizational behavior, employee motivation etc. Performance objectives & measurable assessments became part of the KPI. In the recent times, there is an expectation for HR to be a "Business Partner" and thereby, they must see themselves as business people who specialize in HR and as a partner that can significantly contribute towards the organization's business goals

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Expectation from Modern HR

It is time for HR to reassess their role and contribute to successful organizations of the future. In today's world, HR partners need to be agile, creative & innovative. An HR Business Partner is not only expected to be aware of the organization's vision and align its workforce to its goals but they are also expected to have an end to end understanding of organization's business. From having a background of the specifics of how the business works, they are expected to have an understanding of financials to be aware of the performance of peers and competition. This understanding is vital for HR to be able work closely with business leaders. 

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Getting ready for Next Gen HR

In today's world, there is a change in outlook to recognize employees as Human "Capital" instead of Human "Resources". HR needs to be more digital than manual, more proactive than reactive and more strategic than operational.  The expectation is to be predictive & analytical and analyze the data behind the data. In order to be ready for the Next Gen HR business partner, it is critical to identify key performance indicators and effectively measure them and assess vis-à-vis industry standards. 

Today, HR partners need to ask  few strategic questions like:

- Are we looking at the data beyond  the HR reports and dashboard?
- How am I doing vis-à-vis my peers & competition?  
- How do I keep track of my performance compared with industry benchmark? 
- How do I quantify performance across various HR functions? 
- How do I identify problem areas and measure actual improvement?

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The Problem - What to measure and How to measure?

As mentioned by HR Folks International - Human capital is largely intangible and difficult to measure as a component in a company's business success.  It is very important to measure and analyze the priorities so you can recognize the areas of improvement and identify opportunities.

In my opinion, effective measurements of HR KPIs are critical to the success of any organization. When it comes to measurement of outcomes or KPIs, my observation has been that HR has limited tools as compared to other divisions within the organization. There are well established frameworks to measure performance of departments in organization (e.g. Finance, or Sales or production unit etc.) and co-relate the impact to the business. However, when it comes to measuring the performance of HR, it becomes subjective and quite a challenge to quantify the outcome and its tangible impact to business.

As a result it becomes imperative to not just measure and quantify, but also identify those indicators for measurement which actually contribute towards the organization's vision and goals.

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Treat the cause and not the symptom

It is not only important to look at the scorecard and analyze the results but it also important to look at the underlying "data behind the data" to trace the root cause, identify areas of improvement and take corrective action.

For e.g., let's take the Business Function of Talent Acquisition and analyze Recruitment Metrics & Scorecard for KPI like Time to hire" to "Cost to Hire"

Key Questions -

Is my organization taking more time to hire employees thereby having a direct impact to employee productivity and top line revenue? 

Is there higher cost to onboard an employee thereby having an impact on the company's bottom line and losing edge over competition?

Conclusion - After the analysis of the scorecard in HR Pulse solution,  it looks like I may have to review the end to end hiring process and remediate the bottle necks  that are leading to higher turnaround times to onboard employees and there by losing competitive  advantage.

Impact - After implementing the re-engineered hiring business process, the HR Pulse provides ability to generate "Before" and "After" Scorecard for the same KPI and demonstrate continuous performance improvements and tangible impact to the business

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Infosys HR Pulse -An Infosys HCM Scorecard Solution

Infosys HR Pulse is an analytics solution that provides quantitative and visual measures of performance indicators in the form of a SCORE CARD. The solution defines the Metrics & KPIs that are critical for an organization with the ability to track performance of the indicators against the organization's targets and industry benchmarks. The solution helps to measure and track progress, highlights improvements and deterioration trends and pinpoints to the HR leadership, an accurate idea of their performance. The purpose of the Infosys HR Pulse is to enable the HR Partners to monitor what matters most, so that they can focus on meeting strategic objectives. 

The key features of HR Pulse are

- Generation of metrics pertaining to relevant HR KPIs and empower HR partners to formulate strategy to take corrective action and improve measures

- Logical grouping of HR Metrics and Key Performance Indicators within business functions

- Provide ability to slice & dice the data and display trend analysis across entities (business units, locations, department etc.)

- Compare performance of various HR Metrics with organization's internal targets and service industry benchmarks.

- Introspect and align actions with strategy for continuous performance improvements.

- Primarily focus on improving the performance and contribution of Unit HR Manager all the way up to the macro-level decision making of Senior HR Management

- Enhanced decision making capability of leadership by highlighting areas which need attention

- Enable HR quantifying corporate objectives with the performance of every employee  and department in the workforce


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HR Analytics as the foundation - Infosys HR Pulse

HCM analytics is the foundation of all HR strategic initiatives. The important trend analysis that will help in decision making can be enabled by HR analytics. In today's digital world, one would think that HR analytics would be a regular feature by now, but contrary to this belief there are many organizations that are still exploring the possibilities to use HR analytics.

Infosys HR Pulse offering can be a part of the HCM implementation on Cloud or On-Premise. This solution can be deployed along with the HCM implementation and lay foundation for HR Analytics as the foundation.

This solution can also be deployed for clients who have implemented HCM on Cloud or On premise and enhance their HR analytics capabilities that help identify functions that are performing better and areas that need improvement.  The build-in adapters that comes along with Infosys HR pulse solution provides seamless integration with leading HR On premise ERP or Cloud solutions.

I believe once HR is effectively able to measure and quantify the outcomes, it will certainly have a positive impression within an organization and contribute to make an impact on the organization goals and vision. I think this will go a long way to establish HR as a key business partner and strengthen its value in an organization that it truly deserves!!! 


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