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Meeting the Challenges of HR Professionals

May 23, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: CPHR Manitoba

As featured in the Spring 2017 issue of HRmatters

Authored by: R. W. Pollock, Chairman, Drake International 

A survey published in November 2012 by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) in the United States brought to light the challenges HR executives felt they were going to face over the next decade.

The respondents, randomly selected from SHRM’s membership*, stated that the three greatest challenges were going to be:

  1.  Retaining and rewarding the best employees (59%)
  2.  Developing the next generation of corporate leaders (52%)
  3.  Creating a corporate culture that attracts the best employees to organizations (36%)

*SHRM’s published methodology stated that 487 responses were collected from its membership in 2012 and 449 responses in 2010.

It’s not surprising that “retaining and rewarding the best employees” was the number one challenge but it’s interesting to consider if anything has actually changed from 2012 to the present?

With increased competition for top performers both locally and globally, HR professionals know they need to be increasingly imaginative and agile in navigating the recruitment and retention arena.

High-performance organizations need to incorporate the absolute best HR practices to recruit, engage, motivate, and retain their human capital to secure their competitive advantage. They also need to ensure that their HR operations overall are running at peak efficiency while maximizing cost effectiveness. It’s not easy; but thankfully there are solutions.

In a recent article called Aggressive Strategies to Win the Talent War, executive coach and author Roger M. Ingbretsen asks if your organization has developed "a formal strategic recruitment and retention plan in writing”. Have you?

Ingbretsen states: “In our knowledge economy, you have to compete for the best talent available, and having a formal plan is vital.... Only organizations with the best recruiting and retention policies will succeed in the talent economy.” He also shares “Twenty actions to stimulate a more aggressive recruiting and retention process”, which ties in with the SHRM survey results.

While SHRM’s survey focused on HR challenges over the next decade, the Future Foundation, an independent consumer trends and insight enterprise, conducted research in seven countries to understand the costs associated with poor people performance. W. John Skabelund’s article titled, Boost Your Bottom Line with Better People Management, is an eye opener. He notes: “in larger organizations — those with over $8.5 million in turnover, managers spend about eight weeks a year, or 41 days, on managing poor performers.”

The Future Foundation estimates that the “US alone devotes $105 billion a year correcting problems associated with poor people management and hiring practices.” This figure is staggering. It’s all about having the right people in the right positions with the right people management practices in place.

Driving positive change through effective performance management processes continues to be a challenge for many organizations. Managers are too often unskilled in performance management, and the entire performance review process is disconnected from the real needs of the business. So how do you align HR as a champion of corporate performance with the needs of your employees and the line managers who must evaluate and collect performance metrics?

At Drake, we found that shifting from annual reviews to day-to-day performance management more directly links HR and line managers to organizational objectives.

The other main driver in improving overall business performance these days is the use of data. Most organizations are investing in big data and analytics tools to help advance the date-driven culture within their HR departments. However, while most are adept at collecting the data, few know how to interpret and use that data to drive positive change and improve bottom-line results.

Here are our recommendations for the top 5 workforce metrics that you should be tracking:

  1. The total cost of your workforce
  2. Management of span of control
  3. Your turnover rate
  4. Career path ratio
  5. Talent management index

The potential for these top 5 metrics is significant, and the greatest value can be achieved when they are linked to financial metrics, such as revenue or profit or FTE.

By leveraging key metrics to predict future outcomes, organizations can identify potential issues before they become problematic, calculate the financial impact, and formulate a strategy for intervention.

In summary, as the economy changes, as technology changes, and as the world changes overall, so too do the unprecedented demands placed on human resource professionals. To help meet your challenges, you might consider aligning your business with an organization that will provide you with innovative talent management solutions, ensuring that you can stay on the leading and competitive edge throughout this decade, and beyond.


Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Manitoba (CPHR Manitoba)
1810-275 Portage Avenue / Winnipeg, Manitoba / R3B 2B3
tel. 204.943.2836 / fax. 204.943.1109 / email. hello@cphrmb.ca

For additional information please visit: CPHR.CA

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