Employee committmentEmployee engagementEmployee relations & engagementStrategy

Harnessing the Living Entity in your Organisation *

In companies and public service organisations, senior managers face similar challenges to raise performance and provide added value.  Their technology, markets, resources and context will differ but they will assert that their people are their most important asset but still struggle to optimize innovation and performance of their people.  In the turbulent months ahead, it is even more important to harness the living entities in your organisation not just to survive but to discover new ways of growing and adapting to the challenges in your context.

Every organisation is a living entity comprised of teams, individuals and layers.  Your workforce is your antenna feeling its way as it comes into contact with your market environment. How many of your staff have contact with customers or see new opportunities?  However, that rich data often lies dormant because organisations suffer from a mismatch of their external and internal focus.  That is compounded by a lack of clarity about which dimensions of human resource management to focus on in their organisation.

There are many informal structures and processes within an organisation which cut across each other and lead to confused signals and outcomes. That occurs because as senior managers we fail to review whether what is reinforced and legitimised in the company is in line with the key goals and values. This shortcoming prevents the full potential of the organisation being realised and the experience of customers and staff often leading to a disappointing relationship with the organisation.

The lack of focus internally can often be seen by asking a few questions such as:

  • what and who gets rewarded?
  • what and who gets recognised?
  • what and who gets promoted and why?

Those questions are quite searching when you start to apply them to, for example:

  • your training and development strategies and practices
  • your communications to staff – what messages and values are being reinforced
  • your performance management processes such as appraisals and feedback systems
  • your succession plans
  • engaging your staff with your corporate responsibility policies and practices.

Identifying which dimensions of hr management to apply is critical to avoid wasting resources and demotivating staff. Managers will often home in on aspects of hr management such as talent management, job evaluation or performance management but neglect to see whether those are valid solutions in the context of the company/service and the dimensions of hr management. For example, focusing on internal equity via a job evaluation system is not appropriate to organisations for which external parity with their labour markets is important to retain and recruit key staff. Learning and development strategies that miss opportunities to develop staff via sideways moves, project membership etc. also lose the chance to reinforce the values of the organisation by showing who and what is recognised by providing such development opportunities.

There are many aspects to effective hr management such as recruitment and retention, employee relations, learning and development, performance management, reward and recognition but those are aspects. The key is being able to harness the relevant dimensions of hr management. Some of those dimensions are:

  • knowledge specialisms
  • market and technology
  • organisational maturity
  • organisational trust
  • organisational agility and responsiveness

The maturity dimension for example looks at which stage the focus should be on – the basics of hr management or the creation/development of new products/services/entities or whether the competitive advantage lies in the organisation’s capability to adapt and its agility to respond to changing circumstances as well as to seize opportunities. The stage at which the organisation needs to be, will effect the aspects of hr management upon which senior managers need to focus. More about the application of the dimensions of hr management can be seen on our website www.hr-management-dimensions.co.uk and in future blog articles.

Senior managers sometimes feel that a large amount of their energy and time is being used to fight small fires which detract from the key goals of the company/service. Customers and staff feel dissatisfied ui their relationships with the organisation because the internal organisation is not focused on what is important for customers and stakeholders. We, at HR Management Dimensions, apply the many dimensions of people management and organisational capability to help you to produce commercially and service focused solutions to people and organisational management issues.

© 2010  HR Management Dimensions Ltd.

Web site:  www.hr-management-dimensions.co.uk

Visit the site to learn about commercially focused hr management solutions to effecting change in your organisation

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