Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fast HR

Fast HR: a New Paradigm, Structure and Process for Growth

The past 9 to 12 months have demonstrated the fact that business and the world are speeding up. The rapid and extensive types of changes that organizations experienced and are still seeing are unprecedented. With this type of new speed of information, rapid change, and creation of new processes to compete in the new world, what is HR doing that's different?

Here's an idea. What about building a new model of Fast HR? What do I mean by this?

1. HR enables fast companies.

2. HR recreates new processes, willing to step back and question assumptions behind all the tools and processes we have built to date.

3. HR starts with strategy and moves all the way to every tactical process done - speeding up everything to enable managers to be faster in their response time, quicker in their ability to create a change driven organization vs. managing change, and HR enables leaders and strategy by recreating the strategy making process.

Some things our team has been working on to help move Fast HR along are:

* Extreme strategizing - using employee insights, gained from their interactions with key stakeholders, for fast, regular strategy making sessions (vs. infrequent strategic planning processes).

* Pulse surveys rather than annual employee surveys - we've been doing this since 1996 with very good success rates and outcomes of over 2,000% return on investment in one year. Rather than doing one, large survey, with set questions that managers find difficult to action, firms do regular (monthly, weekly, bi-weekly) short surveys with 3 - 7 questions. The process is all built for speed of decision making with real-time data; use short surveys, get fast answers, deliver fast reporting (participants receive reports the day the survey closes), see fast actions (tactical, short-term questions asked), and get fast results (results posted as achieved).

* 3-minute (or role-based) 360 - move from competencies to roles (as supplement or substitute) to make the process an ongoing, easy-to-use tool for teams or organizations who want to provide feedback on a more regular basis.

* Action taking vs. action planning. This is our contribution to stopping passive (and maybe slow) HR language and processes. We have been providing on-line action taking tools (related to surveys and other dialogue methods) for ALL employees. Why are managers the only ones taking action? Are only managers responsible for employee engagement, change, or improvement? Also, share the results with everyone - quickly - so you enable learning in real time.

Those are my team's four contributions (so far) to the world of Fast HR.

Please share any practices you have changed that have helped speed up HR. We are putting together a new model of HR based on speed. We are working with a few good firms who will be the first to implement the new structure and processes.

Contact me or contribute to the blog if you want to learn more or if you have ideas to contribute.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Do employees really resist change?

I'm finishing up some new research looking at how rate of change affects employees. It builds on a body of work that I've been doing examining how rate of change affects firm performance. When it comes to firm performance, on a 0 to 100 point scale, rates of change at the 80th percentile seem to be associated with the highest performance. There's more to the story, but this is the easy way to think about it.

In this new data, we're seeing that employees who are experiencing change personally at the 80th percentile range have the highest scores on attitude surveys, experience higher levels of employee engagement, and they are higher performers.

So that is interesting. Don't we say that people resist change. Is this assumption no longer valid in today's new bold always changing world?