from HR Insight, our HR newsletter, no. 3
Working with a changing HR function
The changing nature of the HR function has been the subject of much of IES’s recent work. This is hardly surprising. Many organisations are going through transformation programmes aimed at simplification, standardisation, consolidation and automation. Improvement in HR processes usually precedes an examination of structures, as our model shows. The capability of HR to deliver against the new promise is often left until later — which can cause problems if skills (and disposition) are lacking. All these changes are done to benefit the customer, and should result in cost savings and service improvements. Such a result is welcomed by top management, but line managers are often more sceptical. They see devolvement of HR tasks as ‘dumping’ on them and the arrival of distant call or service centres as offering remote not local support. Self-service e-HR systems, likewise, can flatter to deceive.
These are the issues that IES consultants have been dealing with. A workshop at Capgemini’s Summer School in France for transformational consultants looked at HR shared service models and the challenges they present. For a government agency we are offering wider advice, not just looking at the trends in HR structures, but applying them to their situation in the context of Gershon-driven financial savings. There has been a similar motivation behind work we are discussing with a strategic health authority — how to cut costs through consolidation of dispersed administrative activities without suffering the downside of producing a rigid one-size-fits-all service delivery model. As to technological developments, we are reviewing e-recruitment practices in Ireland.
The implications for HR people are being addressed in a project on changing career paths we are doing for CIPD, in our coaching programme, and in skills training for business partners at a charity.
Contact Peter Reilly for more information about how IES can help with pay modernisation.