Simplifying HR…

I am going to try and make the so called / perceived Complex HR practices into a more simpler form, which is very easy to say and difficult to do or convince others, I plan to start a series wherein I shall touch upon practical examples to make HR simpler and easy to understand and implement. There are many views and counter views from HR stalwarts and business leaders any HR initiative. In the end it is like going with “what works for you”.

A disclaimer at the outset – if you find any change of flow or any other writing fault.. Kindly ignore!! This is just the begining of my efforts…. and I can assure you that I can only improve from here…

To start with an old cliche … We all know and understand that Human Resources function in any organization plays an important role and also that it has many verticals and roles within HR, like ..

  1. Recruitment/Interviews, Selection,
  2. Onboarding / Orientation, / Employee handbook, periodical feedback meetings etc
  3. Writing Job descriptions with help of concerned department seniors, on a regular basis.
  4. Making Signature HR policies
  5. Performance Management – fixing criteria for promotions / increments,
  6. Career and Succession Planning
  7. Compensations and Benefits,
  8. Employee Engagement,
  9. Communication – feedback, surveys and monthly or quarterly news letter,

And many others…

These all verticals and more are by themselves a great subject each and a field to excel in … and that is why we call them Specialists in each one of them. Some are adept at all or have to perform these functions as per size / sector of the company. They are known as Generalist HR profile.

HR also plays an important role in many Organisation wide initiatives like Merger & Acquisition, Change Management, Organisation development etc.. More in detail about these in future articles/blogs, may be..

To begin with, I shall touch upon two concepts that I have been following and had followed in the past. They are….

  1. 1,2 and 3 concept
  2. A, B and C concept

You would agree that these indeed are simple and basic to begin with and understand concepts… But, are they….?? We shall find out.

1, 2 and 3 Concept

This is nothing but a multi skilling and Retention concept and to make employees more competent and skillful in more than one function.

1,2 and 3 means ..

a. Hire 1 Person,

b. Pay him 2 people salary (more than the salary of his single responsibility area)

c. Make him proficient in 3 jobs.

This way, a good multi skilled employee (star peformer or “A’ category, to be discuused later) would be suitably employed without the fear of him / her leaving for better salary / profile.

This has to be done without compromising on the required standards / expectations of the concerned job(s). Most people / new employees come with more than one competency and it should be harnessed and capitalized. This way we / HR can do justice to the salary expectations of new joinee / experienced employee and maintain its Internal as well External Parity.

This concept comes in handy when there is a need to right size/ optimize the manpower strength in a company. This also helps in retaining Multi skilled workforce during times of layoffs etc.

Of course, not everyone would be so skilled or competent. Therefore, it is the joint responsibility of the Employer (HR) and Employee to identify such resources and create an atmosphere and culture in the company where cross department moves are encouraged. Proper training and handholding should be provided based on interest area of employee(s). Periodical announcement of such opportunities should be made based on need of the organisation as per time and duration decided by the organisation. The parameters of such selection would be communicated to all employees in a Transparent manner so that all are informed about the benefits of such scheme. These could be past 3 years performance, Consistent Engaged Employee, right attitude, etc… someone who can be nurtured and retained.. among others..

Once this is done and employees selected as per their interest, set parameters… a substantial increase should be made to the comp structure of the concerned employee which again should be more on Variable and less on Fixed so as to provide motivation to earn more plus ensure quality / standards are maintained. Plus, it encourages others also to raise their level and performance and be considered for future requirements.

This is not all and there are many positives and negatives in this concept – based on sector/industry and availability of such resources / policies in the company.

A, B and C Concept

Now, this is a controversial area in spite of this being such a basic term- A, B and C. This refers to classification of employees based on their performance and potential (on a continuous and consistent basis). Many experts differ in their approach and want to refrain from such ranking or classification… But this has helped me a lot and other decision makers in the companies.

Let me put this concept in clear terms…

“A” Employee is someone known as a Star performer. “A” employees are the risk-takers in the company / department(s) who more often than not.. do not look at the watch and again more often than not are the role models for the new joinees, as they tend to exceed the expectations on a consistent basis. They may or may not have expertise outside their chosen field. They can make a mark for themselves in their function or can become a multi skilled resources based on their “potential”. Employers love having them and “using” them also. They are also the employees most likely to leave the organization for opportunities elsewhere. These are the ones who can be considered for 1, 2 and 3 concept and therefore be “Retained”.

They are like 10% of the organisation workforce… Red category.

“B” category of employees is steady and consistent performers, they are competent, They are the real backbone of the company as they perform as per expectation (may be not exceed expectation on a consistent basis) and give result on time. They have potential to achieve more and be skilled for that. “B” employees are the “Stayers” but need to be engaged on a regular basis so that, they (some high potential ones) can be groomed to go higher to “A” bracket. Else, there is a danger of them slipping into “C” zone.

“B” generally constitutes about 80% of workforce – Blue category.

“C” category of employees are the ones who are not achieving enough to satisfy their employers and are most likely to be asked to move on. Company may or may not replace this position with a new / replacement appointment. Some organizations use this method of employee evaluation / ranking to identify such employees and put them on PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) as a first step towards rightsizing the manpower numbers and to cut cost. More often than not, they may be removed immediately after paying notice pay as per agreed and written terms and conditions.

“C’ are those 10%, company is always telling the department heads to identify and “remove”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *