“Striking and Compelling” Research
When the Ulrich-Brockbank team completed and published their research in 2017 with 32,000 participants across 1,200 organizations, they discovered “striking and compelling” evidence.
Since 1995, The Human Resource Consortium has been integrating and aligning HR & OD structure and systems.
- “When HR departments function as integrated organizations, they have approximately four times the impact on business performance. This trend continues when we compare the organizational to individual impact on every stakeholder.
- HR as an organization creates over twice the value for external customers than do competent individual HR professionals.
- HR’s impact on the value created for investors and owners is well over three times the impact of individual HR talent.
- HR as an organization has approximately twice the impact of individual talent on the communities and regulators.
- The value that HR organizations create for line managers is four times greater than that of HR individuals.”1
What Do Integrated HR Systems Looks Like?
We see 3 levels of alignment and integration in HR.
HR systems and practices are aligned to strategy and culture.
HR systems and practices align to strategy and culture AND are clearly inter-connected and mutually supportive.
HR systems and practices align to strategy and culture, clearly inter-connected and mutually supportive AND consistently communicated as an integrated mega-system.
These fundamental examples provide an understanding of what we’re talking about:
- Job descriptions align to strategy, performance metrics, key workflows and culture (values and competencies). The job descriptions anchor and are mutually supported by talent acquisition, performance management, total rewards, career pathing, professional development and succession planning.
- Desired culture is aligned with values, policies, employee and labor relations, performance management, professional development, total rewards and succession planning.
Clear Lines of Sight Make a World of Difference.
Peter Senge, renowned for systems thinking and Learning Organizations, identified 2 “archetypes” that impair organizational success.
- Limits to Growth. Remove factors (structures, behaviors) limiting growth
- Shifting the Burden. Find the underlying issue(s) causing the symptoms. Refrain from symptomatic solutions.2
To build an organization’s (and HR’s) performance and value… Take the obstacles out of performance and make it easier for employees to:
- Perform to their greatest level
- Enjoy their work and feel successful
- Acquire, retain, reward and advance great talent
1 Victory Through Organization by Ulrich, Kryscynski, Ulrich, Brockbank. McGraw-Hill 2017. Note: Globally, David Ulrich, Ph.D. is renowned as the Father of Modern HR.
2 Paraphrased from The Fifth Discipline, The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge. Doubleday, 1990.
Elevate Performance & Value
Costly, Classic Symptoms of HR Silos.
A couple classic examples of what we’ve seen and heard when silos exist in HR systems and sub-functions:
- F50 financial services division had been experiencing costly manager turnover of 50% per year for 3 years and their leader didn’t know why. With extensive, conflicting HR infrastructure that was not aligned to a clear strategy, their managers could not find a way to ‘win’ and had bailed out.
- One of the top global reputation organizations’ NA division needed teamwork in HR. When asked about the degree to which they had silos in HR, their VP, OD stated “we don’t have silos, we have nuclear armaments!” While they would benefit from developing teamwork, what they needed was to address the underlying cause of isolated sub-functions.
- A nonprofit higher education institution was on the cusp of accelerated growth and had maintained a transactional level of HR. However, D&I was becoming a critical strategy for their future. Their D&I and HR were out of sync with each other which challenged employee relations functionality, values dilemmas were creating decision-making struggles, and basic HR systems were seen as lacking or unclear by leaders and managers.
What stories do you have?
With 25 years of experience in assessing and implementing integrated systems, here’s what we typically find: