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ICYMI: HR Developments Through the Decades

We recently read an interesting article, “HR’s Epic Journey,” in Human Resource Executive’s 30th anniversary issue, and we thought the insights offered by several CHROs were worth repeating. The trends they pointed to aligned with the ones we have spoken about before as well. You may read the full article here.

HR as a Strategic Business Partner

Executives want to believe in the value of their employees, but often struggle to understand how the HR function drives value through the organization’s people. HR’s value isn’t often seen or seen as an expense on a balance sheet. Strides are certainly being made by some but there is still work to be done. See what some CHROs are saying about it …

“The transformation of human resources from more or less an administrative, strictly employee-relations function to more of a strategic business partner” is the most dramatic change that Johnna Torsone, longtime executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Pitney Bowes, says she’s witnessed in her 27 years dealing with employment and HR issues at Pitney Bowes.

“Although it’s almost impossible to predict exactly how technology will alter the workplace over the next 30 years, the HR executives interviewed for this article mostly agree that the skill the CHROs of the future will need most is business acumen.”

“While it’s hard to imagine which gadgets and robots will revolutionize the workplace by 2047, the experts agree that the concept of the modern HR executive as a key business partner is here for good.”

Good news: SMD can get you a seat at the table! With the advanced analytical approach from SMD, you can clearly demonstrate your department’s value, and track improvement in business metrics eradicating the “What is the value?” question.

Solving Business Problems, Not Checking Boxes

Is HR impacting their organization’s bottom line? Most likely. Are HR leaders demonstrating this and illustrating their value to executives? Hardly. This can change. Shifting the focus from typical HR outcomes of interest such as employee engagement, or job satisfaction, to business outcomes such as sales, customer satisfaction, financial performance, and employee performance is the first step. HR leaders need to go beyond slicing and dicing HR data and start demonstrating direct connections to business metrics that matter most to executives.

“Mark Berry, vice president for human resources at CGB Enterprises, says the biggest boost for the HR profession has been the ability to use data to show the specific effects of various policies or programs on the bottom line.”

“Since arriving at CGB a couple of years ago, Berry has increased the frequency of employee surveys but targeted them to solve problems such as high turnover rate.” (Special note: Mr. Berry is an SMD client, utilizing the SMD consultants and patented technology to solve these business problems.)

“In a service-based economy, people and talent management has become more critical to business success than the other costs of goods.” – John Murabito, executive vice president for human resources and services at Cigna

“In the last 10 years, the focus has been on strategy … how do you take an organization that is not performing well and help it to be great.” – Darryl Robinson, executive vice president and chief human resource officer at Dignity Health

By utilizing our expertise in data integration, surveys, and the most advanced analytics, all delivered through our patented reporting and action planning platform, we’ve maintained a remarkable track record of improving business outcomes (e.g., voluntary turnover reduction) for our customers. So, we’re willing to put our money where our mouth is. We recently introduced results-based pricing. That means our price is based on the value/results we deliver. Essentially, this approach acts as a guarantee to deliver results. That is how confident we are that our approach truly yields results!