Preparing for the New HR Business Model…Are You Ready?

February 15

The implications of the economic recovery, predicted labor shortages, a changing workforce, new regulation and legislation, changing social values and technological change are redefining human resources as we know it. During this recession and like those prior, HR leadership has also been faced with continued cuts and modifications to their human capital programs and policies which have forced most to revert to business as usual. The question is, will you carve out a new path going forward by developing a business case to invest in the "new HR" business model or will you find yourself unprepared for what lies ahead?

Aligning human capital programs and policies with those of your organization overall will significantly impact the success of hospitals and health systems across the country. Developing a business case that invests resources in the people side of the business positively influences patients, the community and ultimately, the bottom line. Health care organizations are already actively engaged in pursuing a higher patient census by delivering the highest standard of patient care with an aggressive focus on clinical outcomes, investment in new technologies and patient satisfaction programs. Following that, a great deal of capital is spent on communication research and marketing the consumer brand. The challenge is to have HR equally engaged and funded in the investment of their employment brands both internally and externally.

Your employment brand and employee value proposition should be a dynamic, fully integrated strategy that permeates every aspect of the attraction, retention, and engagement spectrum. It should be equally protected, nurtured, tracked and evolved. Correctly managed, organizations can mitigate long-term human capital costs associated with labor shortages, a changing workforce, regulations and legislation, social values and ultimately technological changes.

One of the best ways to begin this transformation is to utilize existing benchmark data to help calculate projected ROI initially and then begin to use research data extracted from your own organization to re-position HR strategically with metrics from every aspect of the employment lifecycle — attraction, engagement and retention. Specifically, investing in tighter evaluation procedures that are research-based and metrics-driven is the critical component in funding more sophisticated employment marketing activities long-term and will be the catalyst for emerging with a competitive new HR business model and alignment with the core corporate strategy.

The change management process doesn't happen overnight and laying the foundation should begin with articulating the outcome you want to improve for a set of current goals. A project governance team should be assembled with key stakeholders, HR staff, external knowledge experts and the leadership needed for each step of the team's project. For each goal and set of objectives, identify the analytics or metric benchmarks needed for each aspect, calculate the projections of the ROI for a given project investment and be specific about desired outcomes. By beginning with the "low-hanging fruit," HR can begin to demonstrate the bottom-line impacts and gradually move on to more sophisticated phases of employment brand funding.

The traditional model of HR has largely focused on tactical day-to-day administrative functions such as sourcing and recruiting, application processing, benefits, compensation, dispute resolution, employee grievances, performance review, and rules compliance. Historically, it has not integrated with the organization's broader objectives. However, as we face a new set of challenges in a rapidly changing marketplace, it underscores the imperative of continuous and visible engagement of HR to become fully aligned with the corporate strategy, and surmount the organizational silo to emerge as a "new HR" business model.

And, when the time comes to expand opportunities and optimize the deployment of the organization's human capital assets, the question is, will you be ready?

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