By Richard Lynell
I was reading an article the other day, “Delivering Value to the Business,” and while I can say I thought the author was heading in the right direction, she quickly moved from what was a challenge to what her employer’s HCM system could do for you. My concern with the article is she never really got to the underlying issue for HR: control. You see I believe that Training, and HR in general, can do a lot more within the organization than the current organizational structure and/or mindset allows.
I’m an engineer by education and practice and did that for a while before numerous duties eventually lead me to Training and Education, as it was called in my military life. Three things that stuck with me from my days as an engineer help to make the foundation of my practice today:
“You cannot do it alone.”
“How does it all work together?”
“Explore all the possibilities of cause to determine their impact on effect.”
Those lessons resonate with me more today than probably at any time in my career within Learning and Development. I cannot tell you how many times I sigh, shake my head, or am just plain dumbfounded when I see articles, job postings, or other examples that miss the key ingredient to making HR successful.
I’m going to pose a simple question to you with regard to estimating and/or reporting your value to your organization, “Are you in control of all things that impact your value?” If your answer is “No,” then there is not an article, job role, or vendor product that’s going to cure your woes.
How do we fix this? I propose one thing to get the change started: Manage the life-cycle. Talent Management, Performance Management, Organizational Development, call it what you want, but manage all of it.
I am willing to bet that if you asked every manager in your organization to allow you to manage the creation and maintenance of job descriptions and qualifications, recruiting tests and interview questions, performance management and evaluations, allowing them to focus on their business instead of personnel, 95 percent of them would say, “Yes.”
Why? Most managers don’t want to deal with performance issues and/or evaluations. It’s time consuming, tedious, and can create a difficult environment between personnel and the manager. Why should we take responsibility for these tasks in addition to our other work?
If any of these resonate with you, all the more reason to come up with a plan to propose managing the entire life-cycle. The more “in control” you are of the impacts in the employee environment, and the more you can manage those impacts, the better able you become to show your value.
It’s just my opinion, that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Until next time…
Richard Lynell has been in the training and development profession for the last 35 years. He has worked for both the U.S. military and corporate training, and recently became an independent consultant.