How to improve the management of human resources policies and their contribution to the company's overall performance? The HR management dashboard at the service of Human Resources Departments
The Human Resources department must value its action and demonstrate its contribution to the company's overall performance. By equipping themselves with appropriate measurement and management tools, Human Resources Departments can strengthen the relevance and performance of their policies at all levels of the company - provided that they structure their thinking well upstream and use appropriate technologies.
In recent years, we have seen an increasing number of groups implementing social management control. In addition to its contribution to the management of the wage bill, its role is more and more frequently to provide the Human Resources department with an effective system for monitoring the performance of HR policies. In addition to the need to measure and demonstrate the value of its action, the Human Resources Department also has a fundamental need for steering, which the tools in place generally do not meet: the need to anticipate, share and steer HR policies as closely as possible to the company's strategic priorities.
A lack of steering tools
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The HR function has become remarkably structured in recent years. In most groups, it has undeniably asserted its role as a partner of the General Management, operational managers and employees on a daily basis. However, while it has equipped itself with efficient transactional systems, it has too often neglected monitoring and steering. The HR directors we meet generally lack the tools to steer their strategy and ensure that actions are correctly implemented at the various levels of their organisation. The more decentralised the organisation, the more ramifications it has, the more the HR directors feel the need - but also the difficulty - to set up a structured HR management system based on relevant and shared indicators.
Defining and implementing an HR dashboard enables Human Resources Departments to strengthen their ability to :
- piloting the HR strategy and disseminating it in a very operational way to the different levels of the organization,
- communicate regularly with their internal clients in order to better assess their needs and to measure and report on the results of their policies,
- demonstrate through measurable elements that their actions have a real impact in terms of performance improvement.
A balanced approach to issues
To be effective, an HR management dashboard must be representative of the various operational, business and societal (diversity, CSR) issues that the Human Resources function is dealing with. It must provide visibility on the performance of HR policies but also report on the function's ability to control the payroll and its own operating costs.
One of the approaches that we recommend is inspired by the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), which provides some virtuous principles to respond to these steering issues:
- Starting from the strategy and breaking it down into actions and indicators, this approach has the advantage of preserving the causal links between HR objectives/strategy, HR policies and measured benefits and thus being able to answer the question "Why? It is also a great tool for sharing and communicating HR objectives and their operational application.
- By being part of a continuous progress approach through the definition and management of action plans, it does not make measurement an end in itself but a means to progress - "Measuring oneself does not create more value than weighing oneself makes you lose weight" -. It is not a question of setting up an a posteriori control tool, but rather of measuring achievements against set ambitions, which makes it possible to make actions and decisions evolve as and when they are taken in order to become more effective.
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- This forward-looking and iterative vision of HR management enables a balanced response to the challenges of the HR function by taking into account :
- Internal customer satisfaction - The first challenge for an HR department is to create value for its internal customers, whether they are senior management, operational departments or employees. For example, if the HR department must be able to measure employee satisfaction (internal barometers), it must also have indicators that allow it to go beyond the actual situation and to direct actions to continuously improve this satisfaction, which guarantees employee involvement. It must also be able to measure the perceived quality of the services provided to the various operational departments.
- HR organization and processes - Strengthening the excellence of HR processes to best respond to HR development issues is a priority of the function. This involves being able to measure the quality of major HR development processes such as recruitment, training and mobility, as well as ensuring that the company's social commitments are met.
- The evolution of the HR function - HR policies are necessarily long term. To implement them, the HR function must develop its learning capacity while innovating to contribute to the transformation of the company. To do this, it must monitor and steer structuring initiatives that respond to the major challenges of transforming the company's business lines and organisation.
- The financial dimension - The financial indicators concern the control and management of the payroll and the cost of the HR function itself. It is particularly important to always keep in perspective the resources implemented with regard to the quality of the actions carried out. Measuring and managing HR costs will be all the more important in a context of reorganization.
(centralization/decentralization, outsourcing, setting up service centers, ...). As the largest cost item in many organizations, the wage bill must be controlled and managed with extreme rigor, which necessarily requires the implementation of a dedicated system. Thus, the HR management dashboard must make it possible to make the link between HR policies (changes in remuneration policies, changes in management levels, etc.) and the financial impact on the wage bill.
In general, the HR management dashboard should clarify the link between social and economic performance and highlight the correlations between the policies implemented and the company's results.
Choosing the right indicators by covering the entire HR value chain
The construction of a dashboard based on a BSC-type method is an opportunity for a Human Resources Department to revisit the way in which it apprehends and translates its strategy by forcing it to clarify what is important and what is less important. The difficulty lies in the choice and hierarchy of indicators, knowing that it is essential to build a common base so that the dashboard provides each category of user - central HR function, local HR managers, senior management, operational managers - with the indicators it needs, with the depth of information required by each level of responsibility.
The temptation for many HR organizations is to multiply indicators in the hope of covering all aspects of their scope of action. For the sake of efficiency and relevance, it is important to be able to focus on a small number of key indicators that truly reflect priorities. At the most synthetic level, that of the executive, a good scorecard rarely includes more than fifteen indicators. It is based on a much more extensive HR database, but also on information that may come from financial or even marketing sources.
It remains fundamental to cover the entire HR value chain because of the strong interdependence between the different HR processes. The topics are numerous and cannot be isolated:
- How can we meet the employer's promise and satisfy talent in terms of remuneration, development and mobility while controlling the payroll?
- How can we ensure that the recruitment strategy meets the challenges of skills renewal, promotes the employer image and respects diversity objectives?
Data can be overwhelming and HR actors "isolated". The HR management dashboard enables the different parameters to be cross-referenced and gives an overview of the overall performance of the policies implemented.
Turning technology into an asset
Although the approach is demanding, the implementation of HR management is now greatly facilitated by new generation technologies, which are very accessible but still little known and used in the HR sphere. Not only does the technology exist, but it is also easier to implement, brings more agility than in the past and is now accessible to the profession and not only to technicians. It meets the requirements of flexibility, communication and scalability in Human Resources. Above all, it provides them with a remarkable potential in terms of predictive analysis and simulation by exploiting the various data sources available.
In absolute terms, there is no shortage of data. In addition to HRIS data and even financial systems, the talent management solutions that HR departments are deploying today to support their processes are gold mines. These solutions will become increasingly important to organizations. It's no coincidence that the world's top three vendors have recently implemented talent management solutions. While companies have often had the logic of integrating successive layers, each one responding to a need, these solutions provide a broad and integrated vision of HR development (assessment, employee review, compensation review, recruitment, mobility, training processes, etc.) and their potential should be exploited.
To meet this challenge, Business Intelligence, through its positioning in a global architecture and its functionalities, provides the means to set up and deploy dashboards that use, process and restore data from multiple sources and formats (HRIS, satisfaction surveys, external data from social networks, etc.) in a readable and user-friendly manner. This information can thus be shared by the various HR management contributors and customers with a level of detail adapted to their individual needs.
An approach to progress
Whatever the technology chosen, HRDs must aim to build a real technological base which, by providing a common basis, will enable them to respond more quickly and effectively to their information needs.
While technological developments bring a lot, they are not everything. The effectiveness of an HR management dashboard lies above all in the proper translation of the strategy into clear and relevant indicators. It is also essential to support the HR department in developing a common language and culture of management.
However, at a time when the HR department is facing fundamental challenges for the future of our organisations and the results of which are sometimes difficult to pinpoint (employee motivation, well-being at work, diversity, matching resources to future needs, etc.), it must free its own resources from the tasks of collecting and processing information, strengthen its arbitration and predictive analysis capacities, improve the organisation of its department around a common ambition and improve communication with its internal interlocutors.
The HR management dashboard then becomes a key tool for developing the HR strategy and promoting the function. Today's technologies make it possible to implement it quickly, to focus on what really matters: the development of human capital, the continuous improvement of individual and collective performance, and, in so doing, the strengthening of the company's ability to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
Valérie Frankiel, Founding Partner of Keyrus Management, is in charge of consulting activities for the Finance and Human Resources Departments. She has more than 18 years of experience both as an operational employee in the Finance Department of a CAC 40 company and as a consultant to Finance and Human Resources Departments. She is involved in projects to overhaul organisations, processes and information systems in order to improve the steering system of companies in the fields of Finance and Human Resources. She is in charge of the "Performance Steering and Reporting" and "Social Management Control and HR Performance" areas of expertise.
About Keyrus Management
Keyrus Management, the Keyrus Group's Management Consulting firm, differentiates itself through an innovative approach to effectively respond to the growing difficulties of mobilizing and ensuring the collective and sustainable effectiveness of human resources around understood and shared objectives, which prevent organizations from exploiting their full potential.
Created by experienced professionals from the consulting world, Keyrus Management offers an innovative approach to all its different areas of expertise - Human Resources consulting, Marketing / Sales strategy, performance of Finance, Risk Management, Purchasing and Information Systems functions - and sector expertise (Financial Institutions, Process Industries, Energy, Services and Public Sector).
Keyrus Management finds in Keyrus' historical know-how - mastery of information processing and analysis technologies resulting from "Business Intelligence" activities, agile method, short and collaborative cycle of the web world - a natural enrichment of its skills that make it unique in the consulting landscape. www.keyrusmanagement.fr