Top 10 HR Transformation Articles in April

April has been a bumper month for a good selection of HR Transformation related articles, from using 6 Sigma in recruitment, optimising your HR Shared Services, to how the iPad can help HR.
Here is a a leading question, 'Are Performance Management appraisals the Great Evil?'  Election fever is gripping the UK and the main political parties are locking horns in a final show down.  The last three articles here deal with UK Government policies including a comparison of the main parties manifestos on skills and training.

1.  6 Sigma Recruiting – from Jason Buss, The Talent Buzz

6-Sigma can work in HR when used in the right context, with the right skills. It works really well with higher volume for repeatable processes like recruitment. In the right hands, the results are dramatic and can pay for your Black Belt many times over.  This article also includes a useful slide deck.

2.  HR Shared Services Optimisation: Attaining the full potential of HR Shared Services – from Outsourcing World

This is a good post about how to get the most out of HR Shared Services. You have gone through the blood, sweat and tears of getting the model working, so what do you do next? Here are 10 excellent ideas and suggested initiatives. Find out more about “leaner, not meaner HR” and “HR orphans”.

3.  5 ways to torpedo your next HR sale – from Mark Stelzner, Inflexion Advisors
We often facilitate vendor evaluations for HR Services and we've seen lots of pitches over the years ranging from the incredible to the incredulous, to the downright dreadful. This is a candid post which outlines the ways HR vendors can “fail spectacularly”.   Do you recognise any of these “torpedos” ? We do too.

4.  Workday and the unspoken benefits of SaaS – from Phil Wainewright, ZDNet
This is a good article about Software as a Service (SaaS).

“Our estimate is Workday is at least 25%, perhaps 50% cheaper than on-premise competitors Oracle or SAP, mainly due to the simpler implementation and process configuration of the Workday solution.” according to Aviva.

Cost is one of many issues when considering future HR Tech options, but the above statement is a powerful claim.  What does your IT Director think about SaaS ?

5.  How the iPad Can Change HR – from Jason Corsello, KI OnDemand
Is an iPad a big iPod or a laptop with a big screen? I am not sure because I am still waiting for my evaluation copy. (subtle hint to Apple)

Large proportions of the workforce in retail & manufacturing industries have limited access to PCs.  In the design of HR Operating models a big challenge is how to get these employees to access HR service channels, including self-service HR applications and tools to manage vacancies, book courses and update personal info. 

We need to use all the ‘pull factors’ we can to get employees to use HR services and providing a few iPads could be worth considering for certain groups of.  Jason outlines examples from streamlining mundane and repetitive forms, interactive training, performance management and perhaps the area with most potential ‘mobilising HR’.

6.  Performance Evaluations: "The Great Evil"? – from Mike Haberman, HR Observations Blog
Is Performance Management The Great Evil? Systems Thinkers think so and it would seem that many employees think so too. Does the effort pay off and should HR focus their efforts on other initiatives to improve employee performance?

"This corporate sham is one of the most insidious, most damaging, and yet most ubiquitous of corporate activities. Everybody does it, and almost everyone who's evaluated hates it. It's a pretentious, bogus practice that produces absolutely nothing that any thinking executive should call a corporate plus." Quoted in the article from authors Samual A. Culbert and Lawerence Rout.

Strong words indeed, but a thought provoking article and interesting discussion which represents different views on the subject.

7.  If eLearning is still not seen as effective – how will social learning take off?- from Martin Couzins, XpertHR
eLearning has proven to be a cost-effective way to deliver training in  certain areas and the potential for Social Learning is great given the tools, connectivity and knowledge we now have at our fingertips.

However a recent survey by CIPD, on UK Training methods, found that eLearning was floundering at the bottom of the pile on 12% (it was 7% in 2009).  Martin asks a really good question, if eLearning is still not seen as effective – how will social learning take off?
Another question for us is :- if eLearning is a cost-effective way to deliver training, why isn't it used more by organisations?

8.  Election 2010 Briefing – skills and training – from CIPD
The UK election is on May 6th, but when choosing which party to vote for, how important are their policies on Skills and Training?

To grow the economy, enabling the workforce with the right skills and training is absolutely key.   This is a useful three page summary of the main parties manifestos on skills and training. It includes apprenticeships, youth unemployment and internships.

9.  Don’t bank on efficiency savings – from Flip Chart Fairy Tales
The Conservatives say they can get £12 billion more efficiency savings out of the UK public sector than the government has claimed.    “Back-office efficiencies” are proposed by all politicians to reduce the deficit to a more manageable level.  Rick points out the problem with efficiency savings is that they are "probably unachievable".  Developing a realistic business case is difficult work but Rick suggsts the politicians need a reality check.  For more on HR efficiencies in the public sector, see our article about Government Benchmarks – a Government Health Warning.

10.  HR Transformation in Local Government – from Nicola Grimshaw, director at Digby Morgan writing in Changeboard
This is a good article about HR Transformation trends in UK Local Government.  It picks up on trends in collaborative working, headcount freezes and outsourcing.  Nicola reckons that 75% of all local authorities are in the process of adopting an Ulrich style HR Operating Model.

We hope you enjoyed our latest and greatest HR Transformation Articles for April.

Many thanks for the feedback for our Top 10 HR Transformation Articles from March, as always we would welcome any suggested articles, or follow us on Twitter @AndySpence.

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