Working human resources into the system

Efficient human resources management should be consistent with the rest of the company. Talk of stating the obvious, but all too often, HR measures will be designed independently from a company's strategy. Instead, policymakers should look at HR practices in terms of relationships.

by IESE Insight
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

For policies already in place, there are three types of relationship to consider. First coordination: does the practice assist or impede other practices within the firm? For instance, is the compensation adequate for attracting the best candidates?

HR managers should then identify the key purpose or function of the policy. An intern programme, say, might act as a selection process or be a significant part of it.

Finally, control relationships could help assess whether a practice is working properly, eg if the new recruits from the intern programme perform well.

When a company adopts new policies, other types of relationships dominate. A support relationship should determine whether the design of the new practice will help the design of future policies.

An implementation relationship for its part will assess how the new measures will impact on existing measures, for example, performance evaluation for a new incentive scheme. Finally, a pressure relationship would arise when HR practices generate expectations with respect to others, for instance, a company attracting stronger candidate with a better compensation system.

The idea of these 'working relationships' is to think of HR as part of a system, not as an isolated department. HR managers should always consider first the passive effects (how the system affects the practice) and then the active effects (how the practice will affect the system).

Similarly, time dynamics should also be considered in HR management because the effect of certain measures may take months to show but might also wear off after a while.

Source: For efficient HR management, be efficient!
Pablo Garcia, Carlos Sanchez-Runde
IESE Insight

Review by Emilie Filou

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