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No more excuses: HR has to make a bottom line IMPACT

Quebec City was the host to this year’s Quebec HR Conference.  There were great speakers but one stood out, Ms. Grace Odums. Ms. Odums delivered an impactful and candid speech. She moved beyond platitudes and rather spoke about the fundamentals of HR.

According to Ms. Odums, the role of HR must be about impacting the business from a productivity and revenue perspective.  This perspective has been gained through her years of experience as well as frequent interaction with non HR executives who share with her their views on what HR needs to be today.  What the C suite wants and is increasingly demanding of HR is the ability to provide insight derived from HRIS intelligence to drive business decisions.

Her questions were exact and straightforward; as an example, she asked a room of about 75 HR professionals, how many of them knew the strategy or go to market plan of the organization that they worked.   Approximately 4 people raised their hand.   Absent knowledge of the strategy or the client attraction model of the company (blue ocean / delta), how can HR implement the training plans and provide the appropriate compensation and performance review programs that identify and reward the behaviours and competencies that positively impact the organization?  Simply put they cannot.
What does this mean for HR?  There is no easy way to say this but the reality is that unless HR demonstrates the value that the C suite is looking for in terms of intelligence and assistance in the decision making process, HR will have difficulty justifying their raison d’être.
Therefore what can HR do?  The answer is clear:  take the initiative.

Onyva can provide many real life examples of how to do that and those examples do not require anything other than imagination and the desire to make a difference. One example of taking initiative is the following: get the right people to smile at the right time.  A company that picked up garbage bins on a weekly basis found out through a 360 degree process that drivers that had a personal introduction to the client by the driver that was being replaced as part of the onboarding process as soon as they started the route rather than hoping or trying to development one over time had a much better client retention rate and made those routes considerably more profitable for the company.
Drivers that did not have client introduction as part of the onboarding process were less successful and retaining those clients was more expensive for the organization.  Typically those clients had to be enticed to stay with discounts and rebates thereby lowering margin in a tight margin business.
Of course the result was that what had been a regional onboarding process became the national standard.   The cost of doing this was some talking, a little bit of imagination and a willingness to think about profit and loss and how HR could impact that.  Again this was a stand alone HR initiative that used only HR resources and knowledge and made a significant business impact in terms of margin retention.
There are many other low cost revenue impacting ideas that Onyva HRIS would be happy to share. If you would like to find out more about Ms. Odums please contact us and we will be happy to share her contact information with you.

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