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  • Mark Dickinson

Breaking Through - 5 things HR Management must do in 2019


There are many pillars of capital in a business, but the primary four pillars of capital in any

successful business are Finance, Intellectual Property, Physical Assets and Human Capital. It is

like a table with four legs, if you remove any of them the table will fall down. Businesses typically

tend to focus on the first three, however perhaps the most important is Human Capital, the people

who operate the business, without them there can be no company.

Ownership of the company is responsible for managing all four capitals simultaneously through

their organizational structure, and the HR Management (HRM) team is responsible for precisely a

quarter of the business capital. Frequently businesses do not recognize the importance of the

Human Capital and the “people problems” are often relegated to HRM, who then become

expeditors of company policy rather than the drivers of growth. This must change, and in order for

that change to happen there must be a high level conversation between business owners and the

people responsible for people: the HRM team.

Here are our top 5 thoughts for 2019 HR Management teams to think about:

1 Effective Communication Process

HRM must drive an effective communication frame of reference within its organization. They must

ensure that there is a proper system of communication meetings and a process for ensuring

implementation of decisions taken at meetings, at all levels of the business.

Mission, Vision and Values must exist and be living, credible documents within the company. It is

HRM’s responsibility to ensure that these documents are an integral part of the operating practices

of the business. With these in place then an authority matrix must be developed to ensure clarity in

all decision making issues, and from there onwards a structure of communication meetings must

be implemented. The key communication meeting is an executive meeting, which ideally takes

place once per week at a fixed and inflexible time. The executive meeting is the mechanism

through which the mission, vision and values are constantly shared with the leadership team.

Each business is different, and frequently the executive committee process is relegated to second

place in the light of operational needs. The weekly executive meeting is not an optional extra but

an essential necessity. HRM must ensure that a weekly executive meeting is instigated and

maintained, irrespective of the operational activities. It must consist of a leadership team and

designated deputies who may step in during the absence of any one of the team. The meeting

must include the chief decision maker, the financial controller/CFO, HRM, Sales & Marketing

Management and Operations Management. HRM is responsible for ensuring that there are

minutes of the meeting with each point in the minutes having a person responsible for ensuring

execution and a due date. HRM must circulate this information before each meeting and follow up

on the day of the meeting with an after meeting action list. HRM is also responsible for ensuring

that each member of the Executive Committee conduct a similar meeting within their own

department each week where they communicate the relevant sections of the Executive Meeting

with their management team, and finally, that each of those meetings have a similar method of

sharing an agenda and follow-up report for their department. The Executives populate the Excom

Meeting with their feedback from their team meetings.

2 Human Capital Development Plan


Every business must have a growth plan for every employee. At the Excom level HRM is

responsible for developing a quarterly program for Executives to grow and learn. This type of

growth should be driven by bringing in external experts who can provide learning experiences for

the senior team. External learning opportunities for executives have never been more available,

and the choice of programs for executives is wide. Certifying executives with EMBA’s and similar

high level programs is a prerequisite for having a professional, expert team guiding the

organization.

Department heads are often overlooked in terms of their personal growth. HRM must ensure that

departments heads are learning new skills at least twice a year. These managers are the ceiling of

the performance of the company, as they manage the day to day operations and are the true

problem solvers. By engaging department heads in learning and growth programs the organization

thrives and the managers’ intellectual capacity is constantly improving, ensuring better maturity of

decision making and a culture of ongoing growth.

Training for front line and operational employees is vital to excellent customer service and smooth

operational practices. Through an ongoing training plan each employee feels a greater sense of

commitment to the company and an increased level of participation in the performance of the

business. Front line employees should be integrated into an overall development plan that focuses

on raising up new leaders from within the organization.

3 Relevant Performance Management Process

For the past century companies have evolved using a template of annual performance reviews.

This is now outdated. No one should wait a year to know how their performance is perceived. They

need up to date instant information about their contribution to the organization. Most HRM throw up

their hands in horror at this suggestion because they come from the general school of thought that

we must measure everyone once a year. The primary purpose of annual reviews was created to

drive the payroll decisions about increases. This is outdated. Constant ongoing reviews are in

reality already an existing part of management, if your performance is flagging someone will say

something right away. The disciplinary process in most companies is well established, with

managers instantly correcting employees who fall short of expectations. So what would the annual

review show that an employee is not already aware of? The typical annual evaluations ask such

questions as “commitment to team goals”, “overall effectiveness”, “ability to work in a team” etc.

We all know these measurements by heart. They are useless. We do not need to measure these

once a year, we need them to be living values that employees work to every day. Anyone not living

out these values will immediately be noticed by their manager and corrective action will be taken

instantly, not at the end of a year.

So what should we do? Make sure that we have an effective system for encouraging employees

for doing good work as and when they do it. This raises the question of how we should tackle

employee increases. At Done! We recommend that employees receive an annual raise on their

birthday. This annual raise recognizes the length of time they have committed to the company and

results in across the board standard increases each year. Generally, employees are obviously

performing their work acceptably well, otherwise they would have been subject to coaching and

counselling, so we suggest that every employee will get an increase on their birthday each year

that rewards their ongoing commitment to the company and that falls in line with company

performance.

Ongoing performance goals for each manager that are measured against their ability to attain

goals is the best way to evaluate their contribution. If a proper communication system has been


implemented where each manager owns action points from their weekly meeting, then these tasks

can be measured. By accumulating the tasks required from each manager on an ongoing basis,

and his or her ability to deliver quality results on time, then we will have visibility on the ongoing

effectiveness of managers and be able to coach and guide their contribution to the organization.

Therefore evaluations are ongoing, negating the requirement for annual reviews.

4 Outstanding Rewards Program

There are employees who provide outstanding results. When they do, they should know it and be

rewarded for it. This takes effort to provide a great rewards program for employees. Employee of

the Month is a dead concept as it is very subjective, and often excellent employees will win it

repetitively and poor performers will be discouraged. Create a rewards program that is related to

employee tasks. Remember, there are multiple employees who are performing their work in non-

visible roles; such personnel are often overlooked for their wonderful daily performance by virtue of

the fact they are unseen. Creating great team reward programs that include all team members are

a way of encouraging everyone to contribute at the highest level. Maintenance team members,

production team members, admin team members are all integral to the success of the business but

frequently not recognized. By creating team rewards for successfully delivering work will ensure

that each person in an organization is part of the team performance and gains meaningful reward

for their tasks. Team outings, team parties, can form part of these rewards.

5 Efficient Policy Making Process

Missing processes cause the most pain in organizations. The one policy that must be first and

foremost in HRM work is to ensure that there is a process for creating policies. This process must

be able to accommodate the changes and growth of the company by facilitating the ability for all

senior team members to instigate new policies. It sounds simple but rarely exists. Email

notifications and Whatsapp messages/groups are not efficient ways of creating sustainable policy.

Whenever a new policy is required HRM must encourage the rapid creation of the policy.

Frequently great ideas get lost because a decision maker procrastinates. This destroys the

organization from the inside. A visual diagram for how policy is created in an organization should

be created by HRM and made available to all managers enabling them to grow and develop the

entire organization instantly from the inside out.

HRM, your role has never been more important. We urge you to take control; take action and grow

and develop your people, so that they grow and develop your company.

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©2020 by Mark Dickinson