micromanagement in hrJust using the term, micromanagement, much less employing it, often gets a bad rap from mediocre managers; the better ones understand that the practice is well-deserved in many instances. In fact, some employees – usually the ones at the top of the list for dismissal – require almost constant oversight to get any value out of them. Unfortunately, this process can significantly impact your own efforts. Here are a few tips for improving the situation:

Provide an Overview – While it is your job to have the vision, you will often be surprised by what your subordinates can contribute if you just give them a chance to voice their thoughts. A meeting where the overall view of the project is described is the perfect opportunity to meet this goal and get some very valuable feedback from those who will actually have to accomplish the task.

Identify Key Points – At this point, leadership truly does come into play as you must clearly delineate the key points of the initiative. Identifying where your team should be headed is the essence of micromanagement – and any other kind! Ignore this step and you will be neck-deep in issues that are completely unrelated to your statement of objectives.

Detail Complete Tasks – When delegating tasks, it is sometimes tempting to break it up into more manageable elements to monitor progress. Unfortunately, this also stymies the initiative of your subordinates. Instead, instruct them on the entire scope of the project and see where they can lead you. It’s a no-brainer.

Communicate the Needed Outcome – Ultimately, a project is about delivering results – for you and for your subordinates. The end product should be determined at the very start so that everyone knows where they are headed. In addition, milestones should be established so that your entire team can understand that they are making progress. Anything less can be seriously demoralizing and demotivating.

Add a Little Extra – Everyone understands that their salary is dependent on them satisfactorily meeting their goals. It is the nature of the workplace. Still, a little extra incentive never stopped any project from being completed a little faster or with some better functionality. Not to be demeaning, but throw your subordinates a “bone” once in a while. You will be surprised at how much value you can get from a pair of tickets to an art show or a basketball game.

Share the Final Rewards

The completion of a large project demands a reward of some type or another. In addition to recognition, your team members should be rewarded with opportunities like presenting to upper management or given other ways for them to be noticed. In other words, don’t hog all the glory of a successful project for yourself.


Six Leadership Styles – Which One is Yours?

by CompareHRIS on May 22, 2015

HR leaderUndoubtedly, there are as many leadership styles as there are managers in the world. Still, despite their “uniqueness,” these styles do tend to fall into several broad categories depending on the personal traits and experience of the respective managers. Here are six of the most common ones:

The Authoritarian

While an experienced “authoritarian-style” leader can definitively lead a team with their vision and goal-oriented focus, this style is also often emulated by inexperienced managers who mistake mere authority for true leadership. The authoritarian style works best when the members of the team are themselves experienced and only need to be coaxed in a certain direction. In fact, with this style, the bulk of any business initiative will lie with the subordinates and their own prerogatives. Conversely, a consortium of experts will not appreciate this style of leadership and should be handled in a different manner. Simply put, the authoritarian style of leadership will pass or fail on the particular strengths of the manager and not, regrettably, on the merits of his team.

The Pacesetter

A very interesting – and absolutely self- absorbed – leadership style, the “pacesetter” expects his subordinates to emulate his every move. When it is good, it is very good but it can lead to disaster if the manager loses focus or interest. It works best with an already motivated team but can quickly devolve into a game of “one-upsmanship” where very little gets done as each team member tries to outdo the other in little things – like simply putting in long hours with no actual work being done – and forgets the actual goal of the project. To his discredit, the pacesetter rarely takes criticism from subordinates very seriously and is rudely awakened when the same points are made by his superiors.

The Emoter

Through bonding, the emotive leader aims to create a feeling of camaraderie and a “people first” attitude. Laudable, but highly impractical in a 21st century business environment. In fact, it really only works in companies headed by the founder who must be allowed to follow his desires. This style shies away from true criticism, demotivates a team – as faint praise is always available – and is completely ineffective in times of crisis as the team members are unprepared to “step up” when required by the situation. Avoid this “leadership” style like the plague.

The Democrat

While a very popular style of leadership with both managers and most subordinates, this consensus building technique offers very little in real leadership. Instead, these Milquetoast managers look to their subordinates to validate their business decisions. Unfortunately, this strategy does not work as the “grunts” will generally opt for any decision that lightens their own workload – a decidedly poor formula for success. For sure, this style works when building “buy-in” for a new, company-wide initiative but it is a poor substitute for real leadership on a particular, customer-focused project.

The Coercer

This style of leadership inevitably leads to a comparison with the authoritarian style. While the latter attempts to enforce their will through sheer power, the former tries to invoke a more personable approach. In the end, both styles want the same thing – total subjugation to their wishes – while the authoritarian just issues orders, the coercer will make some attempt to convince his subordinates of the superiority of his decision rather than just issue a series of dictates. A final note, “coercers” often see themselves as “one of the guys” even when in a position of power. It is a delusion and they should be disabused of this notion as soon as possible.

The Coach

While every manager will inevitably institute their own particular leadership style, this is the one that everyone from Warren Buffet to Elon Musk has found to be the most successful. Build your team up, coach and test them with smaller tasks and then trust them to make the really big decisions when you are not around. This process not only makes them better managers in their own right but also frees you up to attend to more important matters. In short, the “coach” develops people at every level of his organization.

So step up, have some confidence in your people and let them shine. After all, how can you be promoted if there is no one to fill your shoes?

To learn more about leadership you may want to check out, The Problem with Leadership and 5 Ways to Demonstrate Leadership in your Business.

* Caspar Milquetoast was a comic strip character created by H. T. Webster for his cartoon series, The Timid Soul. The character’s name is a deliberate misspelling of the name of a bland and fairly inoffensive food, milk toast. Milk toast, light and easy to digest, is an appropriate food for someone with a weak or “nervous” stomach; a very timid, unassertive, spineless person who’s afraid to ask for a raise!


5 Key Reasons Why HR Underperforms

by CompareHRIS on May 13, 2015

human resourcesHuman Resources and talent management programs are under performing or barely getting by in 92% of the 2,532 businesses surveyed by Deloite and reported in HR Magazine (May 2014). Some 43% admit they do not provide the training to HR, and 47% rate their own businesses low at preparing HR to deliver solutions aligned with business needs.

How did we get here?

There is no use asking, “How did we get here?” The situation is what it is, and seems to have been this way since the Human Resources function was created. Whether organizations can find the wherewithal to solve the problem or even enter a productive dialog on solutions for re-skilling HR remains an open question. The problem reflects a number of conditions that culminate into five primary reasons why HR under performs.

1. Hiring – People fall into Human Resources. Clerks are hired for their seriousness of purpose and work ethic. They are often found in other departments and transferred to HR for their detail in clerical work and thoroughness in working with data. They may be vetted, but recruits are not checked for experience or talent that might be predictive.

2. Education – Even though most community colleges and many vo-tech schools offer courses, certificates, and degrees in HR studies, there is no evidence that businesses staff with aligned education. HR managers and officers may come to the table with college degrees; those degrees are rich with compliance and theory but often fall short on practical application and experience. And, they are just as lacking in leadership and management training as other hires to management.

3. Purpose – HR continues to attract people who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Genuinely motivated, they consider HR to be an agent of change and an advocate of employee concerns. This focus on the high road often distracts them, undercuts their effectiveness, and complicates corporate intentions. HR may provide value as an ombudsperson and master conflict resolution, but it is presumptions to position itself as the conscience of the company.

4. Task – Human Resources management finds too much pleasure in multi-tasking. They like the variety and constant flux in the duties. However, this is actually an abrogation of management leadership. There is no future in being all things to all people. Leaders will organize, delegate, and direct tasks.

5. Support – What the business expects of HR and what HR expects of itself has much to do with the support the business leadership is willing to provide. If, as is most often the case, the corporation sees Human Resources as a necessary evil, prophylactic in purpose and practice, it will make no investment in building an HR bench or effort to align it with other business goals.

HR continues to fill the business needs it always has. However, without a more holistic approach to building and sustaining Human Resources, HR will continue to under perform and perhaps barely get by unless business addresses these concerns.


5 keys for HRIS demoWhen shopping for HR technology solutions or thinking of changing your HRIS provider, you need to work at it. You need to build a framework for HRIS decision-making. That was the message explored in a conversation between Trish McFarlane (VP of HR Practice, Brandon Hall Group) and Steve Boese (Co-chair of The HR Technology Conference) before an engaged audience back at the 2014 SHRM Conference.

What did that HR Tech salesperson say?

Despite a slightly misleading title, the speakers offered solid advice on dealing strategically with vendors of Human Resources Information Systems in a world where, as they pointed out, “there is no Yelp or TripAdvisor” with ready reviews of HR technology.

Absent that, they suggest a pattern for approaching HRIS providers during your research and shopping. And, it starts with three key understandings:

  1. What is your strategic need?
    There needs to be a problem you are trying to solve. It could be an administrative need to expedite record keeping or to secure employee performance assessment. Or, it could be to solve a problem that has arisen with your current service.
  2. What is your future-state vision?
    Visualizing what your business needs will be in a specific future (5 or 10 years out) – you need the provider who can meet those anticipated needs now and into that future.
  3. What is your tactical need?
    You’ll want a fix on your compliance or talent management needs. Shop with a mind to find and integrate the tools that will deliver your strategic solutions.

So, finding right HR software starts with asking the right questions. You may not recognize solutions unless you know the challenges for what they are.

Build a framework for decision-making.

You should want the HRIS program that elevates your Human Resources administration into a strategic business partner. But, it is here that many decisions fall short. Buyers are happy to get a system that saves work and time but are left to regularly justify the cost and fill gaps in service.

So, you have to admit that you need help in deciphering the promises made and understanding the critical issues influencing  your HRIS decision. Your ultimate satisfaction depends on…

  1. your ability to ask the right questions and
  2. the vendor’s ability to answer those questions rightly.

Price is only one variable

If your approach is to get a system and justify the spending to your executive-suite, your shopping will be price-driven. But, as McFarlane and Boese assert, “Price is only one variable in the ROI calculation.” For example, too many customers find themselves changing their HRIS program too soon after implementation. The speakers found 50% of those changing systems did so for lack of satisfactory system integration and for unsatisfactory user-experience. Both results reflect poorly on the search experience.

Their analysis also reports that 35% are disappointed in the reporting ability and the lack of consistent content. These too, seem to be weaknesses that should have been discoverable during the product research.

What to do?

A strategic framework begins with a thorough self-analysis. As the customer, you need to assess your needs in strategic and tactical terms. You need input and feedback, shared wants and needs with all organizational functions. This communal approach spreads the risk in decision-making, customizes your search, and raises your HR professional profile.

Plan to research and interview three or more providers. Then, try to ask the right questions:

  1. What is the customer satisfaction rating?
  2. Where can I find this rating and how it was determined?
  3. Do users find the system easy to use?
  4. How does the system integrate vertically and horizontally?
  5. When things go wrong, how does the vendor respond?
  6. What does the vendor see in your business’s future that you do not?
  7. How can I talk to other customers in like businesses?

Ask about the “ecosystem.”

McFarlane and Boese refer to a business ecosystem that reminds you that no business relationship exists in a vacuum. Yet, when you meet with a vendor, there is often the risk that you will make a decision based on the moment. Impressed by the sales rep and the presentation, you forget to ask the larger questions.

You want to remember that larger, older companies can be slower to innovate or respond to changing needs. On the other hand, they have established support systems and vibrant user communities willing to share info and history. The Selector Tool available at comparehris.com is an indispensable support.

The search and decision can be burdensome. The pressure and accountability are borne by the HR decision maker. But, with time, study, and aggressiveness, the HR pro will be able to build a framework for HRIS decision-making.


8 Common Mistakes Made by Inexperienced Managers

by CompareHRIS on April 24, 2015

inexperienced managerOften, companies – small and large! – will throw fledgling managers into positions of authority without giving them any real training or mentorship. The results can sometimes be surprisingly good but more often than not the result is disappointment for the manager, his subordinates and management. Here is where they usually go wrong:

1. Failing to Take the Broad View – New managers are often straddled with more authority than they are comfortable with. Through no fault of their own, this simple fact means that they lack the appropriate values, sensitivity and awareness of how the business world works. Instead of leading, they coerce – or worse, order, their subordinates. In the end, no one nor the company is better for the experience.

2. Being Uncommunicative – In a similar vein, many new managers think that barking orders is the way to “get things done.” It can be but this method takes a lot more effort than getting employees to buy into your vision and clueing them in to where you are headed. Simply put, understanding that communication is a two-way street is a critical skill for any manager. You have to listen as much, or more, as you speak.

3. Foregoing Objectivity – Pressure leads managers to make all sorts of mistakes. One of the most egregious is losing their objectivity about a situation or a particular employee. In fact, this failing is one of the fastest ways for a manger to lose a job. Managers must be trained and coached to make reasoned decisions no matter whatever else is going on.

4. Not Building the Team – No man is an island. Forgetting this ineluctable fact is an excellent way to create lots of work for oneself as a manager and head off down the inevitable path of failure. Managers must, must, be trained to cultivate an attitude of teamwork. Else they are doomed to any of a number of failures.

5. Deciding… and Then Asking for Input – It is blindingly obvious to any experienced manager that asking for input about an already predetermined decision is disastrous on many levels. Not only do you ignore some seriously good opinions but you denigrate your staff in the process. Yes, you are the decision maker, but give your folks the courtesy of letting you know what they think.

6. Ignoring Any Obvious Problems – If a manager recognizes that a problem exists within his purview, you can be sure that the rest of the staff is also well apprised. And… pretending that it doesn’t exist is worst of all. Not only does the manager not resolve the actual issue at hand but they are seen as being weak and ineffectual – the death knell for anyone in a leadership position.

7. Making Friends with Subordinates – A measured amount of civility is certainly called for and supportive as at-work relationships are to be encouraged. Fraternizing outside of work however, can be counterproductive and may breed enmity amongst those who are not part of the “inner circle.” In short, the consummate manager finds his friends amongst his peers or outside of work entirely.

8. Forgetting the Client – The rigors and pressure of everyday business activities can cloud the mind of an inexperienced manager. Instead of focusing on the end result – that is, satisfying the customer – the business day becomes a juggling act of completing tasks that meet some company goal. This focus is not only demoralizing but largely counterproductive as it only produces a check mark on some company metric and ignores truly tangible results.

A Final Thought
It takes time and effort to find and properly train managers especially if you are short-staffed. Consider the use of an HRIS to formalize and track training. Software available today can schedule, track and evaluate a manager’s training progress. It can deliver and maintain modules which can then be archived with back up documentation. Updates can be added easily into the curriculum as needed and reports can be developed to communicate status on the individuals as well as the overall state of company training. You can even add formalized testing to evaluate your employees and to help determine the next course of action.


reasons to leaveAs mentioned in the preceding entry in this series, staying in touch with your employees can ease a lot of a company’s retention issues. It allows management – ahead of time – to identify those employees who are unhappy and most likely to leave. It also affords the opportunity to remedy the situation before it is too late.

One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to hold so-called “stay” interviews ahead of the “exit” ones. Unlike the latter that are usually somewhat negative, this former type of interview lets your HR team understand why your satisfied employees remain as well as identifying those who are not. You never know, you may discover some of the reasons that your employees may be abandoning your company. Ones such as these:

1. They are Bored and Unchallenged
Many employees spent a lot of time, effort and money getting knowledge, skills and degrees in fields of study that interested them. They then go on to find jobs that will allow them to use those skills. Tasking them with uninteresting or transactional work will not only stifle their passion for the job but directly lead them to find another one. It is a truly sad state of affairs for any employee to be bored and unchallenged at work. In fact, no employee will stand for it for very long. Working closely with your team, keeping them informed as well as challenging them to perform is the best way to keep them engaged in the project and in the company.

2. Their Self-Confidence is Stifled
In a similar vein, stopping employees from utilizing their significant skills and abilities in the workplace reduces not only their sense of accomplishment but also their self-confidence. When exercising their skills, employees become even better at them, stretch their current abilities and grow any burgeoning talents. Stifling this initiative is a sure way to drive good employees to the competition. The lure of opportunity also enters into it. If employees are not allowed to demonstrate their prowess in work-related skills, they may feel that they are merely spinning their wheels with little hope for advancement.

3. They Feel Unconnected from the Big Picture
In the simplest terms, managers – at all levels of the company – must take the time to meet with and explain to every subordinate the relevancy of their job as it pertains to the overall strategy and business of the company. Much as John Donne was involved with mankind, this process connects your employees with the company. If you fail to make the connection, do not send to ask for whom the bell tolls, it will be tolling for your company. An apt analogy for any company that fails to retain its most qualified and talented employees.

4. No Transparency in Company’s Financial State
It is simply foolish to believe that an employee will place the long-term needs of the company over their own. Any signs of financial instability – from  lack of sales and reduced work hours through  layoffs and salary freezes – will result in stress and worry in your best employees – and a tendency for them to find greener pastures. In short, changes in the financial status of the company – for better or worse – should always be transparent to those most intimately involved – that is, your employees.

5. You Offer a Poor Corporate Culture
For whatever reason, some individuals will never fit into any corporate culture. Still, this does not mean that you shouldn’t strive for that end. Doing so will pay dividends all across your business. Your company must develop a corporate culture where employees are appreciated and not demeaned, treated with respect and not scorn, as well as provide them with compensation, benefits and perks. The costs for such activities as team-building, corporate events and even celebrations are relatively minor but they make management accessible and keep everyone on the same “cultural” page.

For more on corporate culture, download this complimentary guide, People-Centric Recruitment Guide: Texas Roadhouse’s Approach for Building and Preserving Company Culture

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5 Reasons Your Employees are Abandoning Your Company

by CompareHRIS on April 14, 2015

employee quittingEmployees – even ones in quite senior positions with lucrative salaries – quit for any number of seemingly less than significant reasons. Still, the reasons are important enough for the employee to make a life-changing decision and… it can have a dramatic effect on you and your company. Here are five of the top reasons why good employees will abandon an otherwise good company:

1. Offering No Passable Relationship with a Superior
While subordinates do not necessarily need to fraternize with their bosses – in fact, it is actively discouraged in most organizations – they do require a comfortable working relationship with their superior to be effective. Simply put, an uncomfortable relationship with one’s immediate supervisor is an almost unbearable burden on any employee as they must depend on the boss to give relevant input and feedback in many one-on-one situations. An immediate supervisor is also an employee’s access to the rest of the management chain. It is highly demoralizing to be left aside in this instance. In short, a poor relationship with one’s superior quickly devolves into the need to find a new job.

2. Ignoring Good Relationships with Peers
Similarly but not identically, an employee must have a good working relationship with their peers. A large portion of one’s working life will be spent sitting next to, interacting with, and generally spending the day with these people. It is imperative that coworkers communicate and empower each other. Many mutual friendships are developed in a working environment – do not discount the retention effect that employees have on each other. In short, interpersonal peer-to-peer relationships retain employees more than any other factor.

3. No Relevancy of Their Position
Everyone wants to be relevant – to their family, to their friends and, yes, to their employers. It is simply human nature and ignoring this fact will cost you employees – the best ones, too! To this end, an employee must be given meaningful work and the more senior the employee the more relevant it needs to be. Making a difference – at the company level and for the world at large – is essential for motivating the most passionate employees. Otherwise, they will move on to circumstances more attuned to their own ethical views. If necessary, you may have to re-evaluate your own views and determine if they are too mercenary.

4. Denying Autonomy and Independence
On a slightly different note, the best employees do not want to be treated as children. That is, they want to be trusted and not just considered incompetents who will only do as instructed with a maximum of oversight. In other words, to retain the best employees your company must do more than just pay lip service to such concepts as empowerment, self-direction and independence. While you cannot actually endow your employees with these traits, you can create a working environment that nurtures them. If you do, you and your company, as well as your retention rate, will be all the better for it.

5. Lack of Recognition
Other than a superior outright taking credit for a subordinate’s work, nothing aggravates an employee more than not being recognized for his contributions. It can be as simple as thanking them for working on the weekend to an actual award for being employee of the month. With that said, genuine gratitude is appreciated but your company must come across with some tangible rewards or the sentiment will soon be ignored. HRIS can increase acknowledgment by using technology to communicate recognition and interactivity throughout the company. Remember, the best know who they are and that they have other employment options.

The Bottom Line
Pay attention to these five reasons or you will certainly be giving more exit interviews and goodbye parties – not to mention substantially increasing your recruiting, hiring and training costs.

For more on this topic, please visit us at compareHRIS.com, where you can find a range of products that can help you with any of your human resource issues.


Managing Motivation – 5 Simple Rules

by CompareHRIS on April 10, 2015

Motivated employeeKeeping employees motivated is one of the most important aspects of any business owner’s or manager’s job. It can be a daunting task with all the other competing demands on one’s time. Here are five simple things you and your management team can do to keep the process manageable and moving forward.

1. First, Define the Company Vision – Nothing is more demotivating to an employee than not knowing where they are supposed to be headed. In fact, leaving employees clueless as to the company goals is an invitation for them to concentrate on the wrong tasks. Instead, it is essential that upper management clearly define a vision for the company’s future and how they plan to get there. So important is this single item, that this vision should be memorialized on paper and emphasized at every company event.

2. Next, Empower Your Managers – While the CEO or owner of a business should be the primary motivating force in a company, he cannot be everyone at once. This means that subordinate managers must be empowered – and encouraged! – to make their own motivational decisions. Allowing managers to engage in team building exercises of their own devising or to schedule their own meetings can be doubly valuable. It signals trust in the manager himself and signals to the employees that self-motivation is highly regarded.

3. Then, Reward the Most Motivated – Recognizing motivation in your employees is key to perpetuating the behavior. While “employee of the month” plaques are appreciated to a certain degree, real motivation is garnered with real rewards. In other words, a simple pat on the back is not enough. Instead, provide something tangible like gift cards to a restaurant or tickets to a basketball game. They will reap far more benefits than the small price they cost.

4. Move On to Eliminating the Nabobs of Negativity – No matter how finely tuned your management skills are, a single dissenting voice in the ranks can have a significantly toxic effect on motivation. It is essential to identify these counterproductive individuals and either change their minds or terminate them from your employ. This process does not mean that dissenting opinions should be discouraged, just the ones that are negative solely for the sake of being negative. In other words, think positive and insist that your employees do the same.

5. Finally, Provoke Further Conversation – As mentioned, constructive discourse is to be encouraged as no single person has all the right answers. Collectively, however, answers can be found to almost any problem. In addition, promoting communication is a singular way for employees to motivate each other. Synergistic effort is a wonderful, and very powerful, thing if you can get it working in your favor.

One Final Thought – Managing motivation is not something you can effectively outsource. If you, as the owner or senior manager, are not living the company philosophy, no amount of sermonizing will get the rest of the employees to follow. However, using an HRIS system will help to simplify and manage data and ensure employees feel engaged and motivated.


The New Focus in HCM

by CompareHRIS on April 1, 2015

human capital managementMore than just the technological innovations that have enveloped human capital management over the past decade, there has also been a sea of change in how the executive suite views the role of HCM directors and their staff.

This new focus is intended to include HCM in the functioning of the company in a strategic way so that it can contribute to the bottom line as well as provide the necessary infrastructure. In short, in addition to providing the traditional HR functions, HCM is now expected to also be the following:

An Employee Champion
In addition to being a talent manager, HCM must involve itself with the development of a company’s most key asset – its employees. This development or advocacy, if you will, involves creating a work environment that is not only friendly but motivating and fosters long term contributions from a company’s employees.

The “secret” to this process is actually well-known. The managers in HCM must foster a culture of good goal-setting, superior communication and actionable empowerment. These three processes will develop a workforce that is more than competent. Indeed, customer service, internal strategies and bottom line performance will all be augmented.

Finally, HCM must act as an impartial arbiter of disputes whether they involve employee-management issues or employee-employee interactions. Impartiality is key to instilling a sense of fairness in the workplace and will resonate across the entire company.

A Change Advocate
Change is one of the most destabilizing, and in many cases demoralizing, processes that can take place in a company. Employees are generally rooted out of well-worn and time-honored procedures and presented with something new and unfamiliar. While management may see the benefits to these improvements, employees may only see added work. In the new paradigm, it is the responsibility of HCM to resolve this seeming dilemma.

As “change advocates,” the HCM should be in the vanguard for providing the information, policies and practices needed to successfully implement any new program. With the proper tools and procedures, not only can HCM help to successfully implement the new program, but also maximize overall employee “buy-in” and limit employee dissatisfaction from the most senior employees.

Lastly, as the advocate of change, the HCM staff can also act as the gateway for feedback. In this manner, they can assess the overall effectiveness of the program plus identify and help implement any needed changes. In short, HCM can act as the barometer of the entire organization’s activities.

A Strategic Contributor
The bottom line to this whole process in general, and to the point of this article, is that modern HCM needs to move itself into the realm of executive “action.” In other words, in highly successful companies, it is no longer acceptable for HCM to just accept a supporting role. Instead, it needs to fill a strategic place in the executive pantheon just like any other department.

This role will manifest itself in such tasks as the design of work positions, performance development strategies and compensation plans. Not only will this aid in the recruitment and retention of top-notch talent but will also help when they do leave with proper succession planning.

To be truly successful business contributors, HCM must think like business people and not like HR specialists. Their expertise needs to be applied across the entire gamut of a company’s operation to optimize their effect. Only in this way will HCM earn a seat at the executive table.

Related articles:
5 Less than Obvious Considerations when Purchasing an HCM SaaS Solution
Emerging Dynamics in Human Capital Management (HCM)


Empowerment through HR technologyOne of the most self-destructive behaviors that any manager can engage in is “looking over the shoulder” or micromanaging his subordinates. While it may take a significant period of time for an assistant manager or other employee to become a trusted member of the team, managers must refrain from overseeing every action taken by their staff.

This tendency by managers to overdo their responsibilities can actually stymie their subordinates instead of supporting them. Still, managers are ultimately responsible for what goes on inside their “four walls” and must have some way of monitoring the situation.

An excellent solution to this seeming dilemma is the use of a Human Resource Information System (HRIS). An HRIS is doubly beneficial in that it enables a manager to remotely monitor the activities while still allowing a significant measure of autonomy to the subordinates.

Management Empowerment

The implementation of an HRIS into the human capital management process is one of the most empowering things that any company can do. The system can monitor, track and archive a wide range of administrative tasks such as hiring, training and performance allowing a company’s location managers to concentrate on the more important aspects of the business. In addition, an HRIS allows the HR director or other members of senior management to easily monitor compliance with company initiatives and government regulations.

Employee Empowerment

One of the most common complaints from employees is that they feel out of place due to poor intracompany communications and inadequate training. An HRIS can effectively address these two issues by providing a single point of contact for all new company information and by automating some of the training process. For example, an HRIS can be designed to allow employees to access the latest in company news and to self-direct some of their training activities. In both cases, employees are empowered to deal with a situation without the need for management interaction.

Enterprise-Wide Empowerment

Pardon us for stealing a term from the technology guys, but enterprise-wide is truly the word that describes the change in mindset that accompanies the empowerment created by the use of an HRIS. The synergies involved when everyone is on the same page are truly remarkable. Owners and senior managers know that their message is being delivered in a timely and company-wide manner. Location managers are relieved of many administrative tasks that consume much of their time. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, employees are made to feel like part of the group with at least some power over their activities within the company.

The Ramifications for Your Company

The results of empowerment are widespread. Employees with greater satisfaction are absent less, cause fewer HR problems and are generally more productive. Happier employees allow location managers to concentrate on their operational activities and thus improve the bottom line. Relieved of micromanaging the operations of the business, the owner or senior management can concentrate on growing the business. In short, finding and implementing the right HRIS is a triple win situation.


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