Magazine article Personnel

Get It Together! Integrating the HR Department

Magazine article Personnel

Get It Together! Integrating the HR Department

Article excerpt

Get It Together! Integrating the HR Department

The HR department that improves the integration of its functions frequently increases its impact on the organization.

Here's how to create an integrated department based on a sound pay system.

Many organizations have talented people working in the human resources department, and new talent is flowing into the department each year. The skills of many of these people are quite specialized. Organizations generally employ people with expertise in such areas as hiring, management development, and compensation and benefits, and the people heading up these areas can have a significant impact on the company. Often, however, this impact is weaker than it could be, because each of these professionals concentrates on his or her area of expertise without sufficiently integrating these efforts with those of others in HR. By integrating their efforts, professionals in all areas of HR could strengthen their combined impact on the organization.

This end result will be attained most readily if the managers of the various HR functions are able to communicate using a common language or have an "integrating vehicle" regularly available to them. The compensation system of the organization, if properly conceived, can serve as this vehicle and can allow the talents of all human resources professionals to have the greatest possible impact on the organization.

The Integrated HR System When the right kind of compensation plan is in effect, overall job profiles that tie in with corporate objectives can be developed and employees can be assessed relative to these job profiles. Developmental needs and career paths can be correlated, and people can be placed in appropriate management development workshops, so that employees develop the skills they need in order to help the company meet its objectives. Supervisors can have goalsetting sessions with each employee, and management succession plans can be developed in keeping with career development programs. These succession plans will highlight where additional talent is needed in the organization, and recruitment efforts can be directed toward finding this talent. Those who are responsible for recruiting will be able to attract good people by offering competitive salaries that are part of the compensation plan. Again, a sound compensation program is the key to an effective HR department.

Job Descriptions The first step in planning a compensation system is to develop job descriptions for all the positions in the organization. The job descriptions should be succinct and should stress the jobs' end results. A job description should contain the following elements:

. Job title

. Job summary.

. Organizational placement of the position.

. Scope (i.e., area of impact).

. Key end results and means of measuring results.

. Short descriptive paragraph which highlights the challenges, type of work, and pertinent training, background, and technical expertise.

A description like this is generally no more than one and one-half to two pages long. It must be emphasized that the final document should be reviewed and accepted by both the employee and the manager. This joint review helps reduce disagreements between the two on job content. It also gives the manager an opportunity to consider whether jobs are in fact being structured in accordance with organizational objectives. Exhibit 1 is a sample job description.

Measuring Job Size After all the jobs have been described, it is appropriate to measure their value to the company using a system that is both quick and accurate. The evaluator needs to keep in mind that it is the job, not the employee, which is being measured. The Equi-Comp(R) system of job measurement and pricing is one which permits this to be done rapidly, and which uses simple measurement factors. …

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