Home / Newsletter


December 2016 Newsletter
In This Issue
  • Thanks for Joining Us!
  • The Agile Model of Human Resources
  • Personnel Management Versus Human Resource Management
  • Quick Reference: Can My Organization Reinvent Our Human Resources Function?
  • Quick Reference: The Top 10 Best Practices for High-Impact Organizations
  • Coach’s Corner: Ensuring Your HR Thrives in Today's Business Environment
December 2016
Volume 3, Number 12

Thanks for Joining Us!

December is here already! And with it's arrival, we usher in the beginning of the holiday season. Even though we are still experiencing difficulties throughout the economy, taking the opportunity to enjoy fellowship and cheer with family and friends is something we can all benefit from.

I want extend my very best wishes to you all for a happy and safe holiday season. Here's to a healthy, happy and prosperous 2017! Thank you so much for your ongoing support for my business and for the friendships I've made throughout the years!

This month we focus on the heartbeat of every organization: Human Resources. Managing people is the most important role for companies big and small, and has the potential to positively impact the organization’s success. However, HR doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) complicated. In this edition we feature information that will help you get back to basics, identify unnecessary chaos that may be cluttering your clarity and vision, how to achieve more productivity, and simple changes that can have major results and allow you to make more comprehensive business decisions in HR.

Keep reading for more learning!

The Agile Model of Human Resources

The "Agile Model of HR" states that Human Resource's job is not just to implement controls and standards, and drive execution—but rather to facilitate and improve organizational agility. This changes HR's mission and focus. Driving agility means driving programs that create adaptability, innovation, collaboration, and speed.

Examples of agile HR strategies include:

  • Training leaders at all levels of the company to act as hands-on coaches, not "managers"
  • Designing the organization into small, high-performance teams that set their own targets
  • Creating customer interactions within all groups and functions in the company
  • Delivering a strong, focused mission and values to keep everyone aligned
  • Creating systems with lots of transparent information, i.e., what are our goals, who is working on what project, who are our experts
  • Implementing "systems of engagement" not just "systems of record," i.e., collaboration, information-sharing, project management
  • Building a focus on continuous learning and being a learning culture at all levels
  • Implementing a strong external employment brand that attracts "the right type" of people
  • Hiring and promoting experts, not general managers
  • Encouraging and teaching people to give each other direct feedback
  • Creating programs for peer-to-peer rewards and recognition
  • Developing programs to foster diversity in teams

The Agile Model of HR represents a new, emerging way for HR to define its mission.


Personnel Management Versus Human Resource Management

Significant differences exist between personnel management and human resource management in terms of scope, approach, and application. Do you recognize your company?

Personnel Management
Human Resources Management
Takes a traditional approach towards managing people
Represents the modern approach toward managing people
A predominantly administrative, record-keeping function that aims to establish and maintain equitable terms and conditions of employment
Integrates the traditional personnel management functions to corporate goals and strategies, and performs additional people-centered organizational developmental activities
Scope includes functional activities such as: manpower planning, recruitment, job analysis, job evaluation, payroll administration, performance appraisals, labour law compliance, training administration, and related tasks
Has a much broader scope: includes all personnel management functional activities plus organizational developmental activities such as leadership, motivation, developing organizational culture, communication of shared values, and remains integrated to the company’s core strategy and vision

Attaches much importance to norms, customs and established practices
Gives importance to values and mission

Concerns itself with establishing rules, policies, procedures, and contracts, and strives to monitor and enforce compliance to such regulations, with careful delineation of a written contract
Tends to relax rules based on business needs and demands, and aims to go by the spirit of the contract rather than the letter of the contract

Holds employee satisfaction as the key to keeping employees motivated, and institutes compensation, bonuses, rewards, and work simplification initiatives as possible motivators
Holds improved performance as the driver of employee satisfaction, and devises strategies such as work challenges, team work, and creativity to improve motivation
Reactive in nature; remains aloof from core organizational activities, functions independently, and takes a reactive approach to changes in corporate goals or strategy, i.e., a reactive performance appraisal process
Proactive in nature; remains integrated with corporate strategy and takes a proactive approach to align the workforce toward achievement of corporate goals, such as a comprehensive and proactive performance management system that aims to correct performance rather than make a report card of past performance
Is an independent staff function of an organization, with little involvement from line managers, and no linkage to the organization's core process Remains integrated with the organization's core strategy and functions. Although a distinct human resource department carries out much of the human resource management tasks, human resource initiatives involve the line management and operations staff heavily
Human Resources Management seeks to optimize the use of human resources for the fulfillment of organizational goals. This strategic and philosophical context of human resource management makes it more purposeful, relevant, and more effective compared to the personnel management approach.
Adapted from: "Are You an HR Manager or a Personnel Manager?"

Quick Reference: How Can My Organization Reinvent Our Human Resources Function?

Does your HR function have the right capabilities to meet your business needs? In order to ensure you are using up-to-date models and practices:

* Redesign your HR organization to deliver solutions with a focus on consulting and service delivery, not just efficiency of administration.

* Establish your HR professionals as trusted business advisors with the requisite skills to analyze, consult, and resolve critical business issues.

* Create business-integrated “networks of excellence” by embedding your HR specialists into the business to carry out recruitment, development, employee relations, and coaching.

* Make HR a talent and leadership magnet: create rigorous assessments for top HR staff.

* Invest in HR development and skills; focus on capabilities such as business acumen, consulting and project management skills, organizational design and change, and HR analytical skills.

Quick Reference: The Top 10 Best Practices of High-Impact HR Organizations

1. Structured governance and business case development which helps to ensure business alignment and, as a result of that alignment, business buy-in and support.

2. Developing advanced workforce planning capabilities that enables the translating of company-wide talent, business data and external workforce segment data into workable insights that can be used and shared with business leaders.

3. Implementing the right HR philosophies that strive to create positive employee environments, and clearly communicate these expectations in the HR philosophy and mission.

4. Reducing administrative work for HR business partners with a liaison role that advises senior business leaders and focuses on decision support, workforce planning, leadership development and executive coaching.

5. Implementing flexible HR organization design that champions a culture which recognizes the need to adapt structurally when business needs and challenges change, as well as an HR staff that is capable of making those changes.

6. Improving employee-facing HR systems via knowledge-sharing portals, web-based recruitment tools and management dashboards that let various HR stakeholders and clients find what they need when they need it.

7. Measuring both HR operational and business metrics to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and business alignment.

8. Developing internal HR skills to ensure team members’ competence grows in such disciplines as change management and relationship management as well as current best practices in all areas of talent management, as well as the use of social networking tools and other HR technology.

9. Improving line manager capabilities which allows HR to work in partnership with their line managers, versus trying to work around line managers who may be ill-prepared.

10. Outsourcing HR services strategically focusing on areas that can be improved through economies of scale, or which require high level coordination and expertise.

About Wendy Ellen Inc.

Wendy Ellen Inc. specializes in providing human resource and benefits management skills to small to mid-sized companies on an as-needed basis. From recruitment, Human Resource policy development and legislative compliance, employee retention and engagement, individual advisor/coaching, succession planning to employee development and performance, Wendy Ellen Inc. will help you protect your most valuable resource, your people.

Contact Us

Subscribe to Newsletter

Newsletter Archive