Is your Human Resources team losing you money?

HR transformation isn’t a project any more – it’s a division that’s constantly looking to evolve itself to suit the needs of the business.

Many organisations are starting to realise there is a lot of transactional activity which could be dealt with in a better way, and enable HR staff to focus on the more value adding, customer-centric activity.

More is being demanded of HR as a function; both in the retention and development of talent, and the relationship with new outsource vendors. Many of the challenges currently stem from systems in place that aren’t always ready for change.

In a recent chat with Grant Baker, General Manager of People and Culture in Shared Services at Energy Australia, he raised some interesting comparisons to share around the area of talent: “If you take the top 200 employees within the company, they’re worth around $58 million dollars. Let’s just imagine for a second that figure was in a share portfolio. You’d expect a lot of robust reporting. Just because it’s humans they don’t seem to have the same value.”

Where to focus

To focus on learning, development and retention, HR will need to improve policy and processes, making self-service accessible – enabling managers to do more and reduce the traffic that comes into the HR function.

This gives HR time to look at what is core to the things which are essential to the business. Enhancing the learning and development offering is a great example – at Energy Australia they’ve been really clear on their approach to broader talent management. Grant explained the wider impact on the team: “HR doesn’t have to be the huge team it used to be; we used to have business partners doing work which could or should have been done elsewhere, either via shared services or automation.

Value in using data

HR metrics is an area which hasn’t previously been done well. Energy Australia shifted the dial for reporting, looking at things from a different point of view: “If we were to quantify the talent in the business clearly from a pay point of view, it’d be a massive number. It’s extraordinary to think we don’t know enough about the people that contribute to that number.”

You need to have a real handle on people, but also how it stacks up from a benchmarking point of view. Take SuccessFactors for example – it’s those tools to really demonstrate cost per hire relevant to the market,” Grant explained


This rapid period of change won’t come without its challenges beyond the obvious IT change. The behavioural challenge can have a serious impact on the bottom line of the business.

Grant highlighted the two key sides to this; HR employees and employees previously serviced by HR:

“Managers will have to learn to embrace self-service and be a little less reliant on the former HR business partner for the activities that should be stopped or owned elsewhere.

“There’s a wider challenge for the HR team as well; you’ll be taking out a large part of their quick win work which is extremely valued by their business unit. They’ll now find themselves having to say no to things and really challenging that same unit.”

Join Grant Baker at the HR Transformation Summit 2014 where he’ll be delivering the presentation ‘Driving Culture And Enhancing Employee Engagement For Your HRSSC’.

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