HRM Awards Super 10 - Just Got Bigger & Better

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The widely anticipated HRM Awards 2010 – Super 10, is building steam and moving on to the next stage. Participants are eagerly waiting to know if they have made it to the shortlist. With close to 50 nominations, this edition of HRM Awards 2010 – Super 10 is the biggest ever HRM Awards in Sri Lanka - run for and by the HR community in Sri Lanka.

This year’s awards will also see the introduction of 6 new award categories. These awards would recognize organizations for commendable practices adopted by them in the areas of Talent Supply, Leadership & Key Capability, Performance Management, Capability Building, Rewards & Recognition and Employee Relationship & Administration. A maximum of one award would be presented for each category.

The award categories are a reflection of emerging global thinking that Human Resources (HER) needs to go beyond functional silos (like recruitment & selection, training & development) etc, to focus on people practices and processes that add value to the business. While traditionally, HR  has played a support role to the business, today the goal for many HR departments is to transition into becoming a true partner to the business. Future focused HR departments are going a step further and already moving from being a Business Partner to being a Business Driver. To achieve this objective and to earn the proverbial place ‘seat at the table’, HR needs to demonstrate value to business. Value is derived from owning and being accountable for processes that deliver business results.

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Explaining its point of view, global HR consulting firm Hewitt Associates (HRP’s technical partner for the awards) elaborates on how the processes and practices in the six award categories are strongly linked to business performance and therefore ensure business outcomes like growth, profitability and innovation. Addressing the Media, HRP and Hewitt Associates announced the categories of commendable practices awards.

For winning the Commendable Practices in Talent Supply award, an organization should have strong strategies around workforce planning, sourcing & recruitment, evaluation & selection, on-boarding & orientation and retention. This organization should - among other things - be able to make realistic forecasts about talent demand / supply, make use of targeted sourcing strategies, ensure successful hiring through robust competency based predictive processes, and have formal mechanisms to put new hires on a success trajectory and minimize / eliminate regrettable attrition. Institutionalizing this award is recognition of the value that Talent Supply brings to business, with Hewitt’s Human Capital Foresight research revealing that among thousand large companies studied, a 10% increase in attracting and retaining pivotal employees adds approximately upto $70 to $160 million to a company’s bottom line.

An organization, which aspires to win the Commendable Practices in Leadership & Key Capability Award, needs to have robust practices around assessment & development of leaders and identification & development of high potentials, with rigorous career management & succession planning. Practices around Leadership and Key Capability have consistently emerged as a key differentiator between leading companies and others. Hewitt’s Global Top Companies for Leaders, 2009 reveals that all (100%) Top Companies have the following: formal succession planning process in place (compared to only around 70% in the other companies); mechanisms to identify high potentials (compared to only 68% in the other companies); and formal process for developing leaders (compared to only about 3/4th in other companies).

An organization with well structured systems and processes on performance planning & goal setting, performance appraisal & review and performance feedback will qualify for winning the award on Commendable Practices in Performance Management.  Such an organization would have a robust system to periodically review and evaluate job performance and have a formalized strategy to provide feedback to employees so as to improve productivity and performance. Hewitt’s extensive studies in this area establish that compared to Single Digit Growth (SDG) companies (companies with profitability growth less than 10%), Double Digit Growth (DDG) Companies (Publicly traded companies that have achieved a CAGR five-year average growth in profitability of 10% or more, and hit the DDG target in at least three of the past five years) establish higher performance standards and encourage higher levels of contribution compared to SDG companies. In DDG companies, stretch goals are the norm and threshold expectations are set for performance.

Those organizations with highly effective and efficient processes around training needs  identification, training design & delivery and measuring effectiveness of training interventions can aim for the award on Commendable Practices in Capability Building. Such organizations are expected to have successful methodologies to translate capability gaps of employees into training content and to unfailingly measure the success the training interventions in meeting its objectives. This is one area that distinguishes Best Employers from the Rest. Hewitt Best Employer Asia Study time and again has revealed that business leaders at the Best Employers are able to perceive a greater value addition from their HR team when it comes to designing and delivering their L&D Strategy. Some globally observed commendable practices in Capability Building typically involve – using a bottom-up as well as top-down approach to assess training needs, strong and lasting partnerships with training service providers and leveraging technology for delivery of training modules.

Strong practices around compensation philosophy, compensation communication, rewards strategy, variable pay and recognition programs make an organization eligible for the Commendable Practices on Rewards & Recognition Award. These organizations should have convincing principles and guidelines for aligning compensation practices to business objectives and a reliable framework for the design, communication, administration and evaluation of reward programs. Hewitt’s Double Digit Growth (DDG) Research TM shows that DDG companies restrict eligibility of certain reward schemes to poor performers and demonstrate stronger commitment to using variable pay to drive business results. DDG organizations also communicate compensation philosophy better to their employees.

Organizations with robust practices around employer brands, employee engagement, HR Policy deployment, benefit programs and technology utilization would be strong contenders for the Commendable Practices on Employee Relationship & Administration Award. These organizations stand out by having rigorous processes to understand and improve the emotional / intellectual involvement of employees in the organization; and have differentiated themselves from others through their employee benefit, health, safety and welfare schemes. Compared to Single Digit Growth (SDG) companies, employees at DDG Companies are 20% more engaged – with leaders being 80% more engaged. Some distinguishing features of such organizations could be articulation of a strong employer brand tied to their customer value proposition, active forums for redressing employee grievances, HR spending more time on strategic initiatives and the presence of good workmen practices.

An organization truly becomes great when it excels and becomes best in class in certain HR processes while at the same time, maintaining all other HR processes at a certain standard. It is this school of thought that advocates that these 6 special awards be handed out in addition to the Gold and the Silver awards. HRP plans to make this new initiative an integral feature of HRM Awards Super 10 in the coming years.

Jointly issued by HR Professionals & Hewitt Associates