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The Human Resources (HR) Ecosystem
Featured Best Practice on HR Strategy
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In business, we love to use the term “ecosystem.” So what is an Ecosystem?
In its purest form, Wikipedia defines Ecosystem as a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. This definition can be further broadened to represent a group of interconnected “elements,” formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.
Within the business context, an Ecosystem is any system or network of interconnecting or interacting parts. The Ecosystem generates value for its constituents (i.e. elements) through the dynamic interrelationships among these constituents.
So, when analyzing the HR Ecosystem, we need to be able to identify its component, interconnected elements and how they impact each other. To do this, we can leverage the 10 Gs framework, developed by Professor Ajantha Dharmasiri. Each of the 10 Gs represents a fundamental element of the HR Ecosystem. They are as follows:
To visualize how these 10 elements interact with one another, take a look at the slide below.
We see these elements exist across 4 levels:
The Ground Level represents the institutional or organizational environment. This level can be private or public.
One step above the Ground Level, the Group Level refers to a grouping of many organizations within a common industry or vertical.
The General Level is where all industries with many organizations interact. Essentially, is it the broad national (or regional) level where region-wide HRM policies and practices become significant.
The highest level is the Global Level. This is where national competitiveness matters the most.
Next, let’s dive a bit deeper into a couple of the Gs.
Goal represents the goal of the entire organization. The goal embodies the strategic intent, vision, and mission of the organization.
In managing and developing people, we need to align our Talent with the goals of the organization. Employees should know and understand what the organization’s top goals, priorities, and strategies are, so they can act accordingly to help the organization attain its goals.
Remember, Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the approach to help an organization achieve its goals and strategies through its people via appropriately designed HR strategies and supporting integrated HR policies and practices.
Get is about “getting” the right people into our organization.
There are numerous challenges to getting the right people into an organization. These challenges can often be traced to a Talent Gap–i.e. the gap between Required Talent and Raw Talent.
Especially in today’s rapidly evolving world, driven by advances in Digital Transformation, many candidates leave school only with Raw Talent, but lack Required Talent. Required Talent can be both technical/functional and soft (e.g. confidence, leadership, team work abilities).
In candidate selection, it is important to not only select someone who fulfills the technical capabilities for the current role, but who possess the potential to be further developed into a future leader of the organization. A powerful approach to getting the right people is through the Fiaccabrino Selection Process (FSP), which evaluates candidates based on 16 humanistic attributes. The objective is to select those people who will be the highest performers with the lowest turnover.
Interested learning more the HR Ecosystem and its 10 elements? We have 2 framework presentations in the FlevyPro Library that discuss these in further depth:
- The HR Ecosystem framework provides a breakdown of Human Resource Management (HRM) and goes into detail on each of the 4 HR Ecosystem levels.
- The 10 Elements of HR framework does a deep dive into each of the 10 Gs.
Both of these frameworks are part of our Human Resource Management (HRM) Stream.
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The purpose of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure our organization achieves success through our people. Without the right people in place—at all levels of the organization—we will never be able to execute our Strategy effectively.
This begs the question: Does your organization view HR as a support function or a strategic one? Research shows leading organizations leverage HR as a strategic function, one that both supports and drives the organization's Strategy. In fact, having strong HRM capabilities is a source of Competitive Advantage.
This has never been more true than right now in the Digital Age, as organizations must compete for specialized talent to drive forward their Digital Transformation Strategies. Beyond just hiring and selection, HR also plays the critical role in retaining talent—by keeping people engaged, motivated, and happy.
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About David TangDavid Tang is an entrepreneur and management consultant. His current focus is Flevy, the marketplace for business best practices (e.g. frameworks & methodologies, presentation templates, financial models). Prior to Flevy, David worked as a management consultant for 8 years. His consulting experience spans corporate strategy, marketing, operations, change management, and IT; both domestic and international (EMEA + APAC). Industries served include Media & Entertainment, Telecommunications, Consumer Products/Retail, High-Tech, Life Sciences, and Business Services. You can connect with David here on LinkedIn.
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