flevyblog

Flevy Blog is an online business magazine covering Business Strategies, Business Theories, & Business Stories.
MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP STRATEGY, MARKETING, SALES OPERATIONS & SUPPLY CHAIN ORGANIZATION & CHANGE IT/MIS Other

The Journey from the Age of the Tool to the Present (Part 3)

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, HR Strategy: Job Leveling (26-slide PowerPoint presentation). Job Leveling is a disciplined approach to gauge the value of work for individual positions across the organization. It entails ascertaining the nature of work done by each position, authority levels, and the effect of each job on business results. Jobs that are configured inadequately bread [read more]

Also, if you are interested in becoming an expert on Human Resource Management (HRM), take a look at Flevy's Human Resource Management (HRM) Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve. Full details here.

* * * *

Editor’s Note:  The Journey from the Age of the Tool to the Present is a 7-part series, tracing the journey humanity has taken from 2500 BC to modern times on the progress of Human Resources.  This is a very comprehensive narrative that touches upon numerous management philosophies and concepts.  To read the full series, take a look at the author’s profile page found here.

* * * *

Continued from part 2…

By 1994, Dr. Marra was conducting workshops for The Conference Board in New York City and ‘personnel’ was becoming known now as ‘Human Resources (HR)’ although few knew exactly what that meant as it seemed that except for a change in name, most of the same stuff was being done.   He recalls that in one of his seminars which was filled with Vice President of Human Resources and others of equivalent stature he made the statement that in his opinion, ‘the only group that senior management including the CEO knew less about than their organisation’s customers were their organisations employees’. He gained total agreement from the delegates!

Also in 1994, Dr. Marra had the opportunity to talk with the total Human Resource Staff of Allstate Insurance in Chicago, Illinois. They, at the time were one of the larger insurers in America at the time. During the session, one of the Vice President of Human Resources at Allstate Insurance asked, ‘Dr. Marra, in your opinion, what is that employees really want?’ In a matter of minutes the answer was given as follows:

  • Be engaged in meaningful work – doing something that they firmly believe is “making a difference” for something, for someone (the customer maybe?), for the organisation; and
  • Keeping the learning curve going up – continually learning, growing, understanding more – the bigger picture, becoming more marketable, gaining education and experience (lateral and well as upward movement?) about how things really work in the business/organisation and its operating environment

There was a recent YouTube presentation based on work by Bob Proctor, HR Guru, just a year ago (2015) that simply reinforced what Dr. Marra had said more than 21 years before.  And no, the story has not changed despite a lot of other things changing.  We are talking about “foundations” here – the cake so to speak and not the frosting on the cake – a future “Simple Truths” Blog will get into more “frosting” issues.

You can explore the two items above in a little more detail to be sure. When you do, there is a realisation that the following MUST also occur to even come close to declaring “success”.  What are they? They would all I suppose fit under the banner of “support” as follows:

  • Management engaging, listening and learning from employees regularly – then taking action to eliminate barriers that keep employees from contributing to the fullest extent possible or reaching their full potential! In a sense this ties to William Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership – a concept which senior managers most often ignore, despise or see as a “fairy tale”. What does Servant Leadership say?  In a “nut shell”, it says that senior management exists for one thing and one thing only, namely, to ensure the success of their employees and if they aren’t doing that they should be fired! Part of the story also is making sure that senior management is a good mentor and role model – making sure that guidance is given, that exemplary behaviours exhibited which clearly show all employees what the right things are to be done for the business, for the customer – NOT just a focus on doing things right and then beating people up for making mistakes!
  • Show appreciation – the proverbial “pat on the back” – sure, formal recognition will also be a plus if done right – if developed by employees, not management and the focus is predominantly on “non-monetary” recognition.
  • Trust employees – empower them.  Empowerment WILL NOT WORK in an environment where there is no trust between management and employees, full stop. If done right, empowerment will act as a “turbo thruster” for your organisation – letting you literally “break the sound barrier.”
  • Understanding what motivates people – by asking them (engaging them?) and then doing it! You want people to look forward to coming in each morning – “chomping at the bit” to be with their co-workers and make a meaningful contribution. You see, doing what you like to do and doing it with people you like doing it with is one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs. This goes hand-in-hand with being ‘all one team”  – stomp out tribalism, fiefdoms, splinter groups – get everyone moving forward together and being supportive of one another because they know that by doing so their success and the organisation’s success will be better ensured.
  • Ensure the right performance feedback – timely and oriented toward employee development.  Always allow the employee to rate themselves – assuming you have made their key job elements clear and you have not given any mixed signals – saying one thing, but grading them on something else entirely.  I can’t begin to tell you the number of organisations I have gone into where I have asked the following question and had employees NOT be able to answer me: “If your boss came along one day and patted you on the back and said you had done a great job, would you know what you had done and would you be able to do it again?” Also make sure that the performance evaluation links to the organisational values and the behaviours related to them.  For example, if “teamwork” is a value in your organisation, what behaviours would you have to see employees (and management) engage in regularly to be able to call them role models?

In 1995, so we have heard, the great and first revolution in HR started. However in the ensuing years while many HR professionals lost their jobs, organisations went to centralised management of this and other ‘common’ business unit or divisional functions or even worse, outsourced them little progress toward even the faintest concept of an employee centric organisation emerged. In fact, if anything, the situation seemed to regress instead of progress. You, the HR Professional reading this can be the judge.

During the 1994-1995 time period, Dr. Marra participated in the one and only one cultural change process in his 43 year experience in 39 countries around the globe which was actually driven from the ‘people side’. The change effort was called, ‘People Make the Difference’ and it was the idea of Electrolux Corporation based in Stockholm, Sweden. It was powerful and unique almost to this very day in 2016.

In 1996, Heskett et al from Harvard, wrote their first book called, The Service-Profit Chain’ which had an extraordinary amount of research such as with Sears, the large American retailer, that starting with employees  – making your organisation the employer of choice and improving employee satisfaction led directly to your organisation becoming the supplier of choice and increases in customer satisfaction and then, unbelievably, they made the giant leap to financial results showing that profitability per business unit, division, retail location increased significantly as employee satisfaction – their attitudes, motivation and behaviours increased. Proof positive at last and a book which remains timeless and should be required reading for every senior executive (by the way there is a shorter journal article in the HBR for those with shorter attention span such as senior management!).

journey3.1

In 1996 also, Dave Ulrich, the Oracle of the HR world, wrote his book, ‘HR Champions’ in an effort to boost the HR movement and Professionals – to try shift some management paradigms.  Read part 4 here.

230-slide PowerPoint presentation
Curated by McKinsey-trained Executives Unlocking Business Excellence: The McKinsey Talent-to-Value Framework Toolkit In the dynamic world of modern business, staying ahead of the competition means maximizing the potential of your most critical asset – your people. The **McKinsey [read more]

Want to Achieve Excellence in Human Resource Management (HRM)?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Human Resource Management (HRM). Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.

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.

Learn about our Human Resource Management (HRM) Best Practice Frameworks here.

Readers of This Article Are Interested in These Resources


44-slide PowerPoint presentation
The Fiaccabrino Selection Process is a powerful methodology for interviewing and screening the best people for your organization. The objective is to select those people who will be the highest performers with the lowest turnover. (Whereas the methodology was originally developed for a sales [read more]


 
18-page Word document
 
 
Excel workbook

About Dr. Ted Marra

Dr. Ted Marra is a strategic facilitator, organizational mentor and writer. He has lectured in MBA/EMBA programmes at universities in Boston, Detroit, the UK, Switzerland and Croatia. He is now a Member of the Board of MAX/Knowledge Now, a global learning organisation. He is also Sr. Partner for Insights Paradigm, a strategic advisory organization in Dubai, UAE. You can find Ted on LinkedIn here.



Complimentary Business Training Guides


Many companies develop robust strategies, but struggle with operationalizing their strategies into implementable steps. This presentation from flevy introduces 12 powerful business frameworks spanning both Strategy Development and Strategy Execution. [Learn more]

  This 48-page whitepaper, authored by consultancy Envisioning, provides the frameworks, tools, and insights needed to manage serious Change—under the backdrop of the business lifecycle. These lifecycle stages are each marked by distinct attributes, challenges, and behaviors. [Learn more]

We've developed a very comprehensive collection of Strategy & Transformation PowerPoint templates for you to use in your own business presentations, spanning topics from Growth Strategy to Brand Development to Innovation to Customer Experience to Strategic Management. [Learn more]

  We have compiled a collection of 10 Lean Six Sigma templates (Excel) and Operational Excellence guides (PowerPoint) by a multitude of LSS experts. These tools cover topics including 8 Disciplines (8D), 5 Why's, 7 Wastes, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), and DMAIC. [Learn more]
Recent Articles by Corporate Function

  

  

  

  

  

The Flevy Business Blog (https://flevy.com/blog) is a leading source of information on business strategies, business theories, and business stories. Most of our articles are authored by management consultants and industry executives with over 20 years of experience.

Flevy (https://flevy.com) is the marketplace for business best practices, such as management frameworks, presentation templates, and financial models. Our best practice documents are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier consulting firms (like McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, BCG, and Deloitte) and used by Fortune 100 organizations. Learn more about Flevy here.
  


OUR CORE OFFERINGS
Flevy Marketplace: Top 100
· Strategy & Transformation
· Digital Transformation
· Operational Excellence
· Organization & Change
· Financial Models
· Consulting Frameworks
· PowerPoint Templates
FlevyPro (Subscription Service)
KPI Library
Streams (Functional Bundles)
Flevy Executive Learning (FEL)
PowerPoint Services

FREE Resources

About Flevy
Management Topics
Marcus (AI-Powered Consultant)
Partner Program
LinkedIn Influencer Marketing
FAQ / Terms / Privacy / Blog
Contact Us: support@flevy.com



CONNECT WITH US!
       
TOP 100 TRENDING TOPICS
Acquisition Strategy
Agile
Analytics
Artificial Intelligence
Balanced Scorecard
Best Practices
Big Data
Breakout Strategy
Business Continuity Planning
Business Plan Financial Model
Business Transformation
CMMI
COBIT
Change Management
Cloud
Communications Strategy
Company Financial Model
Competitive Advantage
Competitive Analysis
Consulting Frameworks
Continuous Improvement
Core Competencies
Corporate Culture
Cost Reduction Assessment
Customer Experience

BROWSE BY FUNCTION
Strategy, Transformation, & Innovation
Digital Transformation
Operational Excellence and LSS
Organization, Change, & HR
Management Consulting

Customer Journey
Customer Service
Cyber Security
Data Privacy
Decision Making
Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation Strategy
Due Diligence
ESG
Employee Engagement
Employee Training
Enterprise Architecture
Growth Strategy
HR Strategy
Hiring
Hoshin Kanri
ISO 27001
ITIL
Information Technology
Innovation Management
Integrated Financial Model
Kaizen
Kanban
Key Performance Indicators

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Business Strategy Frameworks
Case Studies
Consulting Training Guides
COVID-19 Trend Data
Digital Transformation
Financial Advising Services (FAS)

Knowledge Management
Leadership
Lean
Lean Manufacturing
Logistics
M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions)
Manufacturing
Market Research
Marketing Plan Development
Maturity Model
McKinsey PowerPoint
McKinsey Templates
Operational Excellence
Organizational Change
Organizational Design
Performance Management
Post-merger Integration
Pricing Strategy
Process Improvement
Process Maps
Procurement Strategy
Product Launch Strategy
Product Strategy
Project Management
Quality Management


Free Resources
KPI Library
Lean Management
Lean Six Sigma Training Guides
Marcus Insights
Operational Excellence

Real Estate
Remote Work
Restructuring
Risk Management
Robotic Process Automation
SWOT
SaaS
Sales
Scrum
Service Design
Six Sigma Project
Social Media Strategy
Strategic Planning
Strategic Thinking
Strategy Development
Supply Chain Analysis
Sustainability
Target Operating Model
Team Management
Total Productive Maintenance
Value Chain Analysis
Value Creation
Value Stream Mapping
Visual Workplace
Workplace Safety


Product Strategy
Small Business Owner
Startup Resources
Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning Process
Value Innovation Strategy


© 2012-2024 Copyright. Flevy LLC. All Rights Reserved.