What are HR services
Quality manager HR - a description of tasks in the area of conflict between customers, service and output
I recently heard that a position as "HR Quality Manager" was about to be set up in the HR department of a large company. My initial enthusiasm was followed by disillusionment when I asked what exactly this quality manager should do. The answer was more like ... well, let's say: vague.
Source: pflegewiki.de Author: Oeclan
I would therefore like to dedicate my first contribution this year to the question: What can quality be in HR management and what tasks does such a “quality manager HR” have?
In the following I present my view of things and explicitly make no claim to completeness. Rather, I would like to encourage discussion and therefore call for additions to and also to contradict.
1. HR as a service?
First of all, it is necessary to consider what HR work actually is. Therefore, at the beginning of my deliberations, I propose the daring thesis that in-house personnel management is a service. Daring because I have already discussed this point several times and - most recently at the HR BarCamp - I received a lot of approval as well as contradictions. The main tenor was: “I don't just want to meet customer requirements; I want to work proactively. "
Is anticipatory action really a contradiction to the idea of service? Reacting to social and technical changes as well as changing customer behavior, developing new services, marketing them or explaining them internally in order to win new customers are the tasks of every service provider in order to secure their survival or their legitimacy in the company in the long term. So I'll stick with it: HR is a service!
In order to approach the discussion of the quality of a HR service, I look at services in three dimensions:
(Source e.g. Kleinaltenkamp 2001: Definition of terms and forms of service)
I don't want to go any deeper at this point, but make it clear that quality management of HR is required on all 3 levels.
2. Customer needs and HR output
If you follow my assumption that personnel management is a service, then it is not enough to gather the team around you on Monday morning and announce: “From today we are an (in-house) service provider!" Instead, HR is suddenly faced with the question who is actually providing what service for. I mean the focus on customer needs and the comparison with the result of the HR service. This is all the more explosive because the customer himself is involved in the "creation" of the service, uses it while it is being created and the service result is of an immaterial nature.
In short, the assumption that you only do what the company management wants you to do anyway. I am much more in favor of facing the question of customers or stakeholders and systematically recording who actually wants what from HR and why. The result will be, for example, that the applicant as a customer will be clearly in focus. It will also become clear that the company management not only requires the implementation of the corporate strategy, but also expects input for the strategy development. Oops, that sounds familiar to us: All of a sudden, HR as a “strategic partner” is exactly where it has been wanting since Dave Ulrich.
In this context, dealing with a “result” of the HR service is essential. What is still simple in terms of remuneration or administration becomes more difficult in terms of advice or recruiting. For example, when is the recruiting process "successfully" completed? If the applicant has been selected, if he accepts the contract, actually takes up the position or makes a contribution to the company's success after 6 months? No matter how the end of the HR service is defined, the customer will judge whether he is satisfied with its quality.
Hand on heart: How many HR departments comprehensively determine what customers want, how satisfied they are with HR performance and strategically align themselves with it? Who calculates their output in terms of a price, bills them internally and thereby makes themselves comparable with external providers? And now, from my point of view, the most important question on this point: Who conducts systematic HR trend research, develops new services and awakens customer needs in the company? In my opinion, these are the tasks of a “HR quality manager”.
3. Quality with a view to HR processes
If the result of a service is optimal, customers will still not necessarily be satisfied. Rather, customer service also makes a significant contribution. What I am aiming at is the service process as the second dimension.
My question: Are you really sure that every colleague in your HR department behaves in a service-oriented manner? At this point I would like to remind you again of Candidate Experience or the unfortunately great dissatisfaction of the executives with the HR departments.
Experience has shown that neither employees nor applicants know how and why HR processes work the way they do. I also regularly experience uncertainties among managers about their necessary input - e.g. in personnel selection. Because this is the case, it is not surprising that the same manager who criticizes the long selection process at HR needs 8 weeks for feedback on the applicant profiles.
Source: fotolia.com Author: Trueffelpix
Maximum transparency of HR processes is required to enable customers to optimally make the necessary contribution to the provision of services. Of course, this requires that the processes are described: for example, using a blueprint to map the recruiting process and conclude service level agreements with the customer, which are then controlled for each phase of the process.
It does not work? Too expensive? - Why actually? I am convinced that an “HR quality manager” has to take these steps in order to continually question and optimize HR services in a continuous improvement process.
4. Competent HR department
In addition to the two dimensions of result and process, the third question is: Can the HR department even meet customer needs? Are the right skills “on board”? “Personnel can everyone” or “HR professionals can do everything” do not work in this context. In my opinion, the "HR quality manager" would also be responsible for ensuring the necessary know-how and setting up an organization that supports the services.
If the customer needs are compared on the one hand, the current HR processes on the other hand and the competencies available in the HR department as the third, strengths and weaknesses become visible and strategic direction decisions become possible. It also needs that, because no service provider can survive if he does everything a little and does not position himself strategically. That makes sense, but somehow that doesn't seem to apply to HR.
5. "Have we always done this"
Phew, quite a lot of tasks for this position. But it could work and perhaps thereby significantly enhance the company's HR department. But why is it so difficult for HR? I fear that the basic assumption outlined above that HR is a service will fail. I would like to go deeper into the topic here and go on a larger digression into service research, but this should remain a blog post. Perhaps in some time you will have the opportunity to read my then completed dissertation on this topic.
Even if a “HR quality manager” is actually allowed to take on all of these tasks, I would like to address one last point: Are his recommendations regarding HR strategy, process optimization and results accepted? Or do his suggestions fizzle out with a "Have we always done this like this"? The "HR quality manager" will only be able to act successfully in a cross-hierarchical cross-sectional function.
But now I am interested in what comments, additions and criticisms you have. Can dealing with the quality of a HR service be the “bar” for the internal HR department? I look forward to the discussion and wish you all a happy and successful 2015!
You can find more things worth reading about employer branding, personnel marketing and digital HR on my page www.leadinghr.blog
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