“Gaining Competitive Advantage Through Human Resource Management”

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The benefit an organization realizes from human capital investment is directly proportional to the quality of its human resource strategy, processes and overall management. For our purposes, human capital is defined as individual, as well as collective, skills, talents, and capabilities. The outcomes of an organization’s HR processes are critical capabilities, like enhanced leadership, managerial competency, employee efficiency and proficiency, and workforce collaboration. HR management can be a major change agent, but must have a strategic vision and an understanding of how technology can transform the HR function. HR’s challenge, shared with the CIO, is to develop and implement a technology strategy linked tightly to the business strategy. An efficient HR organization empowers employees,managers, suppliers, and partners and leverages technology to accomplish strategic business goals. Session 1: The Strategic Role of HR – The Tie to Business Results (please come prepared to discuss what “strategic HR” means to your company and give a concrete example of how your company isimplementing/achieving it.) What is the vision of HR in your company? How strategic is it? How does technology enable the vision of HR? How are HR investments viewed in your company? • What does “strategic HR” mean to you? What is necessary to get there? • What are the greatest impediments that you face when aligning HR strategies & functions to the strategic goals of the business? What do you need to overcome these impediments? Is technology an important part of the solution? • Some executives today find themselves at a loss to demonstrate that investments in people lead to improved business results. How does your organization show the linkage between investments in HR processes and improvements in the business (e.g., increases in productivity, customer satisfaction, innovation, etc.)?

• It seems the biggest impediment to effective intervention in the domain of human performance is the lack of meaningful measurements and convincing evidence that human capital investments improve an organization’s performance. How can your company determine the effectiveness of its human resources?

• Can your organization collect the data on operational performance, which includes productivity, quality, or customer satisfaction, and use it to assess the effect of human capital variables on the factors that create business/shareholder value? If not, how can HR and IT to make that happen? Is IT reaching out to HR or are both two peas in the same pod – two services organizations trying to make a stronger connection to the business?

• What are the practices for an efficient human resources organization? Is it processes more aligned to the business strategy? Is the practice a more empowered employee and more selfservice capabilities? • What have you experienced to be the most immediate and visible people-related qualities, including employee attitudes and abilities, that enable your organization to achieve critical business outcomes?

Discussion Guide, Thought Leadership Summit on Digital Strategies, March 1, 2005 Thought Leadership Summit on Digital Strategies

Session 2: The Outsourcing Crossroads: Now and the Future (please come prepared to share what HR functions your company is outsourcing now and what you are considering outsourcing in the future, Please also come prepared to tell a specific “lessons learned” story from HR outsourcing). As part of moving HR from the administrative to the strategic, outsourcing is a clear possibility. How important is it to achieving strategic focus in the HR function? What parts of HR can you outsource? What are the best practices in outsourcing in HR? What role can the CIO play in helping make this determination and enabling the execution? • What functions or processes are currently outsourced? Which should be in the future? Which functions have you considered outsourcing and decided not to? • There seems to be a “common” divide...
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