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HR customer needs audit

HR customer needs audit

The survey

This survey is an adaptation for South African conditions of a customer needs assessment/survey developed by the HR function of the Commonwealth Of Virginia, USA. The survey is the counterpart of the Customer Satisfaction Survey published in the Volume 2, Issue 3, March 14, 2003.

Below is an explanation of the 11 functional questionnaires/roles that comprise the customer needs survey. Be sure to have mastered these roles before embarking on the journey to becoming a business partner with line management.



Rank the following 11 categories in terms of their importance in accomplishing your department's objectives. A higher ranking should reflect higher importance, with 11 being the highest.

The descriptors/indicators following each category's definition further define that category. Feel free to rank descriptors or indicators within each of the 11 areas.

Consolidate rankings on the attached Summary Ranking Sheet found at the end of the survey.


1. DEPARTMENT ORGANISATION: This refers to restructuring or realigning functions within the Human Resources department to be more responsive to customer needs and to act proactively to accomplish organisational objectives:


-The Human Resources Department mission is defined and well-communicated.

-Functions/services and individual accountability are defined.
-The staff possesses adequate professional and technical skills.
-The staff serves as effective internal consultants to management.
-There are adequate resources in both staff and budget.
-The HR Department understands and is responsive to customer needs.
-HR is results-oriented.
-The staff displays a customer service attitude.
-The staff works well as a team.

2. HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING/ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: This process refers to identifying and fulfilling the organisational development and future human resources needs:


-The HR Department addresses the organisation's future workforce needs, such as job skills, education, knowledge and abilities.

-It identifies internal workforce skills, knowledge and education levels.

-It anticipates organisational changes (i.e., structure, services, processes and new technology).

-It anticipates the availability and needs of various demographic groups within the workforce (e.g., older workers, more females, the disabled and varying literacy levels).

-Management development, training and career counselling activities are based on changing organisational needs.

-It explores cost-effective alternatives for accomplishing tasks, including outsourcing/contract work and temporary employees.

-It reviews better ways of involving employees to reorganise work (e.g., self-directed work teams, project teams and cross functional task forces).

3. RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION: This process provides timely recruitment, selection and placement of high-quality employees to meet staffing needs:


-The authorisation and approval process is clear and timely.
-It clearly defines job objectives and candidate specifications.
-A recruiting strategy is in place before candidates are sought.
-It generates a sufficient number of quality candidates.
-It evaluates recruiting costs.
-It uses targeted and effective applicant sourcing techniques.
-It provides professional guidance in screening applicants.
-It provides an adequate system for internal personnel placement.
-Hiring managers participate in recruitment and selection.
-Good selection tools/process are in place.
-The process treats applicants fairly and with courtesy.
-New hires reflect the organisation's commitment to furthering and valuing diversity.

4. COMPENSATION: This is the function of evaluating jobs and employee compensation to ensure the organisation is attracting, retaining and motivating employees to accomplish organisational objectives:


-The compensation plan encourages performance.
-It supports the achievement of organisational objectives.
-Compensation is competitive with that of similar organisations.
-Compensation market surveys are up-to-date.
-Compensation is based on job worth.
-The job evaluation system is reviewed with employees.
-The plan is clearly communicated to employees.
-Compensation is not related to race or gender.
-The performance evaluation system is credible.
-Pay increases are performance-based.
-They reward both individual and group results.
-The plan allows for alternate rewards and incentives.

5. EMPLOYEE BENEFITS: These are the programmes providing non-cash compensation to attract, retain and motivate employees:


-Benefits are competitive to attract and retain employees.
-They are offered to all employees.
-Measures are in place to contain health care costs.
-Health coverage and services are accessible and of high quality.
-The HR Department communicates benefits and their value to all employees.
-It explores ways to cut costs while offering attractive benefits.
-It performs cost/benefit analyses on each benefit programme.
-It cultivates the attitude that benefits are part of total compensation, not an entitlement.

6. EMPLOYEE RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS: These programmes govern employee treatment, communications, support systems and services to ensure high levels of employee satisfaction, motivation and productivity:


-Communicates expected employee behavior.

-Distributes employee handbooks.

-New employee orientation is adequate.

-There are clear communication channels at every level of the organisation.

-There are forums to hear and address employee concerns.

-There are employee newsletters or bulletins covering topics of interest to employees.

-Employees are involved in decisions affecting their work.

-Job satisfaction and employee morale levels are high.

-Absenteeism and turnover rates are acceptable.

-Employees have access to a system of due process.

-The organisation provides fair compensation and benefits.

-There is opportunity for personal growth.

-Employees are recognised for good performance.

7. PERSONNEL POLICIES/WORKPLACE RULES: Management's policies translate organisation-wide objectives into operational terms to help managers make decisions.


-The company publishes HR/EE/AA policies and procedures.

-Each policy begins with a value or position statement declaring its purpose.

-The company clearly communicates these policies to help managers do their jobs.

-They are guidelines to help managers make good decisions.

-They balance staff empowerment with sufficient controls to ensure achievement of the organisation's objectives.

-They express the organisation's policies on pay, benefits and other aspects of employment.

-Rules governing personnel actions fit management's needs as well as complying with the law.

-All policies are approved at the highest appropriate level before becoming operational.

-All policies have a similar format, which includes the purpose, background and procedures for implementation.

8. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND OTHER REGULATORY COMPLIANCE: These policies and practices are to ensure compliance with governmental laws and regulations relating to recruitment, selection, placement and treatment of employees.

-Clear EE/AA regulatory compliance policies are communicated.

-All policies conform to existing laws.

-Organisation's position on compliance to all laws is communicated to all employees.

-The workplace is nondiscriminatory and harassment-free, and diversity management training is in effect.

-There is a process for EEO and harassment grievances or complaints.

-Numbers of discrimination and harassment charges and their costs are in control.

-The organisation's liability exposure on these issues appears secure.

-Outreach and accommodation programme for disabled employees are in place.

-The company is meeting affirmative action needs, and workforce demographics demonstrate a commitment to diversity.

9. TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT: Programmes, processes and strategies enable the organisation to develop and improve its internal human resources in order to optimize their contributions to organisation objectives.


-Training and development programmes are linked to organisational needs.

-Adequate training and development is in place.

-Training is based on customer needs.

-Training has clear behavioral and/or results objectives.

-Training outcome/effectiveness measurements are in place.

-Training programmes are communicated to all employees.

-Appropriate training is accessible to all employees.

-Professional development is encouraged.

-Cost/benefit analyses are applied to all training initiatives.

-Training is coordinated for effectiveness and efficiency.

10. INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: This process ensures and oversees fair and effective collective bargaining with those unions representing employees and fosters positive labour relations designed to achieve organisation objectives.


-Negotiation strategy and objectives are formulated in advance of contract negotiations.

-Industrial relations strategy is formulated to address issues such as workforce flexibility, work redesign, economics and labour partnering to achieve organisation's objectives.

-Managers are trained in good people management skills and contract administration.

-Managers are trained in grievance handling and dispute resolution.

-There is formal interaction with labor/management groups outside of the bargaining process to address issues of mutual concern.

-Grievances are processed in a timely manner and reasonably resolved at the various grievance steps.

-The number of grievances is not excessive.

-There is an atmosphere of management respect for union representation.

11. SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELLNESS: Programmes and activities that contribute to employee health, safety and well-being also result in economic benefits.


-Safe work place and healthy working conditions are apparent.

-The organisation is in compliance with safety standards.

-Safety is actively promoted and adequate resources are provided.

-Wellness programmes are in place and working.

-Accident reduction/prevention initiatives are sufficient.

-Safe behaviour is encouraged and rewarded.

-There are clear policies and practices ensuring a drug-free workplace.

-Training and awareness programmes are conducted on workplace violence issues.

-Training and awareness programmes are conducted on HIV/AIDS awareness.

-The company communicates the bottom-line effect of safety and health concerns, such as productivity, attendance, health care claims, Workers' Compensation claims and benefit costs.

-Cost/benefit analyses are applied to all programmes.

-Effective rehabilitation and occupational health services contribute to the early return of Workers' Compensation claimants.


Manager Name:





Rank the following 11 categories in terms of their relative importance in accomplishing your team's business objectives. A higher ranking reflects a higher importance, 11 being the highest.

____ DEPARTMENT ORGANISATION: The need to restructure or realign functions within the Human Resources Department to be more responsive to internal "customer" needs and proactive in accomplishing organisation objectives.

____ HR PLANNING/ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: To identify and fulfill the organisation's development and future aggregate human resource needs.

____ RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION: Timely recruitment, selection and placement of high quality employees to satisfy staffing requirements.

____ COMPENSATION: To evaluate jobs and compensate employees so that the organisation attracts, retains and motivates employees to accomplish organisation objectives.

____ EMPLOYEE BENEFITS: To evaluate employee non-cash compensation so that the organisation attracts, retains and motivates employees to accomplish organisation objectives.

____ EMPLOYEE RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS: Programmes and processes that govern employee treatment, communications, support systems and services so that conditions of employment are conducive to high levels of employee satisfaction, motivation and productivity.

____ PERSONNEL POLICIES/WORKPLACE RULES: Statements of guiding principles that translate organisational objectives and means into operational terms and help managers make decisions.

____ EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND REGULATORY COMPLIANCE: Policies and practices that ensure compliance with equal employment opportunity laws and other governmental regulations as they relate to recruitment, selection, placement and treatment of employees while enhancing the validity and effectiveness of related personnel systems.

____ TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT: Programmes, processes and strategies that enable the organisation to develop and improve its internal human resources to optimize their contributions to organisation objectives.

____ INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: The process that ensures and oversees fair and effective collective bargaining with unions and that fosters positive labour relations.

____ SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELLNESS: Programmes and activities that provide, contribute to and demonstrate concern for employee safety, health and well being and the economic benefits of a safer work environment and healthier workforce.

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Gary Watkins

Gary Watkins

Managing Director


C: +27 (0)82 416 7712

T: +27 (0)10 035 4185 (Office)

F: +27 (0)86 689 7862

Website: www.workinfo.com
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