HR customer satisfaction survey: where do you stand with line management
In the 25 February, 2003 edition of Equity-Skills News & Views the author stated that "To close the gap between the "strategic-HR haves" and "have-nots," practitioners need a thoughtful, but practical (and integrated) approach to HR planning to connect people priorities to business priorities, clarify line ownership for HR outcomes, and reach a contract for the responsibility HR people will have". An integrated line-HR planning process implies that HR's generalist roles be replaced with more consultative organisation-effectiveness roles.
According to Gregory Kessler (2001) many companies completed multiple iterations of HR transformation and reengineering during the 1990s. New roles have been created around partnering approaches for HR. Many transactional/administrative practices have been outsourced, and some are now being brought back to the inside of leading corporations in shared services centers. While some argue that this work has largely been completed and that companies are now focused on a different agenda for HR, experience indicates otherwise.
THE SUCCESS IN BUILDING HR FUNCTIONAL CAPABILITY (ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE WHEN PARTNERING WITH LINE) HAS BEEN GREATLY OVER-STATED, EVEN IN PUBLISHED ARTICLES, AND IN ANY CASE, REMAINS AN ONGOING CHALLENGE, REQUIRING AGGRESSIVE ATTENTION ON A CONTINUOUS BASIS.
The following survey of line management's perception of HR's functional skills and service delivery will soon separate the wheat from the chafe. Request all line management to complete this customer satisfaction survey annually. Use the results to build a development agenda for rounding out your skill set before embarking on the difficult journey of transforming your role from functional specialist to business partner.
2. The survey
The survey is an adaptation for South African conditions of a customer satisfaction survey developed by the HR function of the Commonwealth Of Virginia, USA. Below is an explanation of the 8 functional questionnaires/roles that comprise the customer satisfaction survey. Be sure to have mastered these roles before embarking on the journey to becoming a business partner with line management. Ask yourself if you have all the knowledge and skills described in each questionnaire for without this Gregory Kessler's observation may well be true for your organisation.
3. Explanation of the 11 survey questionnaires/dimensions
3.1 HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT ORGANISATION: The human resource function is structured and organized to meet current departmental and Organisational needs.
3.2 HUMAN RESOURCES PLANNING/ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Identifying and fulfilling your department's and the organisation's development and human resource needs, and planning for anticipated needs.
3.3 RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION: Provides timely recruitment, selection and placement of highly qualified employees
3.4 COMPENSATION: Develops and administers a job evaluation and compensation system that attracts, retains and motivates employees to accomplish Organisation goals.
3.5 EMPLOYEE BENEFITS: Develops and administers non-cash compensation programmes that attract, retain and motivate employees to accomplish organisation objectives.
3.6 EMPLOYEE RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS: Institutes and administers programmes and processes governing employee treatment, communications, support systems and services which promote employment conditions conducive to high levels of employee satisfaction, motivation and productivity.
3.7 PERSONNEL POLICIES/WORKPLACE RULES: Personnel policies are developed to help managers make decisions and provide guidance for meeting the Organisation's requirements and objectives.
3.8 EMPLOYMENT EQUITY AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL REGULATIONS: Ensures adherence to a balanced approach to employment equity, equal employment opportunity and affirmative action laws and exercises appropriate oversight to ensure employees are treated equally and with consistency regarding: employment, compensation, benefits, promotion, work rules, transfer, termination, discipline and termination.
3.9 TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT: Ensures that adequate employee training and development programmes are in place to meet Organisational objectives.
3.10 LABOUR RELATIONS: Ensures and oversees an effective and fair collective bargaining process with unions representing employees, and fosters positive labour relations designed to achieve Organisational objectives.
3.11 SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELLNESS: Develops and maintains policies, practices and programmes for contributing to and demonstrating concern for employee safety, health and well - being.
4. Analysis of questionnaires
Remember to plan ahead for how to analyse the questionnaire. Confirm with line managers that the analysis will follow the structure of the company (e.g. major departments/functions: SBU's; income/cost centers etc).
Use descriptive statistics to:
4.1 Compute the Mean and Standard Deviation for the total scores for each questionnaire/dimension.
4.2 Rank order the dimensions from highest to lowest.
4.3 Compute the Mean and Standard Deviation for each questionnaire item within each questionnaire/dimension.
4.4 Rank order the questions from highest scoring to lowest scoring within each questionnaire/dimension.
4.5 Rank order the 10 best scoring items and the 10 worst scoring items.
5. Feedback and improvements
Use the analysis to provide each function/SBU/cost/income centre with user-friendly presentation/feedback about how they perceive your services. Develop an action plan for changes/improvement that will meet the need of each customer group.
DO NOT ANALYSE THE QUESTIONNAIRE IN ISOLATION FROM LINE MANAGEMENT; DO NOT PLAN FOR IMPROVEMENTS THAT ARE NOT LINE MANAGER REQUESTS FOR CHANGE AND IMPROVEMENT.