Drivers for WLM Solutions

How workforce realignment forces strategic thinking in HR organizations.

by Phil Fersht, Jason Corsello

The massive workforce expansion of the 90s has dramatically reversed with the combined forces of economic recession and global outsourcing. HR leaders are challenged to ensure that the workforce delivers on the corporate business strategy. At the same time, the dynamic economic environment is constantly forcing organizations to reshape the workforce. Many organizations that have traditionally focused on driving down costs by automating or outsourcing non-strategic, transaction processes are now looking at new approaches to create a flexible, sustainable workforce. Workforce lifecycle management (WLM) solutions are being deployed to extend internal mobility, improve the quality and timeliness of new hires, and increase the performance of the workforce.

 

BECOMING PERFORMANCE-DRIVEN 

With workforce reductions in place, leading organizations are creating a performance-driven culture based on measurable results that are aligned with corporate goals. The aggressive recruitment of high-performing talent will intensify, making competition tough for organizations that dont excel in WLM. Key areas of interest for performance- driven organizations include pay-for-performance programs and succession planning initiatives that accelerate the performance and growth of employees. Organizations are migrating HR BPO vendors in pursuit of cost reduction and to enable HR to think more strategically about their human capital. Recent case studies show that high-performance organizations consistently outsource administrative HR functions. Organizations of all sizes have adopted global outsourcing strategies to maintain initiatives in cost reduction and margin improvement. Self-service is a key enabler driving WLM adoption. As workforce mobility increases, organizations are empowering employees to be more self-sufficient. Using employee selfservice applications has lessened dependency on HR to provide administrative support. Self-service applications provide a single destination for all HR issues, consequently increasing the use of WLM solutions. In addition, self-service applications enable employees and managers to track career development and progress, further enhancing the performance of the organization. As M&A activity continues to pick up, organizations continue to implement processes that accelerate integration. WLM solutions can help organizations define their internal hierarchy, making it easier to analyze workforce requirements. WLM solutions can also enable integration by quickly identifying the right candidates for the merged entity. In addition, WLM can rapidly eliminate redundancy in the workforce and create a more cohesive and progressive organization.

 

ACHIEVING SUCCESSFUL WLM

 

Understand your organizations key performance indicators (KPIs).

Organizations must understand the key attributes that drive their financial success and link those drivers with their WLM strategy. For example, highturnover organizations should define a strategy for talent management and improving workforce quality. Lowturnover organizations should center on performance management and improving employee development, pay-for-performance, and succession planning.

 

Assign an executive sponsor.

A vision for human capital that is sponsored from the highest levels within an organization is key to transformation and leading strategic initiatives. Take inventory of past technology investments in workforce and learning management and identify the future strategic fit toward a closely aligned, integrated approach. Build integrated WLM capabilities incrementally.

 

Combine your WLM strategy with your HR BPO strategy.

If your organization is currently considering HR BPO or is an early adopter, this is an opportunity to establish a WLM solution with minimal or no additional cash investment. Todays leading providers offer WLM functionality within their platforms. Some are building their own proprietary tools, whereas others are offering best-ofbreed solutions integrated with their own platform. Ensure the BPO supplier can establish an effective program that provides you with the tools and support you need to manage these solutions.

 

Get started.

Adopting a WLM solution will not cure bad internal processes. Start by getting executive sponsorship that will spearhead the transformation process. Then begin due diligence immediately. Best-practice methodologies from HR service providers must be combined with technology and business transformation expertise. A WLM strategy should consider where an organization would like to be in several years. Although the integrated WLM approach is still in the development stage, it provides a great opportunity to create a leadership position for workforce excellence. [HRO]   

Posted June 10, 2005 in Talent Acquisition

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