Improve and Standardize an Existing HR Process in 4 Steps
Standardizing existing HR processes is a common goal for many global organizations. It has many advantages including cost reduction, easier reporting and increased visibility and transparency on HR processes. In many cases, this standardization is accompanied by the implementation of a new HR system or HR outsourcing project, and in some cases, both.
The ability of an organization to establish standardized processes depends on several main factors:
- Maturity for Standardization: standardization of HR processes is only relevant if it’s a strategic goal for the organization across functions, not only in HR
- Governance Model: some organizations have very powerful local countries, which can resist to a global standardization project. A global project can be perceived by these local countries as a loss of power in favor of global functions and an obstacle to reach local business goals
- Investment Capacity: cloud solutions can be very expensive, not to mention the cost it takes to standardize a project.
- Leadership Sponsorships: stakeholders will support the standardization if the project gets a strong sponsorship and if they are confident that their business needs will be addressed
The last point is key. Stakeholders must be convinced that the implementation of the standardized processes will go with their business needs. Alternatives and customization need to be considered to meet legal requirements or local adaptation. Each customization request has to be addressed as a business case. The best question to ask is not “is this in line with global processes?” but rather “is this a real business need that cannot be addressed by a global solution?”. If the answer is ‘no’, then local adaptation is relevant. To drive the change, a proper change strategy needs to be established to engage stakeholders and support end users.
To summarize in a nutshell: when you want to successfully improve and standardize an existing HR process, follow these 4 steps:
- Plan ahead the standardization project by conducting a feasibility analysis
- Recognize country specific legal requirements and business needs
- Set up a strategy to engage stakeholders
- Set up a change strategy. A change of processes is often more difficult to conduct than a change of HR system.