Consider this job family framework solution to provide clarity about jobs in your organisation.
Any recent human resources research plays a familiar tune: “Human Resources need to be adding real business value to our organisations, have greater impact and be more innovative”. It is also clear that both the evolving workforce profile and nature of work have now gathered significant momentum, and organisations will need dramatic changes to lead this new world of work.
Retaining and rewarding the best employees, and managing talent in a very different business environment requires us to question whether our existing people management practices are future fit. If we are to be the innovative and valued business partner, we will need to progress the work measurement function from execution at a job level to an organisation-wide solution that is more integrated.
This requires us to think differently about the way we deliver work measurement and to consider how we can reinvent to address the business imperatives of simplification, integration and application ease.
We can gather clues on how to develop an innovative work measurement solution by listening to what our business leaders are asking for.
Streamline work measurement
Many organisations have suffered “job title explosion”, with the ratio of employees to titles getting close to 1:1 in the professional and managerial ranks. This is further exacerbated when the organisation is a global operation. In addition to creating administrative and HRIS problems, this contributes to problems in staffing, performance management, career development and succession planning, because there is no common understanding of what a role is supposed to do or common way of describing jobs globally.
Technical ladders and career paths help to develop and retain key talent. We evaluate all this in the work measurement process. We put this together to create a coherent model where staff can map out their own progression and are clear about what they need to do to move to the next technical rung. This tool also helps line managers to have development conversations with staff providing clarity on gaps and opportunities.
- Is there a way of streamlining the job titles and using a common language?
- Is there a way of simplifying the job evaluation process, where we slot jobs against descriptors or measure jobs against streamlined dimensions? and
- Can you give us a model which shows career and technical progression?
Integrate your work fit model
So often, work measurement is a completely separate process, with separate documentation, separate competencies. Business leaders want HR to integrate the job elements (work measurement and value) with the person-fit elements. If there are assessments to do, these should be informed by a common framework which identifies a set of competencies critical to delivery.
We need an easy way to communicate career progressions that managers can use without becoming HR experts in explaining to their teams how to judge where they are in terms of contribution or development and advice on what they need to do to progress.
- Can we categorise the jobs to make the process more effective?
- Is it possible to design a common platform to integrate our HR processes and talent management applications? and
- We need to bring communication tools and careers to the attention of our management.
Enable work alignment
Business leaders anticipate that there will be a continual renewal of the operating model and structure in the new world of work and many jobs may change in nature and scope. So the questions that need to be asked include:
- Is there a way in which we can quickly define the new roles, their accountabilities, and the competencies critical to success in those roles? and
- If we need a way to manage promotions, we need a standardised approach to performance management, so shouldn’t similar jobs be measured similarly?
What the best organisations do
Recent annual research Hay Group conducted, in partnership with Fortune Magazine, into the world’s most admired companies indicates that what distinguishes these admired companies from other companies is that they:
- provide clarity: people know what to do;
- focus on measurement: performance is continually measured;
- engender commitment: people are accountable; and
- execute on strategy: this creates a company culture that supports strategy implementation.
There are novel ways of addressing these business needs. Job Family Modelling is an emerging best practice in leading organisations that breaks down silos in HR and offers a logical and consistent framework to describe the structure and content of roles (in families).
This is an alternative to traditional job descriptions, a way of easily “slotting” jobs into the structure, eliminating the need to evaluate every job, a way to integrate and have one framework for performance management, a way of linking competencies to jobs for talent management and employee development applications, career paths and the foundation for a career development programme.
Traditionally, this method of Job Evaluation (JE) has been used to assess and benchmark pay levels, where it adds great value and intelligence. However, successful organisations recognise that it has much more to contribute if used in a broader context, where it can help to forge and clarify the connections between organisational structure and HR processes.
While many still use JE in a narrow (pay only) context, others take a broader approach. This broader approach we call “work measurement” which provides organisations with the ability to link HR processes such as talent management, recruitment, training and reward.
Job family models are an ideal way to describe these new or changed jobs quickly, thoroughly and in a way that integrates with other human resource processes. In this case, the job family model may serve as the format to document job content in the new organisation.
These are a simple set of competencies that can be incorporated into all job descriptions and which help to describe the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to perform effectively in a given role. The Job Family and competency work is critical to creating a culture within the organisation that promotes transparency. By creating clarity in this way, the framework will help create a motivated workforce, with staff being able to understand the opportunities available to them across the organisation, and the development available.
Beverley Wild is a Senior Consultant with Hay Group, South Africa, www.haygroup.com/za.
This article appeared in the September 2015 issue of HR Future magazine.