mushroom coffee

When I teach teams about implementing cool and new ideas in their human resources departments, we always look at the HR lifecycle. It goes something like this:

  1. Sourcing/Recruiting/Compensation Negotiations
  2. Onboarding/Benefits
  3. Learning/Development
  4. Talent Management
  5. Performance Management and Recognition
  6. Retention and Succession Management
  7. Off-Boarding and Knowledge Management

Baked in there are the efforts required to keep labor costs down, create competitively priced compensation and benefits plans, buy and implement great technology, help supervisors move our talented workforce around to new places and opportunities, create excitement about our jobs, manage all the paperwork and data required to keep us in business, and keep employees safe from bullies, illegal practices, and hazardous work environments.

Schwoo. That’s a lot of work on top of keeping everybody happy.

The HR lifecycle is something that is core and critical to most human resources programs; however, I’ve been thinking about ditching it for an employee-focused matrix. If you believe that HR should have a light touch, which is something that’s important to my philosophy, the HR lifecycle doesn’t matter. What matters is attracting and retaining greater workers, weeding out the troublemakers, and keeping the talent pipeline fresh.

I mean, yes, all that other stuff matters—payroll, benefits, comp, safety, compliance, risk—but looking at HR from the employee experience instead of the HR experience is probably the right way to attack the competency model needed to develop the human resources professional of the future.

I like when people talk about a bold new way of thinking about HR. However, the boldness looks like an outsourced and for-profit version of HR that isn’t talent focused and serves the needs of the same old constituencies—shareholders, executives, consultants and tech companies. And maybe the HR lifecycle that we have right now isn’t all that misaligned with what employees need. I just don’t think there’s been a fair, impartial assessment.

Have you seen anything good? Let me know. I would love to learn.

And stay tuned for my version HR matrix that is relevant in the world where employees are capitalists, too, and can vote on company policies and HR infrastructure by simply leaving. You don’t get much more open and transparent than that.


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