HR Matrices: A tool for logical manpower management
“HR manages the organization's best competitive advantage - its people. Is capability management really a challenge? Or we just need a more organized & scientific tool for better human capital decisions, manpower potential management, and process improvement.”
We have a tough role to play as HR leaders. Dealing with human resources is all about dealing with a lot of perceptions, personalities, and attitudes. At times, it’s just tough to put things in perspective and design a strategy that focuses on balancing the facts, emotions, and perceptions.
In Quotes, “An interesting combination of facts & perceptions can be presented through various HR Matrices.”
Interesting HR Matrices can be created to evaluate the existing employees & arrive at the best manpower management strategies. A logical HR Matrix which is created based on well-evaluated needs/concerns of the organization can prove to be a highly valuable tool for any organization.
Sharing a brief 5 step guide on designing & using the HR Matrices for the benefit of the current age dynamic organizations:
STEP-1 DESIGNING HR MATRIX
What are the key concerns of the company “X” with its human resources?
- EMPLOYEE POTENTIAL
- EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE
- ATTRITION RISK
- EMPLOYEE DISENGAGEMENT
- LACK OF EMPOWERMENT
Other interesting matrices could be:
- HR Capability Vs Business Priority
- Management Maturity Vs CHRO Maturity
- Employee Performance Vs Employee Potential
Role of HR - Process Orientation Vs People Orientation
They could range from a simple four-box matrix to an elaborate 9 box matrix or so on based on how comprehensive one wants to be.
STEP-2 MAPPING EXISTING EMPLOYEES TO MANPOWER MATRIX
This is one of the most critical steps. It must ensure:
- Very conscious manpower mapping to be done while minimizing the perceptual bias.
- Seeking 360-degree feedback on each employee to be mapped in the matrix. This will include an assessment on factual parameters, seeking detailed and focused feedback from colleagues, line managers & other stakeholders.
- E.g. conducting 360-degree appraisal about a Business Development Manager through various stakeholders might include the following:
- Finance - Sales numbers, Collection Overdues, Gross Margins, overall accountability for account management etc.
- Clients - Quality of interaction, pro-active updates, availability for feedback/follow-ups etc.
- HR - Overall hygiene, sales performance, personality, attitude, compliance, growth potential etc.
- Line Manager- Quality of reports, adherence to timelines, quality of work, sales numbers, quality of account management, prospecting etc.
- Sharing evaluation parameters in detail with the line managers to seek more inputs/ seek detailed inputs on employee’s performance on various KPIs & making required changes. E.g. A Project Manager who is being rated highly positive in 360-degree evaluation, might be a constant defaulter on process compliance, over lenient with the team and hence being ineffective in managing team.
- Making final adjustments based upon more concrete info. from line managers.
STEP -3 DESIGNING HR STRATEGY BASED ON MANPOWER MATRIX
This will largely depend upon a number of other factors apart from an individual employee’s placement in the manpower matrix. HR Strategy might focus on following variable factors too:
- Preparation for contingencies/structural changes - Candidate Pipeline, Manpower Budget (to accommodate high replacement cost)
- Future Plans of the company - Existing employee skill sets might be needed for future projects. In such a situation even a “Low Potential” employee has to be maintained unless a ready replacement is there.
- Impact of an employee on P&L (Salary, Sales Contribution, Margin Contribution). E.g. It might be difficult to maintain a high salaried low potential resource vs a low salaried low potential resource.
- The financial strength of the company (in terms of ability to maintain salaries of staff, withstanding low business performance)
- Critical nature of the role (e.g. a Project Manager role may be seen as much more critical than any administrative role like operations executive). Business-critical roles must be attended on priority.
- Feasibility of replacing low potential/low performing resources with strong personal relationships in the company due to the long service tenure.
STEP-4 PRESENTING HR STRATEGY TO MANAGEMENT
This would largely involve using HR Analytics like:
- No. of business-critical roles held by low potential resources.
- No. of business-critical roles held by employees with high attrition risk.
- % of employees identified as High Potential, Medium Potential & Low Potential.
- Sales Performance of employees placed as High Potential, Medium Potential & Low Potential. (Target vs Achievement, Gross Margin Contribution, New client’s addition, etc.)
- % of salary spend on maintaining high/med/low potential resources.
- Work tenure of medium/low potential resources with the company.
Strategy proposals could be:
- Manpower Budget alterations required to hire new resources to replace low potential resources/ high attrition risk resources.
- Future Investment in trainings, certifications, Reward & Recognition programs, Employee Engagement Activities etc. to maintain high potential resources.
- Sources/timelines/talent acquisition investment for identifying replacements for business-critical resources.
- Budget for increments for promoting high potential resources.
E.g.- an organization with more than 60% of employees identified as low potential might focus on investing in/arranging for replacements.
An organization with majority of employees identified as high potential, the focus might be developing capabilities by increasing investment in T&D/Learning programs, certifications etc.
STEP-5 IMPLEMENTING THE STRATEGY
In Quotes “Designing a good strategy doesn’t necessitate the desired outcomes without a strong implementation plan.”
Important considerations in implementation could be:
- Does the company need to maintain the low potential for any reason for some time or immediate termination can be considered?
- Does the company have ready replacements/potential pipeline of candidates?
- Timelines for onboarding replacements & managing handover.
- How potential opportunities can be created for upgrading high potential resources with the organization?
- Identifying a tailor-made development program for every identified high potential resource & related investment.
- Budget allocation for identified development programs & it impacts on overall HR Budget.
- Identifying the role-specific competencies & implementing competency mapping for developing high potential resources further.
- Overall business strategy is to expand/contract/diversify etc.