HCM must be kept simple if HR wants to engage staff

If HR wants to engage managers with their human capital management (HCM) agenda, it is all about keeping it simple, according to a leading practitioner.

HCM is to become a serious consideration for business. From 1 April 2005, companies will have to include employee information in their operating financial reviews – a key recommendation of the Accounting for People Taskforce – or explain why they have not.

Neil Roden, group director of HR at The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group, renowned for its HCM record, told Personnel Today that getting managers involved in the process meant being careful not to over-complicate things.

“When people start rolling out statistics and regression analysis, your eyes can glaze over a bit. That has its place, but nowhere near line managers,” he said.

“What you need to say to the line manager is: would you like to know what your staff think about x, y and z? Would you like to know what the connection between what that is and how you are doing as a business? Even better, would you like to know some of the things that if you fixed would get you a bigger bonus because your business performance would be through the roof?”

Managers at RBS are presented with a chart that tells them where they are and the three things you need to concentrate on.

Based on feedback from managers and staff, managers are also told the three things they are doing well that need to be sustained.

“You need to do it in a language that businesses like and understand, and in ways they are used to so it doesn’t seem as though it’s from outer space,” Roden said.

For the full story on how RBS involved 130,000 staff in HCM, see next week’s issue of Personnel Today

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