The problem with People Process Design
People (HR) processes like performance management are under pressure. Some companies have decided to get rid of performance management because it did not have enough added value. I am accomplice to the creation of state-of-the-art (irony) people processes within companies. I admit. Some of them proved to work, others did not. And I’m not alone to experience that. Here are some reasons why some of these processes do not deliver what they promise.
- They focus too much on the process and not enough on the value they need to add to the business
- They make simple things too complicated.
- They focus on control and administrative processing rather than on enabling.
- They are too much HR and not enough business-driven.
- They are not flexible enough and cannot adapt to the VUCA-world.
- They are digital, but not mobile.
- They do not spark enthusiasm.
- They forget that the processes are human.
- They aim at analytics, but analysis in not the target.
- They do not do what they are supposed to do. Efficiency is not effectiveness.
- They do not reinforce leadership.
Not all of these characteristics apply to all of the people processes in all companies. Some processes do work, others do not.
9 Tenets to design people processes
It’s clear that the HR profession should review how it designs its processes to increase their relevance and impact. Here is how:
- Start with defining what the processes should deliver in terms of customer value. This is the purpose of any process within the company, including people processes.
- Define the essence of the process. Performance management is about feedback and conversations. Make sure that the process supports that.
- Design for change. Do not make the process too heavy and over designed, so that changing it becomes difficult and expensive.
- Have the user experience in mind. A process should be simple, easy, fun.
- Co-create together with the business. If the people process is not seen as a business process, it will be obsolete.
- Focus on Leadership and engagement. Ask yourself how the process reinforces leadership and engagement within your organisation.
- Don’t be tempted to follow fads. Do what is necessary in your company.
- Don’t adapt your strategy to the process. Design a process that matches and supports your business strategy.
- Make sure they are mobile.
If you follow these tenets when designing a people process, you will deliver something that is impactful, accepted and more sustainable.