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2018-03-16 15:31:46|  分类: 管理实战 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Taking On the Last Bureaucracy People NeedPeople---But Do They Need Personnel? It's Time for Human Resources Departmentsto Put Up or Shut Up.

《炸掉你的人力资源部》(意译)By: Thomas A. Stewart

From:Fortune January 15,1996, p.105.

Nestling warm and sleepy in your company,like the asp in Cleopatra's bosom, is a department whose employees spend 80% oftheir time on routineadministrative tasks. Nearly every function of thisdepartment can be performed more expertly for less by others. Chances are itsleaders are unable todescribe their contribution to value added except intrendy, unquantifiable, and wannabe terms--yet, like a serpent unaffected byits own venom, thedepartment frequently dispenses to others advice on how toeliminate work that does not add value. It is also an organization where theaverageadvertised salary for professional staffers increased 30% last year.

I am describing, of course, your humanresources department, and have a modest proposal: Why not blow the sucker up?




I don't mean improve HR. Improvement's forwimps. I mean abolish it. Deep-six it. Rub it out; eliminate, toss, obliterate,nuke it; give it the old heave-ho, force it to walk the plank, turn it intoroad kill.

Why not?

Consider what HR does and whether it shoulddo it. Start with payroll, since that's a subject dear to the hearts of HR'sclientele. Outside providers now cut an estimated 25% of all paychecks issuedin the United States. Their business boometh. The employers' services divisionof Automatic Data Processing of Roseland, New Jersey, the biggest business inthe field, grew 13% in 1995 and has been growing at double-digit rates foryears. The reason, says Fred Anderson, ADP's chief financial officer: "Ascompanies move off mainframes, they are taking a look at what applications arestrategic to them. When they decide that payroll and human resources functionsare not strategic, they outsource them." Back in the office, HR'scontribution to payroll administration comes down to keeping enough forms onhand for new hires to fill in and holding checks for people who were out oftown on payday and haven't yet signed up for direct deposit.


The same thing is happening with benefitsadministration. Johnson & Johnson is just one company that has turnedentirely to outside vendors to run retirement, health, and other plans. In a1995 survey of 314 large American companies, the Conference Board found that26% had outsourced benefits administration, but that overall number hides howmany farm out at least part of the job. As defined-contribution pensions like401(k)s replace defined-benefit plans, for example, companies are more thantwice as likely to turn to outsourcing, according to another Conference Boardsurvey--fully 87% outsource record keeping and 59%, administration and service.Got a question about your 401(k)? Don't call us: Call Fidelity's 800 number.The good news is that you can call at night and reach someone who can actuallyhelp you rather than simply take notes (inaccurately) and get back to you(belatedly).

福利管理:1995年全美314家大企业中,26%的企业将福利管理外包出去了(退休、员工健康等),而这个数字还无法体现将福利管理部分外包出去的情况。由于401(k)s【著名的固定缴款养老金计划】等取代了“固定收益养老金计划”,企业更倾向于将其外包了。外包的业务中87%的数据记录在案,而企业内行政及服务数据只有57%被记录留档。【有问题就打电话给外包的call center,比问人力部门能更及时、准确地沟通和解决问题。】

In an outstanding study of the changingrole of human resources departments, the Corporate Leadership Council, aWashington, D.C., group that conducts research for 500 member companies,concluded that four big dollops of HR work have "significant potential tooutsource fully": benefits design and administration; information systemsand record keeping; employee services such as retirement counseling,outplacement, and relocation; and health and safety (workers' compensation,wellness programs, drug testing, and OSHA compliance). None, the CorporateLeadership Council noted, have much potential to produce competitive advantagefor a company that does them especially well in-house; all offer economies ofscale to outside suppliers; and for several, outsourcing reduces risk byoffloading exposure to liability or regulatory claims.

To their credit, HR departments have seizedthe opportunity to outsource. Under pressure to cut costs, they have jettisonedadministrative bureaucracies like drug dealers tossing hemp into the sea when aCoast Guard cutter heaves into view. The ten biggest employee benefitsconsulting-and-outsourcing firms earned over $3 billion in revenue in 1994,242% more than they did ten years before.





But why stop there? A slew of (极多)othertraditional HR functions can also be outsourced or devolved from HR to theline. Take recruiting. Everywhere I've worked where I had to hire people, therule of thumb among managers was to involve HR as little as possible in theprocess. When HR professionals are themselves looking for work, two-thirds ofthe time they find it by networking or using search firms (a form ofoutsourcing), according to a survey of the HR job market by Manchester PartnersInternational, a Philadelphia-based coalition of outplacement andexecutive-coaching consultants. Sure, HR performs a useful role maintainingjob-posting lists, promoting diversity, and monitoring compliance withequal-opportunity laws, but just because the priest has to post the bannsdoesn't mean he should pick your spouse(牧师不得不念结婚誓词,并不代表他要帮人选配偶).



Designing and running compensation andreward systems is another candidate for the combination of outsourcing anddevolution--ironically, especially when state-of-the-art reward mechanisms(最先进的/顶尖的报酬机制) areof paramount importance to competing. There may be a few companies with thescope and resources to conceive of innovative compensation plans, study them(necessarily by trial and error), find and extirpate contradictions (forexample, teaching people how to work in cross-functional teams while functionalbosses control all rewards), and reinvent them for yet another test. Stillfewer might be able to do that quickly without confusing people and withoutturning on the organization's immune system. Says James Kochanski, a principalat the Sibson & Co. consulting firm who has held HR positions at NorthernTelecom, Quaker Oats, and Kellogg: " 'Not another new performanceappraisal!' is a common lament among managers." Much better to buy thestate of the art from outside, customize it, and instill responsibility forrunning it as far down in the organization as possible--where the work getsdone for which you are paying and rewarding people. A Sibson survey of 50manufacturers found that "mature" work teams--that is, teams that hadshown a history of meeting goals and of continuous improvement--evaluated theirown members' performance 38% of the time, with 18% (nearly one out of five)being responsible for disciplining them too.




As for training: Will every reader who hastaken a training course sponsored by his HR department and found it veryvaluable please raise his hand? There's lots of evidence that training is agood thing, but it points to the worth of just-in-time, close-to-the-worktraining--that is, training that should be lodged in line functions--notoff-the-shelf courses. One company studied by the Corporate Leadership Councilgave business-unit heads the power to sign off on HR's budget; of the $889,000HR proposed spending on training, the general managers okayed only$222,000--one dollar out of four. THAT SHOULDN'T be surprising. You don't haveto visit Washington to realize that bureaucracies self-inflate faster thanairbags and, unlike airbags, often for no good reason. Says Vikesh Mahendroo,executive vice president of William M. Mercer, the big HR consulting firm:"HR is often out of sync with the needs of the business. The importantquestion is, Will companies be able to bring the competence of the HR functionto the level the business requires?" Mahendroo thinks they can--if theydevote the same attention to reinventing human resources that they have tofinance, manufacturing, and other areas.

And if he's wrong, how far can a companygo? Steel giant Nucor, with 6,000 employees, runs human resources with aheadquarters staff of just three people (one a secretary), one HR agent at eachplant (who reports to its general manager, not to corporate), and a set ofcompany HR principles. Says Chairman Kenneth Iverson (who answers his own phoneat the famously lean company): "We pushed the responsibility down to thedivisional level. It works fine."




Just as Georges Clemenceau said, "Waris much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military," so humancapital is too important to be left to Personnel. Says Matthew Olson, executivedirector of the corporate Leadership Council: "This is a make-or-breakmoment for the function." HR people say that their work, far from becomingless important as they turn administrivia over to others, has become of highstrategic importance. We are, they say, the trustees of the asset that mattersabove all others, proactive custodians of our core competence, holders of thekeys to competitive advantage in the new economy.

True, true, true--but are these the guysyou want to put in charge? Nothing is more dangerous than a group of peopletrained in the art of monitoring compliance with rules, fluent in a languagethat does not include a word for "customer," and who have time ontheir hands and are looking for something to do. There's a reason that more andmore new HR executives come to the post with backgrounds in line management orconsulting rather than from HR's own ranks. Says Mahendroo: "I've seenthis much, much more in the last five years." There are two messages here.One, Mahendroo notes, is that human-capital management has become importantenough that it is "an acceptable career path for an up-and-comer."The second is that many people doing the work now can't cut it in the HR of thefuture.



HUMAN RESOURCES has come to the proverbialfork in the road. One path leads to a highly automated employee-servicesoperation handling what used to be paperwork in a ragingly efficient way. Thisfunction becomes little more than a gateway to outside suppliers, impersonal inone sense but highly amenable to supporting personalized, cafeteria-styleservices. The other leads straight to the CEO's office. Says Sibson'sKochanski: "I'm not clear whether the two functions have to be in the sameorganization. The high-tech part might be merged with other data centers, andthe strategy part might link up better with other strategy parts."

Clearly, companies need a place to thinkabout the skills they need and will need, about executive development, about away to focus on human capital. This is precisely why they should ask thedo-or-die question of their human resources departments. The prospect ofhanging, as Dr. Johnson said, is a sure way of concentrating the mind.





A new mandate for human resources


By: Dave Ulrich

from:HARVARD BUSINESSJanuary-February 1998






?首先,人力资源部应该成为高层经理和直线经理(line manger)在战略执行过程中的合作伙伴,协助他们根据市场情况制订计划,而不是在会议室里闭门造车。




Make no mistake: this new agenda for HR isa radical departure from the status quo. In most companies today, HR issanctioned mainly to play policy police and regulatory watchdog. It handles thepaperwork involved in hiring and firing, manages the bureaucratic aspects ofbenefits, and administers compensation decisions made by others. When it ismore empowered by senior management, it might oversee recruiting, managetraining and development programs, or design initiatives to increase workplacediversity. But the fact remains: the activities of HR appear to be—and oftenare—disconnected from the real work of the organization. The new agenda,however, would mean that every one of HR’s activities would in some concreteway help the company better serve its customers or otherwise increaseshareholder value.



Can HR transform itself alone? Absolutelynot. In fact, the primary responsibility for transforming the role of HRbelongs to the CEO and to every line manager who must achieve business goals.The reason? Line managers have ultimate responsibility for both the processesand the outcomes of the company. They are answerable to shareholders forcreating economic value, to customers for creating product or service value,and to employees for creating workplace value. It follows that they should leadthe way in fully integrating HR into the company’s real work. Indeed, to do so,they must become HR champions themselves. They must acknowledge thatcompetitive success is a function of organizational excellence. More important,they must hold HR accountable for delivering it.






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