Successful, agile companies with no HR problems?

WM Circle Logo

By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on April 20, 2002

With the growing importance of ERM (employee relationship management), the need for teamwork and high levels of staff motivation is a key factor in the over-all speed and agility of most companies...

Corporate leaders are now recognising that, as market conditions continue to change rapidly, their companies need to be quicker and more agile in their activities. According to new research by Hewitt Associates, many top executives believe human resources (HR) will play an important part in the process of becoming quicker, more agile and more efficient.

Strategies already formed
The study, entitled Improving Your Organization's Speed and Agility, surveyed CEOs and HR leaders representing 188 large companies. Hewitt found that 72% of CEOs have developed explicit 'speed and agility' strategies designed to more effectively meet customer, employee and business needs. And 62% of the CEOs surveyed have already established the necessary performance measures to track the success of their programmes.

The research also shows that "people issues" are the biggest obstacles to improving speed and agility, the key issues being:
·  Risk-averse culture, low motivation and lack of teamwork (74%)
·  Outdated technology (16%)
·  Regulatory compliance (10%)

"The convergence of competition and technology has led companies to understand the importance of reacting quickly and correctly to ever-changing marketplace conditions, but this is easier said than done," said Suzanne Kenney, business leader for Hewitt Associates. "Companies creating a quick and agile environment need to focus on several key success factors such as an ability to set clear aspirations, develop a climate to enable and engage the right talent, create small-unit accountability, and foster a collective will."

Leading the way
Of the CEOs questioned, 38% said that their HR department has a role in improving corporate speed and agility. Of the HR leaders questioned, 43% answered in the affirmative. However, 71% of CEOs and 91% of HR executives believed that HR should help lead the way in future efforts to improve speed and agility throughout the company.

HR respondents also stated that if their companies were quicker and more agile, it would result in improved talent management efforts (81%), better M&A and restructuring initiatives (62%) and better HR service delivery (50%). However, the HR executives also cited three common barriers to creating a fast and agile environment:
·  A lack of agreement on what to do;
·  A lack of necessary technology;
·  A lack of necessary funding.

Where to start
If a company's HR department can solve these problems and remove the main barriers throughout the organisation, the impact on speed and agility will be significant. Hewitt's Suzanne Kenney suggests, "A good place to begin may be with technology - to speed processes and decision making - as both CEOs and HR executives identified this as a common barrier to creating a fast and agile organization."

More Info: