Fundamentals of People Performance not HR
We don’t have HR, we have People Performance
I believe Business Partnering, L&D & Recruitment/Talent need to brought together under the direction/strategy of one area which I’ve termed Operational People Performance.
Change can rarely be brought about with these teams working in silo or even in conflict with each other. A People Performance approach means we don’t assume training/learning is the answer & is never a solution on it’s own. The focus shifts to how to improve performance, what does support look like & what other factors need to be addressed (for example culture, psychological safety, motivation, environment).
The answers can come in all shapes & size and definitely not one size fits all:-
Do we have the right talent internally — will we benefit from external knowledge being added to the team
Is the org design or structure fit for high performance
Is there development activity that needs to take place (individualised to certain people, or team performance & productivity work etc)
Just this short list above shows you why I believe these traditionally siloed areas of HR/People teams should be brought together — people in this role are able to challenge & question the thinking on what that team/business area really needs to be high performing.
Bringing together these mindsets can be done by combining these operational roles together or still keeping them separate. Most importantly they are all under the same strategic direction & all a part of the same direct team.
With this approach the concern might be — well what happens to Employee Relations, Reward, People Systems & Comms these aren’t really about people performance are they?
I challenge that they are & a change of purpose makes them more effective, dynamic and influential than ever before & they all have a pivotal part to play with regards to the performance of your people. If you are taking a People Performance approach to these specialist areas it changes the way they behave.
Reward ensure that pay, bonus, benefits & perks have a clear purpose and play a part fostering a culture of people performance. Their initiatives help bring people together, know they will be fairly rewarded for the value the bring to the table, encourage company wide elite people performance & become enablers of performance.
ER play a more preventive role, making sure issues are captured and handled early so they don’t become performance disrupting problems. They coach & prepare teams not to let problems escalate and become a key business partner. And when issues escalate they of course ensure issues are handled effectively & help people turn the corner back to performing for themselves & the organisation
Comms teams become marketing teams — they make people aware of everything that is going on, they focus the message on ‘what can I do with this information’ & ‘how does this help me now’. They market people performance initiatives so that people understand the purpose of them & use them effectively, they inspire people to want to learn, develop, grow, improve, share, they help shape the behaviour that the business wants from it’s people, they co-create, promote & share company culture, vision & values
People Systems ensure that the user experience of these tools is effortless, the focus is about making systems so easy to navigate & intuitive to use that they don’t stand in the way of performance, they allow people to access what they need to when they need it.
Its all about putting aces in there places — clique I know — but if you want to get the best out of your people, experts need to be supporting/coaching in there areas of expertise and adding to the collective knowledge of your organisation.
Below I’ve laid out what I think a People Performance team could look like
NOTE — Operational People Performance Partner could be split into 3 different specialist roles (Recruitment, HRBP, L&D) under the one team but I believe there are people out there that have the desire & capability to do all 3 elements & businesses would benefit from the joined up thinking across these subject areas
For example, if you previously had 3 people in each of these roles, I would say you turn that into 9 People Performance Partners all assigned to work with different business areas so they have end to end dedicated support.
BUT — I would go even further and replace Job Titles with Purpose — for example I take the lead on ensuring our teams have the best people experience & are able to deliver there best performance