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Case Study: HR Effectiveness

Client: Financial Services Institution

Project: HR Effectiveness Assessment

HR Effectiveness

A European financial services firm with approximately 2,500 staff in the US wanted to assess the effectiveness of its Human Resources Department. The firm had grown significantly in recent years and the HR department had been given additional headcount to assist in providing better service to its customers.  The organization recognized that its HR department needed to become more strategic but first wanted to assess the current state of the department before making organizational & process changes.

The Solution

Intellilink undertook an assessment of current operations to determine the effectiveness of the HR department. The study also developed recommendations on headcount reallocation and on how to move towards becoming a more strategic partner with the business.  The study consisted of three main tasks: data gathering, analysis, and recommendations.

Data Gathering – The Intellilink team interviewed HR staff to gather information on roles & responsibilities, interactions between the different HR teams, and to get an overview of the staff’s thoughts on the mission of the HR department. Senior HR leadership indicated that the tasks undertaken by HR generalists varied greatly across business lines and even across individual HR generalists supporting the same business line. The team decided to shadow a select number of HR Generalists to track their daily activities. The team also interviewed heads of business line customers to identify their specific HR needs and determine the current level of service received from HR. Intellilink developed a list of typical HR functions and their descriptions to share with the customers to gauge what services they were most interested in receiving. In addition, the Intellilink team worked with the HRIS team, requesting various HR reports that would assist in the analysis by validating (or invalidating) interview or shadowing data.

Analysis – The Intellilink team correlated interview results with the HR Generalist tracking analysis and reports from the HRIS team.  Often additional data needed to be gathered (i.e. transaction volume in order to compare level of effort) in order to confirm the findings. The Intellilink team reviewed the analysis with the senior HR leadership team, who concurred with the general findings of the activity analysis. Intellilink then developed a framework of activities undertaken by the HR Generalists. All HR Generalists across the organization were then requested to track their activities against this framework for three weeks. The information was collated and used to expand the activity analysis.

Recommendations  – The Intellilink team then developed a number of recommendations. The team recommended that specific headcount be reallocated to the business lines that were not receiving the required level of service. The team also determined that the HR department was operating adequately, but not at the strategic level required by the business. The activity analysis clearly determined that few strategic tasks were being undertaken by the HR Generalists. The team developed a high level roadmap for the organization to begin moving towards this goal and included; a HR skills assessment analysis, a standardization of HR generalist job roles, increased performance management across the HR department, and a quarterly internal customer survey.