HR leaders and pioneers – enable growth in 2014

Few companies are in the privileged position of being able to offer a unique product or service, so how is it that some companies are able to stand head and shoulders above their competitors?

Jim Collins in “Good to Great” sets out how some organizations have made a radical jump in performance. In his terms the mechanism is clear: “First Who, then What.” The right team needs to be in place BEFORE the company is able to formulate the winning strategy and plan. However, many companies are still operating with Human Capital Management (HCM) and HR systems that were implemented before the global downturn. Management information is hard to access, and employee growth causes real pain and operational inefficiency.

But what if a company doesn’t have a HCM and HR system that works effectively and easily – how does the CEO even know if they have the right “Who”? And, more importantly, what should companies do about it?

We asked four successful leaders for their thoughts on what company executives, including HR Directors, should focus on for a successful 2014 and beyond:

Nic Scott, CEO, Sage People – Back to Growth. Most markets around the world are growing, meaning many more individuals will be hired in 2014. Nobody knows how long this period of economic growth will last but it seems likely that it will be for at least five years or longer. As a result there needs to be a concerted effort of focus on existing employees, recognizing their contributions and developing their skills in order to retain them. This is a very different focus to the last five years and those organizations that can do this more effectively will build and retain the strongest talent. 

Adam Hale, Executive Chairman, Sage People – Make your global growth easier. We speak to many great, growing companies that have real inefficiency, pain and risk in their people systems and processes; basic questions like “how many employees do we have?” are not easy to answer. Areas like salary planning, reporting and performance management also represent “spreadsheet hell” for businesses. We found exactly this with United Allergy Services, where these issues were presenting huge manual complexities and real security risks.

It IS possible to implement a flexible and secure cloud-based system, quickly AND easily, that removes the inefficiency, pain and risk of this situation and allows the company to focus on growth. Most companies have not made this transformation and are planning to; their main question is whether the project will be in 2014 or 2015. 

Mike Ettling, HR Industry Expert – Focus on the “mini-multinationals”. Much of business growth around the world will be from mini-multinationals; a community of companies that has not been well served by technology companies to date. Large vendors like Oracle, SAP and Workday are focused on the enterprise, and smaller vendors are only providing domestic solutions that cannot support organizations who operate in multiple countries.

Dr Steve Garnett – Chairman EMEA, Salesforce.com – Choose the right platform. All organizations are moving their applications to the cloud, rather than running the systems “on-premise”. Many areas of business systems have already largely migrated to the cloud, like sales, customer service and increasingly marketing. Other areas, like HR, will move next as the reasons to do so are massively compelling.

Reflecting on these thoughts, it seems that for management teams with strong HR leadership, this could be a year where dynamic decisions and potent new strategies can be driven by increasingly engaged and inspired talent. Many of our new customers took this step towards the end of 2013, will your organization do the same in 2014? Contact us to find out how.

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