The iowa experience human resources as a strategic business partner
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The Iowa Experience: Human Resources as a Strategic Business Partner. Mollie K. Anderson, Director Iowa Department of Administrative Services For the International Personnel Management Association October 1, 2004. Why Did You Choose HR? . Why did you get into HR?

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The Iowa Experience: Human Resources as a Strategic Business Partner

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The Iowa Experience:Human Resources as a Strategic Business Partner

Mollie K. Anderson, Director

Iowa Department of Administrative Services

For the International Personnel Management Association

October 1, 2004

Why Did You Choose HR?

  • Why did you get into HR?

  • How long have you been in this field?

  • Where do you want this profession to take you?

What an HR Professional Is

  • The systemizing, policing arm of executive management

  • An advocate for employees

  • Strategic business partner for customers

  • A champion for change

The Primary HR Goal

  • Get the right person…

  • With the right skills…

  • Into the right job…

  • With the right supervision to meet performance expectations and …

  • Add value to the organization.

The Primary HR Questions

  • How do you attract and retain quality employees?

  • How can you become a strategic partner with your customers?

  • How do you improve productivity and ROI?

  • What issues affect employers’ ability to meet company goals?

HR Challenges Today

  • Changing employee demographics and needs

  • More competition for a skilled workforce

  • Focus shifting from regulation to service

  • Demand for customized service

  • The need to support desired business outcomes and affect the bottom line

The Iowa Experience

  • Department of Administrative Services combined 3 ½ agencies in 2003

  • Adopted the entrepreneurial management concepts of strategist David Osbourne

  • Four goals: Improve customer service, save money, streamline, and use resources in a more flexible manner.

  • Unique financing approach

Entrepreneurial Management

  • A customer-focused (NOT program focused) approach…

  • To delivering services (NOT running a program)…

  • In a competitive marketplace (NOT a monopoly.)

How DAS is Set Up in Iowa

  • A complement of infrastructure and facilities services, including full range of HR functions

  • Each fee-based operation covers its costs

  • Customer Councils set utility rates

  • ‘Rowing and steering’ functions separated

  • Moving toward one-stop shopping model

What DAS Started With

  • Traditional financial infrastructure

  • ‘Old’ agencies without legislative champions

  • Thirty percent budget cuts over three previous fiscal years

  • Highly tenured, program-focused employees

  • Grumpy, uneducated customers

What DAS Has Done

  • Passed enabling legislation

  • Developed fee-based financing models, determined service costs, and reduced cross-subsidized ‘drug deals’

  • Adopted an internal shared services model

  • Established and empowered customer councils

What DAS Is Doing Now

  • Refining financing and legislative framework

  • Eliminating silos between merged agencies

  • Engineering a culture change

  • Re-motivating employees with training and incentives

The Iowa Approach to HR

  • Define internal and external customers

  • Know your customer(s) and their business(es)

  • Know your business goals and what it takes to achieve them

Setting HR Priorities

  • Know your customers’ (internal and external) priorities

  • Understand the financial risk

  • Evaluate the potential for improvement

How to Create a Compelling Picture for Action

  • Do your homework and be prepared to tell your story

  • Identify risks of inaction

  • Know the impact on financing and productivity

How to Get Your Own Team On Board

  • Lay out clear expectations

  • Use a customer service representative model and service delivery agreements

  • Use performance evaluations and reward programs

Example: Workers Comp

  • Start with the viewpoint that people are the face of government

  • Tell the story simply, using the numbers

  • Define the risk (financial, productivity) if no action is taken

How to Get Invited to the Decision Making Table

  • Connect with customer goals—save money, streamline processes, etc.

  • Know your business—and your customers’ business

  • Articulate a compelling story

  • Follow up!

What Role Does Communication Play?

  • Start with research—know the facts

  • Tell your story in a compelling, understandable way

  • The ‘visual identity’ concept works

  • Repeat, repeat, repeat

Use the Tools

  • For the basics, an FAQ

  • Annual reports

  • Newsletters or bulletins

  • Crisp financial results

What You Can Measure

  • Customer satisfaction

  • Financial goals

  • Grievances

  • Processing time

  • Turnover/retention

The Bottom Line

  • Watch the people who have leveraged their HR expertise to move ahead.

  • HR is no longer just a knowledge game—you must be able to apply what you know.

  • You must be able to listen, evaluate and persuade.

What You Can Do to Develop Your Skills and Career

  • Education

  • Write and talk

  • Use associations and seminars

  • Move around in HR specialties and to career opportunities

  • Cross-functional teams

  • Look for emerging issues

Lessons Learned—a Recap

  • Be proactive, not reactive

  • Know your customers and your business

  • Do your homework

  • Learn from others when you can

  • Be concise and clear

  • Keep current on emerging issues

  • Get involved in HR organizations

  • Sometimes you have to move

  • You can’t go it alone

Question and AnswersVisit the DAS website,

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