Guest interview with Nigel Baldwin, a plc Board level Interim Human Resources Director...
Nigel is a plc Board level Interim Human Resources Director with international experience of HR management in a blue chip environment and is skilled in the design, direction and delivery of people intensive change programmes to both cost and to timescale with minimal disruption to normal business operations.
Nigel started working as an Interim in 2009 and since then he has carried out assignments at several major organisations, including; City University London, BAA Stansted Airport, Essex County Council and Thales Group. He cites his key areas of expertise as Restructuring, Employee Relations, Organisations & Employee Development, Resourcing and Reward Management.
Below he shares his ‘top tips’ on how to do each one well regardless of the sector you work in.
- Take a step back and prepare a detailed plan based on the business strategy; ask yourself where the business needs to be when this is completed.
- Ensure the CEO and other key stakeholders are comfortable with the plan and proposed outcomes; capture this in a detailed project plan. The plan must be the organisations plan, not "your" plan.
- Identify the impact on employees in minute detail.
- Fully explore all mitigating options to limit the impact on individual employees.
- Ensure the consultation and selection process is open, transparent and honest.
- Manage the communication process closely - both internally and externally. All stakeholders need to be kept updated, not just those leaving the business.
- Demonstrate in your actions that employees are valued and that they have a "voice" which you are keen to listen to. Ignore this at your peril.
- Deal with representatives with the respect they deserve.
- Ensure you provide employees with clear sign posting on business strategy and up to date performance levels; failing performance should never come as a surprise.
- Signpost the required behaviours expected from the relationship; reward it, and deal with failures quickly.
- Ensure you keep communication channels open with employee representatives at all times. They have a difficult role and they need help.
- In the design of any organisation it must be driven by product strategy; make sure you understand this.
- Any design of organisation structure must reflect the constraints the organisation faces and these must be understood.
- Most organisations have some sort of advantage over competitors so these need to be reinforced in any design.
- Similarly, the disadvantage that the organisation has with respect to its competitors needs to be minimised and reduced.
- Organisations fail because accountability is not clear. Clarity of accountability is fundamental to the success of any organisation.
- Define the critical roles for organisation success and put the resourcing of these under the control of a project and a "red team". Measure every aspect of the resourcing of these critical roles in great detail. You cannot afford the luxury of doing this for all roles, but getting these critical roles right will result in others folding in behind them.
- Be as focussed on the right behaviours as well as the right technical skills.
- Be rigorous in the hunt for a stream of talent; once found, maximise it.
- Once the critical recruit is found, the job of resourcing has only started; employees decide to leave an organisation during the first three months; make sure "on-boarding" is seamless to ensure the recruit is quickly effective and brings ex colleagues with him/her.
- Never over sell a job, it will come back to haunt you if you do.
- Ensure there is a clear, transparent and well understood link between reward and performance.
- Regard all employees as talented and provide appropriate incentives for all sectors of the business and you will develop a high performing culture.
- Create a reward offer that is right for your organisation (rather than being based on what others are doing). Having a distinctive offer will help your organisation to stand out from the crowd when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent.
- Use your reward practices to promote - rather than undermine - the behaviour you expect from your talent. While rewarding results may be successful in the short term, if it also encourages poor behaviour there will be a kickback in the longer term from other employees.
For more information and to link with Nigel, please visit his Linkedin page.