Managing human resources is a difficult task on any day, for any company. Managing the human resource of a global insurance giant with presence in 90 countries and a Fortune 500 clientele is a job many times more challenging than most. It requires not only the commitment of the people in charge of all the global talent but also that the systems and technology that support human resource (HR) tasks function as accurately and reliably as possible.
The HR department at the company in question had a specific problem that had plagued it for some time. The year-end performance process system, used in promotions and the awarding of annual bonuses to company employees, wasn’t rising to the task. In theory, the system was intended to rate employee performance on a bell curve – which would allow management to determine compensation easily. Instead, the system performed unreliably, requiring a lot of year-round data maintenance to even be useful.
Consequently, bonuses and promotions were awarded inconsistently, undermining employee performance and loyalty. The problem was exacerbated by the number of geographic locations and departments involved, not to mention the company being short-staffed on HR project management talent. HR knew things needed to change.
Today, the HR compensation team tabulates its own year-end performance ratings with the help of the new automated system. Annual performance reviews no longer cause internal resource shortages, and fewer incorrect ratings equal less employee frustration and better talent management.
To help overhaul the unwieldy year-end performance process system, leadership tapped a Protiviti consulting team for help. The team comprised data analysts and HR management talent who spoke the same language as the company’s HR department. Protiviti was already a trusted adviser, having partnered with the company on numerous other projects. While many issues related to the current project lay ahead to be solved, building trust between the company and its consultant was not one of them.
With no time wasted, the Protiviti team set out to document the necessary improvements to the year-end performance process system, acting as a liaison between end-user needs and software engineering requirements. As improvements were being made, the Protiviti team tested them and coordinated end-user testing, as well. Following the design, development and testing stages, the team continued to provide support to end users during and after the deployment of the new system.
Why didn’t the HR department serve as its own IT intermediary? “They didn’t have the right resources at the time,” one Protiviti team member explains. “The idea was to fill the immediate talent shortage and lead by example, helping them to eventually transition to an internal team that could run the year-end process on its own.”
In other words: Get in, show how it’s done, then get out of the way. Today, the HR compensation team tabulates its own year-end performance ratings with the help of the new automated system. Annual performance reviews no longer cause internal resource shortages, and fewer incorrect ratings equal less employee frustration and better talent management.
The person most appreciative of Protiviti’s efforts was the head of global talent management at the company, who said it would have been very difficult to get through the year-end process again without help.
The need for outside help in the company’s HR department has since largely disappeared. The program was such a success, however, that the company continues to tap Protiviti to overcome deficiencies in other areas, especially when it comes to getting the most value from its complex software systems. Automation, accuracy, reliability and empowering people to work independently are key goals. Satisfaction simply follows.