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Decentralisation of human resource management and empowering managers, Tomasz Miłosz, SIGMA webinar, 15 December 2020


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Supporting paper by Tomasz Miłosz, Hungary, on decentralisation of human resource management and empowering managers (case study), presented at the SIGMA webinar on "Are human resource management practices resilient and agile enough to address the next COVID-like crisis?", held on 15 December 2020.

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Decentralisation of human resource management and empowering managers, Tomasz Miłosz, SIGMA webinar, 15 December 2020

  1. 1. 2 Rue André Pascal 75775 Paris Cedex 16 France Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 24 82 00 This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union (EU). It should not be reported as representing the official views of the EU, the OECD or its member countries, or of partners participating in the SIGMA Programme. The opinions expressed and arguments employed are those of the authors. This document, as well as any data and any map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. © OECD 2020 – The use of this material, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found on the OECD website page DECENTRALISATION OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND EMPOWERING MANAGERS – A CASE STUDY Tomasz Miłosz, GiGlike founder and CEO, previously PwC CEE Human Capital Leader Why? What was the problem, what did not work? Why was there a need for such a solution? There are currently three significant mega trends affecting the world and the labour market: ● Demography – the labour market is becoming much more global, there are new generations entering the labour market (Y, Z) and society is ageing at the same time. There is also a growing disparity of expertise in the labour market, so retention of employees is becoming critical. ● Technology – this is now present in any decision or process and in the near future the trend will accelerate dramatically. 5G technology makes it easier to use systems from anywhere. Particularly in 2021, when we expect further disruption due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, remote work using robust technological tools is even more important. ● Leadership - managing remote (dispersed) teams requires new skills - digital skills. There is a need for new leadership qualities, such as digital intelligence, advanced social and communication skills, to help motivate people in new ways. The company had experienced all of these challenges and decided to initiate a global transformation. The aim was to improve talent management practices in order to improve staff engagement. The project was also important to maintain the image of the company as an attractive employer. What? Description of a tool/solution The goal of the project was to introduce the role of team leader to the company. The team leaders would be responsible for managing teams on a day-to-day basis and making HR-related decisions, from recruitment, through development and retention, to departure. This was a clear opportunity to enhance the skills of existing staff and equip them with new competencies in order to manage diverse employees in the digital world. The assumption was that leaders who were closer to their teams would manage the group more effectively and, as a result, staff engagement would increase. Newly-appointed team leaders were responsible for initiating the hiring process, onboarding new staff, setting objectives and confirming development actions. The most sensitive issue was allowing access to personal compensation data, to enable team leaders to propose new salaries and bonuses. Administrative processes such as approving leave were also assigned to the team leaders.
  2. 2. 2 This goal could not have been reached without technology. The introduction of the team leader role was supported by a new and modern HR system. The introduction of this system was also an opportunity to introduce simplified, revised business and HR processes for people management, such as recruitment, development, performance management, compensation and departure. One integrated HR system provided access to precise, people-related data to inform the decision-making process. One system was intended to replace several hundred separate systems in order to simplify the IT landscape for HR and make it less expensive. The company decided globally to implement the cloud-based human capital management software Workday, using not only the HR management core module, but also those for benefits, talent management, recruitment and time tracking. The introduction of the team leader role and the use of the new technology, based on simplified business processes, was planned to start the process of changing the human resources function in the business from an operational role to a more concrete, business partner role and function. It was intended to create development opportunities for human resources staff, allowing them to focus on business partnering activities such as business advice, strategic recruitment or development rather than basic administrative tasks. How: How were the solutions developed? The project was a global initiative; however, each country was responsible for local implementation and project execution. A few important areas helped to successfully deliver the project on time: ● Governance - each firm had to appoint a project leader to lead a team of specialists responsible for key areas of the project. A cross-functional steering committee was appointed to create a forum to share goals and seek consultation and advice. ● Change management - this was one of the leading work streams, focusing on adapting the new processes to the daily routine. This team was also responsible for creating the transformation process to implement it successfully in the firm. ● Communication - the project was executed in a very inclusive and transparent way with the entire firm. Information about future changes was delivered well in advance and was staged due to the project ● Early adopters – this played a critical role in the implementation. Early adopters were selected from functions other than HR and their role was to promote the project and exchange information using non-official channels. ● Training - two kinds of training were organised. The first was leadership training to develop competencies that were critical for success as a team leader. All newly appointed team leaders were enrolled in the training. The majority of them joined in person, however combined learning was also available for those who were not able to join or for those who wanted to refresh their knowledge. The second was an introduction to the new technology and how to handle the most critical business transactions in the system. To ensure that the transformation happened as planned, monitoring of system usage was implemented. Based on the data from the new HR system, support was offered to those who experienced challenges in using the new technology. Feedback from employees was collected on a regular basis, particularly after important HR processes, such as objective setting, feedback or development discussions. The transition process was carefully planned in relation to the systems used. The process allowed the use of both the old and new systems during a defined transition period, after which the old system was closed to encourage managers and employees to fully adopt the new system and, for those concerned, adapt to the team leader role.
  3. 3. 3 What results: what were the benefits of the solution, how does it work in practice, lessons learnt During the project, approximately 10% of staff were identified as team leaders. The skills and competencies of the group were significantly improved, particularly in relation to social and soft skills. The new team leaders were much closer to the employees as they managed an average group of ten people. This meant that they knew all members of their team well and could take appropriate actions. The newly appointed team leaders were also trained in system functionality, so they could use the system from the day of introduction. The feedback given during the training also helped to fine-tune the final versions of the processes and the system. The most important lesson learnt, however, was that the implementation of the team leader role was clearly not a technological project, but a human transformation. The change management agenda played the most critical part in the success of the project. This focused on step-by-step introduction of the new role and the system. The system was quite stable from the beginning – it was much more time consuming to train the newly appointed team leaders in order for them to be able to truly lead the groups of staff. It took a relatively short period of time for younger team leaders and those with previous experience, while those who were less experienced had to make more effort to be successful.