Achieving HR Excellence through Six Sigma

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HR Excellence

What has not changed is the responsibilities of our human capital functions to find the right person for the right job, at the right time, and in the right place.

The global workplace is confronted with a continuing fiscal dilemma which has had major repercussions for our organizations. What has not changed is the responsibilities of our human capital functions to find the right person for the right job, at the right time, and in the right place. One of the stumbling blocks to achieving this goal is the large number of human resources organizations which still operate in a time warp, refusing to see the new human capital asset view of the organizational success.

To understand this new view we must first comprehend the meaning of HR excellence. To paraphrase an anonymous quotation that I found some time ago, HR excellence is achieved when we care more about the sustainability of our organization and its corporate sustainability responsibility than others think wise. It is achieved when as an organization we are willing to risk everything by changing the corporate culture to remove non-value added activities from the daily workflow. It is achieved when we begin to look at the organization from the point of view of what our organizations could be—not what it is today. It is finally achieved when we expect more from our human capital assets than they believe they are capable of.

Many non-value added activities are considered hidden waste because, for the most part, our organizations contain the activities, but have never explored them to see what effect they are having on the productivity levels of the workplace. The human resource function needs to change from a cultural aspect before they can change the rest of the organization. We need to begin to question the way we have always done things. For example, Daniel Bloom & Associates recently facilitated a two-day seminar. During this seminar, one of the teams discovered that in the hiring process, the job requisition was reviewed and approved three times. That would have not been a problem per se, except it was reviewed and approved three times by the same person. This non-value added activity was operating under management’s noses and they did not spot it.

In operational excellence, as within the continuous improvement process, we need to begin to utilize the Six Sigma tool of the “5 Whys.” We need to ask ourselves why we undertake each step in each process in the office. As the economic climate changes, more and more of our human capital assets are going to entertain the idea that it is time to leave for greener pastures. It is our responsibility to both find a way to retain our non-owned, leased corporate assets, and to create an environment which attracts the right person for the right job, in the right location, and at the right time to meet the needs of the corporation.

The DMAIC (define-measure-analyze-improve-control) process, which is akin to the scientific method we all used in school science classes, provides the path to achieve the required change in culture. It will not happen unless your organization’s top management undertakes complete buy-in of the effort. You decide: are you going to be stuck in an ever deepening rut or are you going to take the chance on a revitalized future? Through implementation of Six Sigma, you can create a TLS continuum for making your organization more efficient, more effective and more sustainable.


Additional Reading

Operational Excellence from a Systems View
Improving the Order Entry Process with Lean Six Sigma


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