Monday, May 02, 2005

Talent, Outsourcing, and MSS

Since my last post was on talent, I thought I’d see if I could tie it back into systems somehow. As we continuously look at talent in both retention and acquisition modes, we must realize that we’re not only trying to attract and retain employees with compensation, benefits and corporate culture (and such), we’re really trying to engage the employee in the business. When the employee is engaged, they are not only more likely to stay with the company, they are also satisfied with their position and will be more productive.

Much has been talked about regarding the role of Employee Self Service (ESS) and employee communications, but little has been written on Manager SS (MSS) and the effect it has on employee engagement. The role of managers in the employee process is critical. In the current age of more and more outsourcing (including that of local HR practitioners to call centers “somewhere out there”) managers are having to pick up the slack for routine employee inquiries and situations which may require someone to be face to face with them. Take for example an employee who wants to “vent.” Instead of going to HR (who isn’t there anymore), the employee now goes to the closest manager.

Managers are also (should be) playing a critical role in change management. As organizations react to global and domestic price pressures for benefits or compensation, the manager must ensure equity within performance and compensation review standards. Effective MSS rollout and procedures are a critical link in the communication strategy to employees. Since managers are now the critical link in direct verbal employee communications, the tools they have at their disposal had better be adequate and simple in the representation of policies and changes to policies. These tools include both information and automation tools. Not only should “dashboard” data and employee review templates be readily accessible, MSS needs to back up management training with appropriate info in MSS.