Assessing People Practices for a Competitive Advantage

January 31, 2022
Sandy Epperson

What can an HR assessment do for the business and how does it work?  The benefits of an assessment are numerous – here are a few.  Significantly, any compliance related concerns due to frequently changing employment laws can be readily identified and addressed.  Additionally, an assessment is a terrific opportunity to look closely at existing policies and processes that could be more effective, efficient and in keeping with contemporary best practices. The assessment also serves to closely examine the HR function for critical alignment with business goals.  Today’s workplace continues to experience turbulent and rapid change and employers of all sizes feel they have little room for error as they expend precious time and financial resources to attract, engage and retain talent to keep their businesses thriving. Through this dedicated evaluation to raise the bar with the organization’s people practices, the business may realize a true competitive advantage in today’s workforce market.

There are three primary steps to the assessment process outlined below:

In the pre-assessment phase, a decision is made as to the type and scope of the assessment.  The business may narrow the assessment to a particular area (like pay practices) or, more common, is an encompassing assessment that includes most HR areas including employee relations, recruiting and selection, performance management, HR technology, record keeping, etc.  On Course HR then receives and conducts a review of the existing written HR-related policies, procedures, systems, and forms of the business.  This provides important insight into what HR processes are currently outlined and documented for the business.

To begin the assessment, conversations are scheduled with HR and other business leaders to discuss each area being reviewed.  A comprehensive assessment tool is used to guide the discussion and the specifics of the assessed area(s) are evaluated for compliance, completeness, and contemporary best practice.  An on-site observation of record keeping practices can be included in the assessment to review employee files, including i-9 records.

I often have clients remark at how beneficial this dedicated and thorough conversation is to focus in on how well HR is serving the business and opportunities for improvement.  The discussion helps evaluate and identify weaknesses and pain points that may be impeding attainment of business objectives which are vitally important to successful operations and growth.

The final step is the presentation of the assessment report with findings and helpful recommendations.  Based on the results of the document review and conversations with leaders, the report includes a dashboard indicator for each area of HR assessed and a narrative of summarized recommendations with priority status supporting suggested improvements.  Optionally and upon request, a proposal with a more detailed roadmap and services can be provided where specific areas of the business would benefit from additional expertise and extended support noted in the assessment report.

If you are a business leader that desires to better understand how HR could be elevated for an better workplace, an HR assessment is a very valuable tool to set impactful improvements in motion today!

Contact On Course HR to learn how you can schedule this service.