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Are you in on it?

The HR Secret


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Have You Heard of Work Levels? Work Levels are used by some of the most successful organisations on the planet to underpin key management processes such as job design, organisation design and assessment. Work Levels; it is what leaders of such organisations as Unilever, Axa, Tesco and Tata Group can describe as their ‘competitive advantage’.

Work Levels is a holistic system that sees work and people as two sides of the same coin. As such, there’s a dynamic link between the contribution of a job and the required capability of the person to meet the challenge. The end result is that accountabilities are clearly defined and people are placed into jobs where they can make their maximum contribution.

Work Levels starts by clearly segmenting the world of work into different value-adding levels of contribution. Contribution describes the purpose, accountabilities and main outputs of the job. At each successive level, value is added to the work carried out above and below. This value-add is expressed as level specific accountabilities.

Work Levels is so powerful and yet so unfamiliar that it can really be described as HR’s best-kept secret.

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Dynamic Link- Solution Architects We're different from other providers because we use a Work Levels methodology, backed by online tools, that enables measurement, audit and risk assessment. Through this methodology we make the dynamic link between people and jobs. This is a simple connection that is directly relevant in today’s information/knowledge economy.

Align people and jobs Identify potential and build a talent inventory Develop leaders Create sustained success and high performance

Our solutions suite provides organisation design, job design, efficient resourcing processes and assists with the whole talent management agenda. The tools and diagnostic methods are designed to be used inhouse by HR practitioners and line managers. Used as a complete system they can:

Our Profound Difference By profiling people and jobs using consistent dimensions and a common language it is possible to measure the extent of the match.

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Aligning People and Jobs ‘People’ and ‘Jobs’ have become disconnected concepts. This is akin to the unhelpful mind-body split in medicine and there are many negative consequences. With the different measurement technologies of psychometrics and job evaluation, it is as if jobs are measured in units of weight and people in terms of height. As a result, HR processes and methods are often disjointed and, at worst, can be time-consuming hindrances to line managers. Using Work Levels, Dynamic Link identifies how to align people and jobs. This enables an integrated approach to managing and organising people.

Conditions and Challenges Faced Increasing labour costs Need to engage and motivate the workforce Need to build capability that is not easily replicated by the competition

Areas of Work Level Application Job design Matching people to jobs Identifying measures and ratios that show Resource Utlisation

Outcomes Minimising of role overlap and clarification of accountabilities Prevention of accountability gaps Informed selection decisions when matching key people to critical roles Targeted and cost effective development activities

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Identifying Potential and Building an Inventory of Talent Profiling the potential of people in order to identify future high-fliers is a black art practiced by a few but with generally little to back up their predictions. Dynamic Link cuts through any consultancy mystique that surround the subject of identifying potential by using Work Levels to identify the 'mental models' and perspectives that are required to undertake different types of work. Using this it is possible to build a complete talent inventory that covers both current capability and growth potential.

Conditions and Challenges Faced Difficult to separate performance from potential leading to Peter Principle and executive derailment

Areas of Work Level Application Reviewing/appreciating nal talent

inter-

Outcomes Retention of key people and improved utilisation of internal resources

Identifying future requirements Cost savings

Need to retain top talent especially in the event of downsizing Need to reduce costs associated with external hires

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Identifying ‘high potential’ populations or ‘top talent’ Clarifying which jobs are ‘Business Critical Positions’

Informed selection decisions when matching key people to critical roles Targeted and cost effective development activities


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Leadership Development Managing constant change has been a theme for a decade or more. Dealing with volatility and discontinuous change is a much more recent phenomenon. If tomorrow is not the same as yesterday what do leaders draw upon to help guide and to make wise decisions? Clearly past experience is not the answer. Being a leader in this new context demands the ability to make sound judgements in situations of increasing complexity and uncertainty. Work Levels methodologies enable organisations to appreciate their leadership capability and potential and provide effective feedback to individuals and teams.

Conditions and Challenges Faced

Areas of Work Level Application

Environment of continuous change, uncertainty and ambiguity

Identifying leadership requirements

Increased competition, regulation and power of stakeholders

Appreciating whether an individual can lead at increasing levels of complexity and make sound judgements

A search for competitive advantage

Providing opportunities that stretch the capability of leaders

Increasingly complex working relationships

Establishing a climate of high performance Coaching leaders

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Outcomes Seizing market opportunities through having the appropriate leadership resource An increase in self awareness of leaders Linkage of development of high potential people to real business opportunities Identification of gaps and development plans


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Creating Sustained Success and High Performance Organisations The absolute foundation for organisational success is ensuring that jobs are clearly defined. However in many organisations, jobs often have unclear responsibilities, fuzzy or overlapping accountabilities and subjective measures that do not promote team work. Dynamic Link has developed job and organisational design principles that are applicable to all enterprises including those undergoing profound change. These principles are derived from the research that identified that in any organisation, from military ones to global corporations, there is a finite number of Work Levels required depending upon the purpose of the entity.

Conditions and Challenges Faced

Areas of Work Level Application

Outcomes

Ensuring that mergers and acquisitions deliver the planned benefits and synergies

Defining roles and accountabilities

Increased efficiency and effectiveness leading to a reduction in the amount of duplicated work

Aligning organisation structure and environmental demands

Downsizing Creating flexibility Increased competition Scarce resources

Defining structures and management layers

Role clarity including the effective linkages and relationships between roles

Reviewing reporting lines and relationships

Optimisation of organisation structures Diverse, flexible workforce

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Publications Russell Connor & Peter Mackenzie-Smith. The Leadership Jigsaw - finding the missing piece - Business Strategy Review, 2003, Volume 14 Issue 1, pp 59-66 Russell Connor. Responsible Governance and Human Resource Management: the connection- Developing HR strategy, July 2009, Issue number 27 published by Wolters Kluwer (Ltd) Kingston. Russell Connor. The Credit Crunch: You get what you pay for and other important lessons- Developing HR strategy, November 2009, Issue number 28 published by Wolters Kluwer (Ltd) Kingston. Russell Connor and Rosemarie McGuire. Job Description and Person Specification Alignment - The unlikely hero in the search for high performance. Developing HR strategy, published July 2010, Issue number 29 by Wolters Kluwer (Ltd) Kingston. Russell Connor. The HR Secret. Developing HR Strategy, to be published November 2010, Issue number 30 by Wolters Kluwer (Ltd) Kingston.

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Principal Consultants Russell Connor, BSc (Hons.), Chartered Fellow, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Diploma in Counseling and Psychotherapy Russell has over 30 years experience of working and consulting for both national and multi-national organisations. Through this he has built an integrated approach to attracting, developing, motivating and rewarding people. He has been influenced by the ideas that come under the broad umbrella of ‘Socio-technical Systems’ and particularly by the work of Elliott Jaques. It was at the London School of Economics that Russell was first introduced to the pioneering thoughts of Elliott Jaques and, many years later, was reintroduced to his work through an association with the Brunel Institute of Organisation and Social Science. Elliot Jaques’ work provides the foundation for a total system of effective organisation and managerial leadership in the 21st century and his ideas have been highly influential in the design and development of a number of top organisations. Russell has simplified the use of the original framework and has extended the concepts. Together with his team, he is unlocking the potential of Jaques’ ideas.

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Rosemarie McGuire, BA, SHRP and PhD. Candidate Rosemarie has over 25 years experience of working in Human Resources both as a management consultant and at the Global Vice President Human Resources level. Throughout her career she has held a special interest in the role that a strategic human resources agenda plays in organizational performance. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Rosemarie is now completing her PhD at the London Metropolitan University where her concentration will be on the link and contributory effects of work levels and relational capital on organizational performance. Rosemarie brings to Dynamic Link’s clients a holistic approach to solutions and services.

Contacts Dynamic Link Ltd UK, Suite 2, 16-25 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS Phone 0800 032 5096 Contact: Russell Connor, Managing Director on +44 (0)7879 448634 Email - r.connor@dynamic-link.com

The HR Secret Brochure  

This provides an overview of the benefits of a management system that can be summarised as Work Levels

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