I would like to think of myself as more of an advanced HR professional versus a strategic expert, even though that is what the test indicated. Organizational design, communication, performance management, selection, staffing, retention, rewards, compensation, training, development, coaching, consulting, employee relations and conflict resolution was some of my strongest competencies. Back in 1993 I joined a small employee benefits firm which specialized in Section 125 plans and the administration. I was to open a retirement plan administration division; I started with the organizational design of the area.
In completing this task I needed to understand the business acumen and also take into consideration and customer goals. I designed the business strategies to focus on volume and customer service and not necessarily the cost of services or pricing. I was looking to accumulate as many clients as possible in a short time period. In the first year I communicated a few new policies, one was performance measurement. I used the self assessment and supervisory observation with a one-on-one evaluation which address performance and improvement; I also added the desire for return feedback.
Because we appeared to have a satisfactory way to judge performance we needed to address selection, staffing and retention of new and existing staff members. In the development stages of my original business plan, I decided what jobs would be available and then designed jobs descriptions and designed a compensation packages for each position. The second policy was communicated to the managers the guideline for staffing. Because we had a variety of technical needs, we were looking for specialist.
I put together a guide that gave them sample advertisements for human capital, with ads that were target specific to the KSAO we were looking for; I also outlined the advertising mediums established by the organization to use. This allowed the managers to have approved material to use immediately, rather than waiting for approval. This reduced understaffing during the critical tax season, which much of our work would focus. I set up a system that had pre approved technical communication letters and forms that were used by the staff to speed up the process.
If a communication letter or form was needed to be sent to a client it must go through the review process unless it has been pre approved. The more things we had pre approved the more productive the staff could be in day to day operations. This expedited response time for many issues that seemed to be standard issues across the client base. It was important to align the HR with the needs of the clients; the process is in a continual development stage. The compensation package that was put together addressed the reward system as well, at the end of each fiscal year we would evaluate the performance of the individual for the previous 12 months.
We developed a scorecard method, depending upon where your value was, would depend upon the annual bonus, which ranged from $2,500 to $10,000. The compensation package and bonus system was tied directly into training and development. If the staff logged in a specific number of hours in training programs set up by the different departments and outside organizations that offer web seminars, and off sight seminar. The internal training was set up to highlight regulatory issues as well; we had sexual harassment, team building and time management seminars.
The training was offered randomly enough to fit ever employees schedule and it was always on company time. I didn’t experience much coaching and consulting on my part other than I conducted seminars to help other organizations train their employees in the art of selling our product, this was because we were not a selling third party administrator. If a large brokerage firm for example needed to train their brokers on closing big pension deals, they would call on our organization to do free seminars. Obviously this was very smart on our part because we would also acquire business from them selling more effectively.
The internal structure of our organization ran well and we didn’t have much conflict resolution or employee relations problems. One thing I did well within the organization was future planning, looking into the future to implement change before you need to, being more proactive than reactive. The changes in the industry are easy to spot if you know what you are looking for. Our organization was process oriented; we utilized one side of the business to cross sell the other side, building a bridge between the two divisions of the organization.
Both groups shared the vision for growth within the organization, with guidance the divisions worked towards the same goal, overall success. Some of the other competencies I displayed were unquestionable integrity, leadership courage and an excellent sense of judgment. In the first year the new division broke even, this gave me credibility with the shareholders and employees. However I never had the pleasure of the global prospective, I did understand and appreciate diversity. Please see Appendix A for further comments on competency and where I would like to improve.
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