How to Partner with HR to Solve Business Problems
As an HR consulting and outsourcing firm, from time to time we run across people who don’t understand the purpose or value of Human Resources. When we explore further, we learn they view the HR function as hiring, firing, and payroll. While hiring, firing, and payroll are important that's not all HR can do for your organization. If you want to learn more, read about our case study below on how HR can change business challenges for the better.
Client Case Study
Problem: Ineffective Sales Operation
We worked with a client who was struggling with business development for their small business. They believe they have a good product, good technology, and superior intellectual property, but they’ve struggled to bring their solution to market in a way that grows their customer base and generates a consistent revenue stream. This is clearly a sales problem, maybe an operations and marketing problem, and if it intensifies, it will cause financial problems. Often times when salespeople don't work out, it's because they fail to understand the product, they don’t mesh well with the company culture, or other departments aren’t set up to partner effectively with sales.
Are you wondering how HR fits in?
I know what you are probably thinking, HR will tell you that they care "hire a good salesperson". And yes, that is where we started, but it was much more than that. Everything I just mentioned is a human capital problem because people are at the root of it all.
HR Consulting Solution
- First, we started with gaining an understanding for the business, how it operates and the company culture. The foundational awareness is important to be able to accurately portray the business to potential candidates and approach other elements of the engagement.
- We reviewed and ultimately, redesigned the sales compensation plan to incorporate incentives that were market competitive and motivating to increase attraction and retention.
- We revamped the employee onboarding experience to be more intentional upfront on training and education for smoother assimilation into the organization. We developed a new hire mentoring program along with other activities and processes to help with the learning curve.
- Next, we partnered with the hiring manager to develop job advertisements and job descriptions that pinpointed the relevant industry experience and skills needed for the role. We proactively sourced passive candidates and developed behavioral interview questions that tested product knowledge, cultural alignment, and overall sales aptitude. We also identified valid and reliable pre-hire assessments to help identify the type of sales skills necessary to be successful.
- To address the bigger cross-functional issue, we pulled in organizational development consultants at Helios to review the workflows and communications across departments. By conducting focused interviews, we identified the need for someone from the development team to sit in on sales meetings to hear first hand from clients. We established the need for implementing detailed account plans to capture critical information in a systematic way across departments, and that everyone could benefit from communication training across generations.
- Lastly, all of these behaviors need to be reinforced continuously. We tied the desired behaviors to performance conversations and encouraged managers to coach employees to these skills and behaviors to accomplish their business goals.
After our project was completed, our client reported back they met their annual sales revenue goal for the first time in three years and is on track to accomplish their 5-year strategic plan.
Our intention of sharing this case study was to hopefully help expand your awareness to the impact a strong HR team can make in your business. You may already have this capability in-house with your existing team. When HR is given insight into organizational challenges and empowered to play a larger role in identifying solutions to your human capital problems, growth happens.
So think about it, what can HR do for your biggest business problems?