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HR Critical to Align Workforce Performance With Organizational Goals
The human resources function is critical to optimize workforce performance and connect learning with organizational goals and objectives in the manufacturing industry, according to a new PeopleSoft customer survey on human capital management (HCM).
Some 75 percent of the 300 manufacturing line managers, executives and PeopleSoft HCM customers polled for the survey were unsatisfied with the tools they currently have in place to track and manage employee productivity. “In the old world of manufacturing, we looked at people as a cost, and what we measured was efficiency,” said Carol Ptak, vice president of manufacturing strategy, PeopleSoft. “We measured the number of parts per output. The problem is, today we need to have the measurements from our people be specific to what’s going to benefit the company. As an individual’s performance ranking improves, for example, they have learned more skills, and that gives me more flexibility in the company. If I have more flexibility in the company, then I can produce a higher variety of goods at a lower cost, which means that I can drive my revenues up. HR professionals today are looking for more than those simplistic measures. They’re not just looking for the metrics, but the context for them.”
“As we take a look at the concept of supply chain, having the right part to the right manufacturing line at the right time, more and more of these manufacturers are saying, ‘I want to make sure I have the right person on the floor at the right time as well,’” said Jason Averbook, director HCM product marketing. “This leads to workforce optimization tools, which also leads into training tools. How am I going to train these people, and how am I going to monitor their performance? Manufacturers used to be focused on monitoring the performance of their machines; now they’re looking at tools to monitor the performance of their people, the people chain.”
Contrary to popular thought, Averbook said that manufacturers do not care more about their supply-chain systems than their HR systems. This statement was confirmed by survey results, which state that 60 percent of manufacturing executives think that they lack the ability to tie specific employee goals to productivity. “That statement about the 60 percent of executives who think they lack the ability—they do,” said Averbook. “That’s where we’re helping HR implement systems and learn to help tie employees directly to those productivity goals. An example: If I go ahead and train people that make cell phones, and that training ties directly on a just-in-time basis to the output and quality goals of my manufacturing clients, I can immediately see an impact of my training on my output. That’s where HR and learning can really make a difference.”
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