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Human Capital Management Part VI – Workforce Optimization

The Harv. Bus. Rev., Vol. 85, March 2007 at 115, article on human capital management practices has spawned several posts (See my posts of May 11, 2007 with the first 9 practices and May 28, 2007 with the final 14; as well as June 10, 2007 on Leadership; June 11, 2007 on Employee Engagement; and June 14, 2007 on Knowledge Accessibility.). Here are my references and comments on the practices under category four, “Workforce Optimization”:

1. Processes: “Work processes are well-defined, and training is effective” (See my posts of Feb. 6, 2007 with references cited about processes; and March 11, 2007 on initiatives compared to processes.).
2. Conditions: “Working conditions support high performance” (See my post of June 5, 2007 on architectural layout and references cited.).
3. Accountability: “High performance is expected and rewarded” (See my posts of Jan. 15, 2007 on three pernicious effects of bonuses; April 8, 2007 for three determinants of bonuses; May 23, 2007 on bonuses determined by business unit performance; Feb. 24, 2007 which questions whether more money leads to more work; April 27, 2007 on the mix of compensation elements; Nov. 24, 2005 weighting the various determinants of bonuses; as well as Feb. 19, 2006 and Jan. 15, 2007 for some weaknesses of bonus awards.).
4. Hiring: “Hires are chosen on the basis of skill; new hires complete a thorough orientation.” (See my post of April 27, 2006 about on-boarding a new general counsel.).
5. Systems: “Employee performance management systems are effective” (See my posts of Feb. 15, 2006 on the shift from mere evaluations to performance management; and Sept. 25, 2006 which distinguishes performance management from training, coaching, mentoring and organizational development.).

The omissions from “workforce optimization” that struck me are that (1) there is no mention of technology as an aid for the workers, (2) nothing suggests that the structure and organization of a law department affects productivity, and (3) demand management – how you can influence what comes to the workforce – has no mention.

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