Strategic Human Capital Insights

6 Fundamental Organizational Structures Your Organization Can’t Live Without

Posted by Joanne Flynn

10/3/19 12:15 PM


Would you build a house without a sturdy foundation? When I speak with start-up-to-growth companies about how they value robust organizational structures, the first response is typically, “We don’t want to introduce anything into our organization that makes us look like big, old-fashioned companies.” 

I can understand their sentiment, however, by simply dismissing anything that appears to be ‘big company focused’, are you eliminating fundamental best practices that work for all organizations.  The trick is to introduce the best practices that create a good structural foundation without introducing the additional layers of bureaucracy that can negatively encumber a start-up-to-growth company.  So how do you manage the proper balance? 

Here are 6 Organizational Structures Your Company Can No Longer Do Without



Every organization that has more than five people needs an organization chart.  The organizational chart captures how the organization is structured, who reports to whom, and who is functionally responsible and accountable for each task.  When a company is small, people often wear many hats. They are busy doing a lot of different things, but likely not accountable for specific functions.  A company without an organization chart is potentially an entity that is busy but chaotic and focused on getting things done now with a potential accountability gap.

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Topics: Human Resources, human asset management, human asset management strategy

Why You Need to Integrate the Job Description Into Your Performance Review Process

Posted by Joanne Flynn

8/19/19 2:15 PM

As you prepare for a robust performance review discussion with your employee, you will likely encounter at least one of the following situations:

  • That’s not my job
    The employee who should be doing more tasks but has conveniently reshaped their job to include the functions they enjoy doing and eliminate the functions they don’t like or don’t know how to do
  • It takes two people to do one person’s job
    The employee who has the knowledge and skills to perform the tasks and responsibilities of the full job description but doesn’t have the confidence to do those tasks and responsibilities at 100%, on their own, without constant reinforcement from the manager or other employees.
  • The helicopter manager syndrome
    The employee who can perform their tasks and responsibilities when the manager hovers over them, but the minute the manager stops hovering, the caliber of the work slips again. This employee can do the job, but either can’t or won’t sustain peak performance on their own.


What do all these employees have in common?  They are all busy doing work but, when measured against the the job description benchmark, they all fall short of ideal performance. 

In a recent meeting with managers, we were discussing the elements of conducting a successful performance review meeting and the following questions came up:

  • How do we hold an employee accountable for increased performance?

  • What if the employee thinks they are doing a great job and doesn’t agree with us?

  • How do we keep the conversation from going around in circles and not achieving consensus or agreement on performance standards?

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Topics: Human Resources, human asset management strategy, job description, performance review

Why Job Descriptions Should be at the Center of Your Organization

Posted by Joanne Flynn

5/16/19 2:00 PM


Why do organizations invest time and effort into continuous process improvement and stop there? When the responsibility for continuous process improvement is driven by people, shouldn’t there also be an aligned Human Asset Continuous Improvement Loop for the people who drive the process?


How often do the following questions come up?

  • Why aren’t my people coming up with solutions to problems they encounter?
  • Why can’t employees see beyond the next step?
  • Why isn’t the quality control / assurance function as proactive as it should be?
  • What has happened to the disappearing skills of:
    • Trend Spotting?
    • Problem Identification?
    • Problem Solving?
    • Critical Thinking?
  • Why aren’t people planning, recommending and thinking about business impact analysis?
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Topics: Human Resources, Organizational Alignment, human asset management strategy

2015 Survey Results: Evaluating the Global Business of HR

Posted by Joanne Flynn

7/8/15 2:00 PM

Human_ResourcesOver the past year, there has been a significant amount of research conducted on the challenges of meeting the workforce demands as we approach 2020. There is no doubt that organizations will face significant human capital challenges globally over the next five years.  One of the core issues emerging from this research is the critical role that HR has, can and should play in this human capital planning process.

Organizations globally are facing change and transformation in ways they have never experienced before.  The importance of having highly skilled employees ready to meet competitive challenges and accelerate business growth has never been more important to organizational sustainability and peak performance than it is today.  Human capital is being viewed from the lens of value creation and is now a strategic imperative. While the issues of human capital development are a core HR responsibility, the research shows that HR’s voice is not being heard as loudly as it should and that HR often does not have a seat at the table. 

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Topics: Human Resources

3 Ways to Improve Your Organization's HR Metrics

Posted by Joanne Flynn

6/24/15 10:30 AM

Why are HR Metrics
Having Such a Bad Time?

A recent report by Visier, “The State of Workforce Analytics 2014," states:

“Spreadsheets (48%) and HRIS reports (25%) are the most commonly used tools for workforce metrics and analytics – with low satisfaction rates. Only 5% are satisfied with spreadsheets, and just 15% with HRIS reports”

From their research, Visier produced the below model for assessing the impact of HR metrics and analytics.


You can improve your HR metrics by following some of the recommendations:

  1. Process is easier to measure – but MEASUREMENT SHOULD FOLLOW PURPOSE - it’s easy to measure processes like recruitment, retention and development.  It’s difficult to measure the motivation behind the process. So we end up measuring what we know we can easily measure rather than establishing the purpose behind the measurement.
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Topics: Human Resources

HR Has Evolved: 2 Human Resource Functions Redefined

Posted by Joanne Flynn

5/28/15 9:00 AM

The function of human resources (HR) means so many things to different people that, in many cases,  there is a resulting identity problem for HR.  There are mixed and sometimes unrealistic expectations of the HR function. Over the past decade, HR has attempted to rebrand itself to the point where the terminology is ambiguous! No wonder people outside HR are confused about what HR does.  The new word in vogue is Talent – and it is used to describe everything from Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, Talent Development, Talent Success, Talent Engagement and the list goes on.  HR is definitely evolving and going through rebranding at the same time. It is no surprise that the people whom HR serves may be confused about what HR does.  HR is now responsible for a number of functions that simply didn’t exist when I first started working in HR.  I remember when HR was the upgraded version of Personnel – but what has changed over the years?  The one change that the recent research does highlight is that the perception and value of HR has changed – the consensus view globally is that HR’s value is in steep decline. How can that be? It may be in the evolving perceptions of HR. 

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Topics: Human Resources

Where is HR's Seat at the Table?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

5/20/15 2:00 PM

HR_SuccessCurrent literature and corporate pronouncements continually state that Human Capital is a key business issue. Yet the current research data suggests that there is a significant disconnect between corporate pronouncements and reality.  The logic would assume that if human capital is indeed one of the top business issues, then HR, where that functional responsibility must reside, needs to be the strategic voice of human capital AND MUST have a seat at the strategic planning and implementation table.  Right now, the research data suggests otherwise.  Until HR is included in the organization’s business strategy discussions, we are all living in the comfortable but dangerous state of denial. 

There are many reasons for this alignment disconnect that we will explore in our HR as a Business Accelerator blog seriesbut it is necessary to evaluate two critical pieces of recently released research.  The research suggests that globally a deep organizational alignment disconnect exists between the business and HR.  And now is the time to address this situation, before this misalignment becomes a chasm too deep and wide to close.  If HR does have insights on the current state of the workforce, they are not being heard at the appropriate level. 

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Topics: Human Resources

Has HR Lost Its Golden Thread? Identify the Motivators for Employees

Posted by Joanne Flynn

5/13/15 9:00 AM

What is HR’s Business and How Does it Contribute to the Business?

What is the real role and contribution of HR?  The thread of people development within organizations is wrapped around the fabric of business. So what is the golden thread that unites business and people development?

In a series of blogs and online discussions, we will help facilitate and accelerate the delivery of solutions to weave the golden thread of HR into the fabric of the business.  Mike Smith and Carolyn Dare from and Joanne Flynn from Phoenix Strategic Performance will engage with you to address the themes that underpin the essence of HR.

What are the critical issues that keep business leaders awake at night?

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Topics: Human Resources

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