If We Know What Makes our Best People Tick, We could Select, Develop and Promote Talent

Roger E. Jansen, SVP & CHRO, Spectrum Health System

Roger E. Jansen, SVP & CHRO, Spectrum Health System

How have you relied on the best of breed solutions to steer transformational initiatives within your organization?

Every company seems to have a competency model. However, most of the time it is built around some leadership theory or through what is the current trend. At Spectrum Health we took a different route. We wanted to identify what distinguished our highest performers from everyone else. The thinking here is that if we know what makes our best people tick, we could do a better job of selecting, developing and promoting talent within our organization. Thus, we were able to get away from just a general approach to competencies and build something that was tailor-made to what makes Spectrum Health successful. To do this we utilized a “High Performance Blueprint” or HPB. The process required us to spend some initial time upfront  differentiating between our high, average and low performers. However, because performance review scores were fairly  indistinguishable between the groups, we had to rely on other metrics and subjective factors to make our cutoffs.

"If we know what makes our best people tick, we could do a better job of selecting, developing and promoting talent within our organization"

HR solutions to improve effectiveness

We have been utilizing unique approaches to traditional HR solutions to help us produce more meaningful business outcomes.  For example, our traditional performance review had been really a “check the box” type of activity that did little to  differentiate performance. We turned the process on its head by only assessing the information we obtained from our HPB and  then using that information to drive 9-box placement. Thus, the performance review became something that was incorporated  into an entire talent management strategy and plan, rather than a simple once a year exercise.

Technology trends impacting HR function

Technology is critical to our emerging and current workforce. The ability to use social platforms and mobile technology to  share information, learn from others and experience and address issues and opportunities more collaboratively and in “real  time” is the next leap.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

I would want a more integrated approach to talent management. Each vendor has a piece of the pie, but nobody has really put  it altogether. It would be great to have different vendors collaborate more to bring more unified and integrated solutions to  the table. Additionally, having technology that was more seamless with how people actually work via smartphones, offsite  locales, etc. will be critical to how the new workforce engages their days and work.

My roles and responsibilities as a CHRO

The role of CHRO is changing significantly as a result of many factors. However, I believe the most critical is that the   laying field on almost every other level is being leveled. The only true differentiator that any organization has is its  people. Thus, the questions are moving not to WHAT we should do ; but WHO do we have doing it.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow HR executives

I realized that technology is only useful if it enables an already worthwhile process. Making the performance review more  interesting visually or engaging matters only if the performance reviews process worked in the first place. People who build  HR technology should really look at what works to begin with and help make that better. It seems too often people build a  solution and look for a problem to solve. Let’s get back to basic principles about human behavior and organizational effectiveness and then build tools to enable that.