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Amy BC Tan
Amy is currently the Director for Centre of Organisational Effectiveness. She has more than 20 years of experience in human resource management and organisational development in various industries. She has held senior leadership positions with Nokia, Aon, Ministry of Manpower and Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee. She has led the transformation of the HR functions and several organisational development initiatives for several organisations. Amy is also certified as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, an accredited practitioner in executive coaching and psychological instruments such as MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator®), DiSC, Harrison Assessment and Belbin Team Roles.
Competency, Enablers, HR Strategy

The Future Challenges for the HR Practitioner

Before considering what the key skills for HR practitioners in the future will be, it is essential to identify the future challenges for the HR service.

The role of HR is changing as a result of many influences. These include: globalisation resulting in increased competition; a change to service- and consultative-approach; demographic trends evidenced by falling birth rates and extended life expectancy. These trends affect the labour market and have resulted in skill shortages in specific areas. The HR practitioner needs to understand the impact of these factors on his/her organisation.

Leadership, Staff Development

Don’t Procrastinate Feedback

During a leadership development workshop for senior officers, a CEO shared that he had initiated a feedback dialogue with his staff by applying the technique taught the day before. He told us that he had postponed and avoided giving feedback for this staff for many weeks, even though he sensed that his colleague was expecting to hear from him. The staff cried during the feedback session – not because he got scolded by his boss – because he was moved by his boss’ initiative and words.

Competency, Workforce Planning

Building the Muscles of Your Workforce

Running improvement projects in a wide variety of service organisations over the last couple of years, I had to relearn what I thought I had a good grasp of already. I had to restudy the basic drivers of productivity and process efficiency. Yes, it is certainly possible to drive productivity by process changes. Yes, IT can help to boost it even further. However, people often greatly underestimate an important source of productivity that we frequently leave untapped – humans. It is not about making your staff run faster to produce more in a certain amount of time. Rather, it is about what your team members do in that same amount of time. It is about their process efficiency.

Only 57% Spent on Core Activities

Process Efficiency with Focus on Workforce

Increase Process Efficiency with Focus on Workforce

An analysis of the working pattern of a group of scientists in a lab revealed that they spend only 57% of their working hours on their core activities. If they would not work overtime to catch up with their core work, this percentage would drastically decrease and the already low customer satisfaction would get even worse.

What do they do the rest of the time? Time study showed that they spend 18% of their time on secondary activities. These are support activities that are crucial to the core analysis. However, these activities does not require the qualification of a scientist. The remaining 25% is spent on administrative activities that could be done by someone you can hire from the next bus stop.

Consequently, they introduced a small admin team and conducted some job redesigning activities. With that, scientists gained time to catch up with their work with increased process efficiency and deliver higher customer satisfaction. Greater motivation was a side-effect, too.

Team of Four Delivers Job of 1.6 FTE

Process Efficiency Drops Due to Under-Utilising Manpower

Process Efficiency Drops Due to Under-Utilising Manpower

A team of four officers who process applications were surprised to see the result of their process map. They actually spend only 1.6 FTE (Full Time Equivalent = workforce of one full-time staff) altogether on their core activity. This activity is processing applications for corporate customers who need the approval in order to run their business. Sure, they have other important things to do. Looking deeper into the balance of 2.4 FTE, they discovered – supposedly similar to any other organisation – that a significant portion of their non-value-added time is spent in meetings. Often, all of them participate in the same meeting. This happens multiple times a week.

If each of them would only dedicate 10% more time on core activities by cutting down one to two meetings a week, they would together generate 2.0 FTE manpower. They would free up the equivalent to one more person with the same working pattern.


Driving process efficiency and productivity is and will always be each manager’s task. Before investing in IT solutions, redesigning processes or even hiring more staff, it may pay off to look into redesigning jobs after carefully analysing what your team members do with their time.

As a result you will gain productivity by enabling your workforce to add more value to your customers and your organisation. And, you may accomplish higher motivation and engagement, too.

Leadership, OD, Staff Development

Is Group Coaching Possible?

Coaching is about believing in someone and then taking action to help that person to be his or her very best.

Some months ago, the managing director of an MNC approached me to develop a team of four operations managers with some people and management skills. Three of them were promoted recently but have not had any formal leadership training. This is not unusual as we see this happen over and over again. He also shared that he would like me to conduct a one-on-one coaching for one of his managers. He wanted me to develop her leadership skills and especially her openness to change. However, the MD was afraid that this manager, let’s call her JJ, was not receptive to such intervention. We discussed and developed the plan to start with group coaching for his team of managers. This way, the one-on-one coaching for JJ could be “sold” as a logical next step after the group coaching experience.

Group Coaching for Building Trust

Group Coaching - Creating a Team to the Benefit of the Individual

Group Coaching – Creating a Team to the Benefit of the Individual

I adopted a structured approach, with predetermined content, a fix number of 3 hour sessions on a monthly basis. We started by agreeing on basic ground rules such as punctuality, confidentiality and commitment. During each session, I would cover a certain topic such as communication, feedback techniques, problem solving methodology or coaching for performance to equip these managers with practical skills and some tips out of my personal backpack. The session typically started by inviting each individual to share their own experience and, of course, issues encountered under the respective topic. Since the team was very small, it was easy to ensure everyone’s participation in the discussion and sharing. Our session did not end without agreeing on a commitment related to the topic and some preparation for the next meeting.

The first meeting was key for the success since I needed to get to know each one of them. And, it was carefully designed in a rather teaching than coaching manner since the managers needed to get comfortable with the process and with me, the coach. Being comfortable with each other does in no way imply trust. The group took a while to “warm up” to me. Only by the fourth meeting, I could see some results. Especially their commitment for trying out new behaviours at work had grown over time. Slowly, it became easier to discuss some rather personal topics. I recognised that is was of great importance to deliberate such topics in the group because they slowly built trust not only to me but even with each other.

Moving to Individual Coaching

JJ was holding back in the first 2 sessions. Only during the third session, she started to participate in the debate and even offered her own encounters on tackling some issues raised by her colleagues. By then, I could also sense that the other managers became more relaxed with her. I saw a growing trust and camaraderie among them. A matured leadership team who was able to use the collective wisdom of the group started to emerge.

At the same time, I recognised that each of the four was progressing at a different speed. I felt that I needed to give more space for some of them to speak, whereas the others were ready to move on. And, I was constrained by the available time. I did not want to jeopardise focus and fluidity of the session.
I discussed with the group and agreed that the remaining two meetings were to be done on a one-on-one basis. By then, all of them were very open to the idea and had no reservations whatsoever. The recently completed 360-degree leadership assessment came in as a great help for discussion. After the warm-up phase through the group coaching, it was very easy to work even with JJ on a one-on-one basis to come up with a personal development plan. We certainly had the coach-able moment.

JJ moved me with her parting words:

To be very honest, Amy, at the beginning I tried to avoid this coaching because I was not comfortable at all to go through this. And, I did not expect anything positive for myself. Now, I have to admit that this coaching did not only help me in my job, it improved my relationship with the other managers – we have a very good communication now, we have trust. Even our boss seems to react to what we shared with him about our learnings. Thank you very much.


Group coaching can benefit organisations and individuals (coachees) in many ways. Such benefits of group coaching for individuals include:

  • Peer Learning: some coachees may prefer a collaborative learning environment where they learn from the insights and contributions of peers. For coachees who are more introverted, the peer learning process may feel “less intimidating”. And, it provides more time for reflection and articulation of their insights.
  • Build Teaming Skills: setting aside time together for learning helps the group to deepen trust and collaboration among peers and across departments. At the same time coachees gain an understanding of the issues, motivations and intentions of colleagues and stakeholders. It also improves interpersonal support skills such as listening, questioning, coaching and feedback.

Benefits of group coaching for the organisation seem to be:

  • Cross-functional Exchange and Support for Culture Change: the conversations which ensue often create a web of relationships across teams. This leads to opportunities for the exchange of ideas and different perspectives across seemingly disparate groups. The new relationships often provide an important vehicle for culture change.
  • Return on Investment: many organisations have recognised the benefits of group coaching as a follow-on support to learning initiatives. It especially helps employees to apply what they have learnt and share feedback.
  • Scalability: For some organisations with an established or an evolving coaching culture, scalability is a key benefit of the group coaching approach. It can support cascading involvement of employees at all levels. For example, organisations may look to create group coaching for new managers or offer group coaching program to sustain the network & conversation after a training initiative.
Competency, Enablers, Staff Development

Manager as Coach

Coaching is a powerful style of leadership for developing people and enhancing business performance. Especially, with the rapid changes at workplaces, keeping employees’ committed and motivated during tough economic times seems like a tall task, especially after downsizing or programme cutbacks. Hence, it is evident that the very survival and success of any organisation depends on the human capital: people are highly knowledgeable, versatile, innovative and mobile. And, their skills and talents are the currency of competitiveness, and companies who hope to retain their services need to recognise that these individuals expect greater personal choice, autonomy and an active voice in the management of their workplace. A good coach knows that.

Coach is Helping Others to be Their very Best

Being a Coach is Helping Others to be Their very Best

The days of the command-and-control style of leadership are long over. Hence, leaders are required to engage the energy and thoughts of their teams in order to make them commit totally to a given course of action. Moreover, the process of coaching is ongoing and lifelong as learning is one of the few activities that one must frequently be engaged in as leaders sustain competitiveness through people development.

My experience is clear: If leaders get feedback, follow-up, and involve their co-workers in the change process, they get better. Marshall Goldsmith

Coaching as Part of Personal Mastery

For managers wishing to acquire confidence as a coaching manager, practicing feedback skills, both giving and receiving, is a good place to start.

Firstly we need to know more about ourselves, i.e. attain greater self-awareness. Because it is only when we can see ourselves as others are seeing us that we can interact effectively with others. As a manager and an individual, we need to improve personally as well. So, being able to ask for and receive feedback is extremely important. Many people miss the chance to improve themselves because they don’t know how to ask for feedback. Worse, when feedback is given, they may not know how to handle it.

Secondly, we need to learn how to help others to be successful. As a manager, we achieve success only when our people are successful. If we can develop them further, they will be even more productive and will contribute greater to the business. Thus, by being able to give feedback effectively, a manager contributes to continuous improvements in his colleagues. Teams and individuals that regularly receive useful inputs that they can then act upon will operate more purposefully and effectively.

How to Coach – the Coaching Style

Understanding Coaching: Coaching helps you to bring out the potential in your staff. The coaching process closes the gap between individuals’ or teams’ present level of performance and the desired one. This can happen within a single coaching session, or over a long cycle of sessions. As a coach-manager, you will develop your staff by mutually assessing performance, discussing the present situation, defining achievable goals, exploring new initiatives, and supporting your coachee in his plan of action. Coaching refers both to specific skills and encouragement of long-term development.

Why coaching: By coaching, managers release their own time, improve staff’s performance and enhance productivity of their organisations. Hence, coach and delegate more, and supervise less, to boost productivity and help team members fulfil their potential.

Selecting a coaching style: Sometimes people like clear directions and definite answers to their question. At times, we want to be involved in a dialogue about our own development and goals. Select the style most appropriate for the coachee.

  • Dominant (D) – Do As I tell you, do as I do
  • Influencing (i) – You can do it!
  • Steady/Sympathetic (S) – Do this better, what do you think?
  • Controlling (C) – Figure it out this way and why?

How to Communicate – the Communication Style

Our own personality characteristics regarding interacting with others influence and determine our style of coaching (DiSC). Our coaching style defines the way we communicate with our coachee. There are four communication styles for coaches: Amiable, Expressive, Driver and Analyst

  • Amiable: The amiable communication style tends to lead people by caring for others, providing support, and talking about the past.
  • Expressive: The expressive communication style tends to lead people by sharing ideas, concepts or theories, seeing all possibilities, motivating, inspiring, and focusing on coachee’s future.
  • Driver: The driver communication style tends to lead people by focusing on action, getting right to the point, and not wanting to wait.
  • Analyst: The analyst communication style tends to lead people by staying focused on facts, information, rules, and established procedures.
  • Developing coaching relationship: Autonomy, initiative, decisiveness and a sense of ownership for one’s work are essential for effective professionals. Encourage and develop these qualities in your staff to make them more receptive to a coaching approach. Treating them as partners fosters commitment and enterprise rather than compliance.

How to Coach – the Coaching Model

Initiating coaching: The first steps in the coaching cycle lay the foundations for its likely success. Be clear about when to start coaching, and how to structure and follow up a session. Coaching can be spontaneous or formal. It can be given on a one-off basis or can work long-term over many sessions. It may be requested by the coachee, or called for by the coach. The setting is important. There should be a sense of trust and mutual respect between both parties. Both parties should feel at ease in each other’s presence. Choose a quiet place and schedule sessions regularly for follow-up.

Using GAINS model: The GAINS model is a structured and simple way to shape and organise the coaching session.


Agree on a goal, make it specific and as SMART as possible

“I would like to improve my communication with my Director. I hope I will be more comfortable walking into his office and give him update or even feedback about his behaviour and leadership style, by end of this year.”


Help them understand what the current situation is. Between goal and assessment is the gap.

“Presently, whenever I see him, I just have the fear and can’t utter a word. I do not know why, even though my other colleagues have no problem.”


Explore possible actions to bridge the gap. What are some obstacles to consider?

“I thought of inviting him for lunch, and give him feedback over lunch. But I am afraid he may dominate the conversation or get angry with me. My colleagues have been hoping that I can do something about it since his leadership style has been affecting everyone’s morale. I really do not know how I should approach it. Another idea which I thought of is to go to his boss but I guess I will do it only if I do not intend to continue in this job…”

Next Steps

Aggress on actions to be taken.

“Okay, I will make appointment with his PA to have lunch together. I will not talk about the hot potatoes during the first lunch meeting. The first meeting shall be my first relationship building step, to gain his trust and to start talking with him.”


Offer support to coachee, and enable coachee to take responsibility and commit to achieving the goal.

“Can I try out with you first? Can you be my boss?”

Coaching moves people from awareness to responsibility to action and results. If there are no actions and results, the coaching is not considered effective.

Coaching is Giving Support

Finally, the last part in developing people or leading people to be more effective toward higher performance is that managers need to be supportive. Two aspects of the supportive model are the skill and knowledge support (can do) and motivation support (will do). Therefore, managers and coachees need to jointly work on and identify the clues by asking the following questions:

  1. What is the obstacle?
  2. Which competencies are missing?
  3. What is the symptom of the obstacles?
  4. Which opportunities for development present themselves?


Most of us have had at least one good boss in our work history. And, we believe these bosses may possess some competencies of a good coach. Here are the top 10 competencies of a good coach.

A coach is

  1. highly competent in establishing relationships,
  2. a creator of ‘coachable’ moments,
  3. a quick reader of human context,
  4. a masterful contextual listener,
  5. a masterful facilitator of discovery,
  6. a ‘laser’ articulator of information,
  7. an efficient and effective gap delineator and bridger,
  8. a ‘stretch’ requestor,
  9. a consciously competent celebrator of human accomplishment and
  10. the best of being teacher, trainer, facilitator, advisor, coach, mentor or leader depending on the needs of the individual


In conclusion, to be a good coach is hard work. Hence, it takes a lot of practice and requires continuous self-development. However, the journey as a coach is a long but rewarding one. How will we know when we have arrived?

With the best of leaders, When the work is done, The project is completed,
The people all say, ‘We did it ourselves.’ Lao Tzu


Cases, Workforce Planning

Balancing Customer Satisfaction and Productivity

Your staff members complain about having too much work. The proportion of people on short-term sick-leave is consistently above average. And, the turnover rate is disturbingly high. Do these symptoms indicate that you need to increase your staffing? However, the average number of daily transactions processed shows that your staff should be able to easily handle the volume. Comparing takt time and processing time does not lead to any obvious issue. So, what is the problem?

Understanding Variation is Key

A Medical Service Provider (MSP) in Singapore was facing this kind of problem. After basic analysis on takt time for key staff like nurses and comparing it with the typical processing time for steps they perform, the conclusion was sobering for the management: there are ENOUGH nurses!

The second level of analysis was concentrated on understanding the demand pattern, i.e. the number of customers over time. Fortunately, the full set of data from January to December was readily available for analysis.

Understanding the Demand Pattern

Everyone expects a certain pattern of demand over weekdays, and anticipates peak demand on Fridays. And everyone would assume that most walk-in customers show up around lunch time – similar to many other service providers. This knowledge is used for the allocation of the workforce for different weekdays and for the opening hours over a day. And, this is what the management of this service provider does very professionally. However, this did not result in higher customer satisfaction nor employee motivation. Why?

The real problem lies in the variation of the demand pattern.

Takt time - Boxplot of No of Customers per Day of Week

Figure 1: Boxplot of No of Customers per Day of Week

The average number of customers on a Friday is 264 with a minimum of 200 and a maximum of 391. An additional factor that contributes to the variation is the inhomogeneous distribution of customer requests over a day. On an average Friday, there are about 15 customers between 10:00h and 11:00h. This can be down to a minimum of five and up to a maximum of 36. Given a treatment time of about 15 minutes, this means in this specific time interval on the same day of the week, there is a need to have a minimum of two nurses and a maximum of nine.

Understanding Takt Time

Takt time is an indicator specifying the available time per customer request. I.e. if you expect 200 customers per day and you are “open for business” for 10 hours, takt time equals to three minutes per customer. All process steps involved need to be done within takt time. Consequently, process steps exceeding takt time require multiple resources, i.e. a process step that takes around 15 minutes requires at least five, better yet six resources.

This variation leads to lull times when it looks like staff is idle with the conclusion of resources being wasted. And, at peak times, long queues with a waiting time up to an hour lead to low customer satisfaction rating and perception of poor service.

Looking at the variation in demand can only reveal part of the problem’s causes. The other part lies in the variation of processing time of treatment procedures that are quasi standard. In fact, they are not. Observation has shown that the typical treatment time by nurses of around 15 minutes can be shortened only minimally. Bit it can easily take much longer resulting in a nurse being busy attending to one customer for much longer than planned. Yet, the procedure for the treatment seems to be quite the same for all customers. Thus on some days even having the right number of nurses on shift for the number of customers arriving leads to a shortage due to treatment time variation, i.e. long waiting time and lower customer satisfaction.

All the above mentioned facts reveal a massive gap between customer demand and workforce planned to meet this demand. It is extremely difficult to balance between reducing waste caused by overstaffing and having frustrated customers and employees caused by understaffing the process. How to close this gap?

Fighting and Accommodating Variation is Possible

No workforce planning is able to accommodate this kind of situation completely. The approach to solve this sort of issue is complex. It involves reducing variation in demand and in treatment time on the one hand. On the other hand, it requires a very flexible approach to workforce allocation – be it employees or be it external support staff.

“Train” Your Customer

Firstly, customer demand variation is hard to completely overcome but almost always somewhat controllable. An appointment system can help reducing the demand variation or, at least, make the variation more predictable. Our Medical Service Provider has introduced some incentives to “sell” the appointment idea, if customers do not use this system although they could. A fast-track lane for appointment customers with some small benefits like less waiting time will serve as an encouragement. It comes as an advantage for MSP that their customers are mostly recurring, i.e. they can be “trained” over time.

Figure 2: Variables Leading to Workforce Needs

Figure 2: Variables Leading to Workforce Needs

Turn Waiting into Entertainment

Secondly, managing customers’ expectations of waiting time can lead to less frustration during the queuing process. There is a difference between a bare white waiting room full of annoyed customers and a more conducive waiting area with TV screens and internet portals as well as some toys for kids. MSP is running TV programmes and movies on the screens in the waiting area to inform and entertain their customers.

Change Mindset of Staff

Thirdly, running a large scale service centre has an advantage compared to a small clinic with one doctor and one nurse. The larger service centre has more staff who. If utilised flexibly they will be able to balance workload between separate steps of the whole process. The impact of our demand variation problem can be dramatically reduced by overcoming the mindset of “this is my job and that one is your job”. MSP has introduced a skills upgrade programme that enables, for example, registration staff to support nurses or nurses to perform doctors’ tasks. As a side-effect, the sense of teamwork and the One-MSP mindset have greatly increased.

Introduce Flexible Work Hours

Fourthly, a flexible shift scheme is another way of balancing workload. MSP has abolished the two shift system that was not really representing the typical sequence of customer arrivals. They have developed a more flexible system directly following the weekly and daily demand patterns.

Cover Peak Periods with External Staff

And lastly, in order to avoid having too many staff on the payroll just for covering peak periods MSP has contracted a manpower agency with MSP-approved temp staff, who come in mostly following a long-term plan. Additionally, this agency is even able to provide support on a very short-term basis to cover for unforeseen surge in demand.

Furthermore, MSP continuously apply modern process excellence approaches to streamline the treatment process and unlock hidden potential.


In service functions where demand is less predictable and tasks show more intrinsic variation, workforce planning needs a good understanding of the drivers – the variables – for workforce fluctuation and their impact. It is not possible to overcome the variation patterns in demand and process completely. However, a drastic reduction of the gap between demand and supply of workforce is definitely achievable. To achieve this needs Human Resources and Process Stakeholders working closely together. Apart from cost savings, increase in employee motivation and customer satisfaction will be the pay-off.

As Featured On EzineArticles

Competency, HR Strategy, Innovation, Lean Six Sigma

Beyond HR Data Analytics – Competencies HR Professionals Should Possess

Given today’s need for HR professionals to be strategic business partners, to be a ‘Voice of Conscience’ to the CEO as well as champion for the employees. Those with background in proven management methodologies and tools have a great advantage. HR Professionals who can present their business case for HR strategies and interventions with a compelling return on investment, supported by rock-solid data, will be well respected and regarded. Understanding and using HR data analytics including basic statistics to convey messages goes a long way. Making proper use of HR data may help to identify drivers for staff satisfaction, staff turnover or staff engagement.

However, HR data analytics needs to have proper links to the business. Metrics used for the analytics have to be vital to the organisation. Rather than wasting money and time to collect data for the trivial many, the HR data analytics should link to the vital few.

Contributing to HR Data Analytics – Metrics Design

It is important to distinguish which metrics are truly adding value to the organisation. Few HR professionals have confidence that their measurement systems provide line managers with the information they need to make critical workforce decisions. Often their metrics do not even link to the corporate strategy and are unsuitable for contributing to improvement in overall business performance. Measuring for measurement’s sake is a time consuming waste.

Translating VOC to CTQ for HR Data Analytics

Figure 1 – Translating VOC to CTQ

To determine which metric should be part of HR data analytics it is imperative to understand strategic initiatives as well as the organisation’s needs. There are simple yet valuable tools to help translating the needs of your organisation into metrics. This is the basis for identifying and closing gaps hence contributing to business results.

Voice of the Customer (VOC, Figure 1) is a structured multi-step process focusing on capturing the voices of HR’s customers – leaders and staff of your organisation – and translating it into CTQs (Critical to Quality), metrics and actions.

Prioritising Metrics for Data Analytics

Kano Diagram (Figure 2) is a simple yet powerful tool used to prioritise Customer Needs. Firstly, Musts are expected by your internal customers. By not delivering on Musts, dissatisfaction is inevitable. Hence, there is no need for reinforcements on them. Secondly, The-More-The-Better are satisfiers. More providence on these will contribute to satisfaction. Any form of deficiency will definitely create dissatisfaction. Thirdly, Delighters are representatives of a special set of requirements that can contribute vastly to satisfaction if received and diminutive disappointment if they are not present. They are difficult to detain since the customers usually don’t even think of them due to the minimal expectancy from them.

Kano Diagram for Prioritisation of CTQs for HR Data Analytics

Figure 2: Kano Diagram for Prioritisation of CTQs

VOC and Kano are just an extension of what many organisations do anyway: capturing the employee satisfaction. Unfortunately, not everybody plays by the rules. In other words, they rather draw conclusions on high-level data without going to the root causes. The result is often not sustainable.

Benchmarking is a field that numerous HR professionals recognise. Benchmarking involves the process of comparing operations/departments within an organisation to each other or with other organisations. Metrics drawn from CTQs can assist benchmarking an organisation regarding their internal customer satisfaction.

Understanding the Drivers

Another tool is Process Mapping (SIPOC, Value-Added Analysis). SIPOC maps Suppliers, Inputs, Process Steps, Outputs and Customers of any given process. This can be a core business process or an HR process. The benefit of a SIPOC is in the high-level understanding of the process and its metrics that drive CTQ metrics. Figure 3 illustrates the effect of  a recruitment process. It flags out potential reasons for long turnaround time.

SIPOC for Recruitment Process

Figure 3: SIPOC for Recruitment Process

After studying the processing time of each of the steps, it became obvious that “Shortlisting” consumed a considerable portion of the processing time. Why?

Digging into the details of this process the team found that one of their HR officers performed batching. She kept all the recruitment files until end of the week and tried to complete them on each Friday. If the workload was too much, she kept the remaining of the files until the following Friday…

Such findings are everywhere waiting for you to find. They are easy to embark upon and to resolve once the root cause is clear. However, resolving the issue is only part of the task. The other – sometimes even more important – part of the task is to promote innovative solutions and to encourage cross-departmental learning, managing the change.


For Lean Six Sigma professionals, all this is not new. They are trained in all the above-mentioned tools, and they are able to use them wisely. Today, we put more emphasis on using data for decision making. Why not consider having HR professionals with Lean Six Sigma skills? Just sending our HR staff to HR data analytics training without giving them the rest of the tools is like buying a data plan for the hand phone without a handset that can really make use of it.

HR professionals with knowledge of data analytics can deliver better service to their customers – their leaders and colleagues. Identifying requirements and gaps, analysing, improving and innovating processes as well as measuring the performance long-term to sustain the gains applies to all business processes, including HR.

HR Professionals with Lean Six Sigma knowledge are an added advantage for any organisation embarking on achieving a strategic HR role.

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