Human Capital Development



Case Study 1: Enhancing the Performance Management System

The problem

A prominent charity in the healthcare sector found that its performance management system was outdated and not accurately assessing or driving the required competencies in its staff. There was a disproportionate focus on achieving results due to the multitude of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the existing assessment framework, which did not necessarily ensure that things were done the right way. In addition, many of the these KPIs were not well-aligned to the organisation’s goals and vision, as well as its mission-focused nature as a Voluntary Welfare Organisation.

How we helped

As part of a larger journey to transform its human resource capabilities, the organisation approached aAdvantage for help to revamp its performance management system and digitise the appraisal process. Advocating a balanced performance management framework consisting of Core Competencies and KPIs, we started with a Cultural Values Assessment Survey to scope out how employees felt about the current culture in the organisation, versus what they saw as the desired state. To further unpack the findings from the survey, we conducted focus group sessions with groups of staff spanning different job functions and levels, and interviewed the management team, to glean deeper insights into key focal areas affecting the way employees worked together in the organisation and what they felt the ideal behaviours were to support the desired culture.

Based on these inputs, alongside an understanding of the organisation’s core values, we mapped out six Core Competencies and developed a comprehensive and detailed matrix of expected behaviours for each of the Core Competencies, differentiated across four broad but distinct job levels. This marked a shift away from the existing framework where behavioural expectations were the same for all staff in the organisation and generic in nature. We also conducted multiple working sessions with representatives from various departments to refine each job position’s KPIs, many of which were either load-based (e.g. no. of patients served) or task-based (e.g. submission of report), and did not necessarily drive the desired outcomes. Using a Balanced Scorecard Approach, we ensured that what employees were measured on were SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound) and aligned to the departments’ and organisation’s goals.

To ensure the change was executed well, we engaged all levels of stakeholders along the way, from presentations to the HR council at the Board level, to regular checkpoint meetings with the senior management and project teams, as well as a large-scale communications session to all staff to explain the changes and rationale behind the change. We also conducted performance management training sessions to equip HODs with the knowledge on how to assess Core Competencies and skills to manage difficult conversations with staff. We further ensured a seamless transition from the existing pen-and-paper appraisal process to an online performance management system provided by our partner, SurbanaJurong, by facilitating the set-up and managing liaisons between the organisation and SurbanaJurong.

The benefits

Through the enhanced performance management system, staff in the organisation benefited from greater clarity in performance expectations and a more objective, balanced approach to assessing performance (i.e. mixture of qualitative and quantitative outcomes). The entire system was also made more robust, with better alignment between the organisation’s goals and individual/departmental expectations, while the e-appraisal system also generated greater convenience through real-time tracking of appraisal statuses, automated calculation and tabulation of scores, and electronic storage of all data for easy retrieval.

Case Study 2: A Seamless Competitive Structure

Establishing a competitive salary and benefits structure

We use a systematic approach to determine the market value of various jobs such as aligning the job grading system to the salary structure. This is to determine the appropriate remuneration strategies and to develop a structured approach to career development subsequently.

As part of HR Transformation consulting, we develop a job classification so as to identify the relative job values across all job positions within the organisation. We will create a policies and compensation philosophy to determine the market positioning as well as to determine the principles of progress across the grades. Salary benchmarking based on key positions will also be conducted and a salary structure for various staff will be developed. An emplacement exercise based on the findings will determine the salary grade for the current staff. Additionally, a review of the range of benefits offered by the organisation to understand the full package offerings. Identification of strengths will enable us to recommend adoption of appropriate or other non-statutory benefits.

Case Study 3: Develop Learning & Development Policies

Identify key engagement drivers

To measure the current level of staff engagement and identify key engagement drivers, we conduct an Employee Engagement Survey (EES). We share these findings with the management team and together, we identify the core competencies that are to be anchored on the core values. Thereafter, functional competencies are to be established and KPIs are set to measure staff performance followed by the development of appraisal forms and performance management procedures. We then put forth Learning and Development policies to support the development of the desired competencies and build leadership competencies.

This creates a more robust Human Resource system using a competency-based approach as well as develop a Performance Management Framework that are aligned to its desired culture and develop leadership capabilities.

Case Study 4: Development of Job Descriptions, Employment Contract & Staff Handbook

The role of HR in many organisations take on a transactional focus (e.g. payroll & benefits administration).  As a result, updates of employment legislation and guidelines may not be adequately implemented due to a lack of a dedicated professional HR role in SMEs.  HR policies may not be comprehensively documented and communicated to staff which may lead to staff grievances if not managed well.

One of the key challenges for SMEs is the recruitment of manpower.  To facilitate the recruitment & selection function, a set of job descriptions is important to communicate the key roles & responsibilities.  A review of the end-to-end recruitment process and methods is important to recruit the right persons with the right competencies and aligned to the culture of the organisation.

The scope of work includes the review of Terms & Conditions of Employment & Employment Contract in compliance to latest employment legislation. We review recruitment practices & guidelines (e.g. fair & progressive employment practices) and develop recruitment policies and processes followed by the development of key job descriptions to communicate key roles & responsibilities. We  then customise and develop a Staff Handbook to communicate various terms & conditions and HR policies.

Case Study 5: Staff Retention and Attraction Through a Robust Human Resource System

Benchmarking Compensation of Key Positions to Ensure Competitiveness

Through the adoption of a competency based approach, we develop a set of core competencies that are aligned to our client’s core values and desired behaviours. We then review and refine the functional competency framework. One of the key step to achieving a robust HR structure is to identify the proficiency level that is required based on the organisational levels and job levels.

By creating a robust Human Resource system, our client is able to increase staff retention as well as attract potential employees. This also ensures greater clarity and transparency of its system through the adoption of a competency based approach. From here, we assist in the development of job descriptions of the various job roles in the organisation, incorporating the competencies that we identified earlier. A job evaluation exercise is then conducted to determine the relative job size across all key positions.

The next step we do is to benchmark the key positions against the compensation structure against industry data to ensure our client's competitiveness within the job market.