Becky Statham explains how to complete HR process workshops in 1 week
As experts in HR Transformation, we are often asked ‘How quickly can we complete all of our HR process workshops and still deliver the right quality?’

This question is driven by stakeholders struggling to find the time to attend and focus, and because it’s simply too boring and damaging to Business as Usual to do the workshops any slower than the fastest you possibly can.

Recently a global retail company asked whether we could complete all process workshops in five intensive days. This was a new scale of challenge and after much thought the answer was Yes.

Now that we’ve completed this challenge, I thought I would share our experience and top tips so that you too can complete your workshops in record time.

Here are our lessons learnt for achieving the near impossible:

1- Focus on what matters – Do the workshops for the areas that matter. Where your process is the same as everyone else’s – Miss them out!

To do this you need to agree what’s different or special about your company or industry, therefore identifying the areas of HR that you want to tailor versus areas where the standard way is probably sufficient.

For example;

  • Rostering and scheduling tend to be painful in retail and hospitality environments yet the best HR technology vendors struggle to meet these requirements. Designing these processes carefully and if relevant, seeing how these processes will work in your chosen tool, could save you significant time and money each year.
  • Performance Management on the other hand, remains fairly similar across most companies, industries, and HR systems. So why waste time if it’s not critical?

2- Engage the right attendees – You’ll be surprised how little HR knows about how the business really works!

  • Make sure you have representation from stores, operations and distribution as well as from HR. It’s amazing what you find out and how often central HR is surprised by what really goes on in the business (no offence meant).

3- Respect the team. Treat everyone like a VIP!

  • People often come a long way so start each day no earlier than 10am and finish no later than 5pm. A dinner at the end of the first day is a great way to get people together and thank them again for their time.
  • Provide food and drink throughout the day and always avoid workshops on a Friday so that people can travel home in working hours.
  • Invest in the best facilitation skills you can find, internally or externally. Good facilitators will keep to time, manage workshop outputs and provide an environment in which everyone contributes.
  • Provide laminated agendas, jargon busters and design principles on each table to save time presenting these during the workshops, and allow access to this information at any time.
  • If you can’t afford to book the very best hotels, you can always afford to treat staff as VIPs once they are in your office – snacks and breaks keep everyone comfortable and shows respect for their efforts to attend.
  • Thank everyone for coming – both at the start and end of each workshop.

4- Start with the end in mind, and have as much prior knowledge as you can!

  • There is one precursor to designing all your HR processes in 4.5 (ideally 4) days. We always complete a short exercise to understand the complexities in a business and use our knowledge of the sector to tailor our leading practice process maps to use as a starter for ten. We present these maps in the workshops and work backwards from these to identify as a group the alterations needed to make each process work for everyone. This saves 70% of the time taken to agree global processes and maximises the valuable time of your attendees.

So, you can design all of your HR processes in a week if you focus on what matters, respect your attendees, and prepare by starting with tailored process maps, not blank pieces of paper.

For more information about how Veran Performance can support your HR Transformation, contact me at becky@veranperformance.com