Mention Six Sigma and words such as, quality, cleanliness,
perfection, robust, repeatable, mechanical come to mind. And much as it has
become a “go to” tool for improvement in almost several departments such as Finance
and Manufacturing, seldom has it been practiced in HR. The connotation is
because HR involves non-tangible elements such as Communication, Employee
Relations, Succession Planning, Hiring and Conflict Management that at first glance do not seem to directly
relate to metrics that can indicate
progress. Some people in the industry will resist trying to incorporate this
strategy with the premise that employee management is a myriad of emotions and
feelings better left untouched by anything that deals with numbers.
With the advent of HR Analytics, this premise will soon be fully gone. HR Analytics allows us to produce data that can be analyzed and ultimately transformed into HR Focused Six Sigma Projects. If we dwell into the different phases of Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control), we will see that data collected from the HR Department makes it easy to develop improvement projects.
Let us say, we want to increase Employee Retention. We can define that as the project’s goal and looking into our data, we will be able to measure employee retention by the number of employees that leaves the company within a year. Analyzing the data, we will probably come to some sort of conclusion of what is the biggest contributor to the exodus. This area can then be improved and we can control the improvement from month to month by addressing the problematic area and note its correlation with Employee Retention Rate.
In summary, Six Sigma is an improvement tool and a
simplified Project Management approach using the 5 different steps of DMAIC
that can be adapted to the HR setting for process improvement. It is truly beneficial
for an HR practitioner to explore this further .
Pallas Athena Austria is a certified Project Management Professional that worked for an HR and Payroll IT Solutions Provider. She has later on practiced project management in other industries including Manufacturing and Software and is currently active in the Business Process Services work arena.
Tags: six sigma analytics hr
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