Q & A Session with Gary Kushner, CEO, Kushner & Company
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your organization.
I have been in the HR industry since the 1970s. I was given the responsibility to generalize a Reward and Recognition program for my company. My organization needed to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach. In my search for such an initiative, I realized that there weren't any companies (back then) who could cater to the needs of small to mid-size companies and businesses. This was the inspiration behind starting Kushner & Company in 1982. Headquartered in Michigan, we are a consulting firm catering to the needs of companies in the HR strategy, organizational strategy, benefits and administration.
What are the top five critical HR strategies for organizational effectiveness?
Make sure that HR strategy aligns with the organisational strategy. Normally, a lot of focus is given by the HR on compliance to laws and regulations. However, there is often a gap when it comes to strategies pertaining to talent acquisition, talent management and talent engagement. Also never assume that HR strategy can be generalized. What works in one company may not work for your company. What is important is to have a HR strategy which completely aligns with business strategy.
3How can HR strategy be linked to the business strategy?
In the talent acquisition area, the important question to be asked is, "Where, why and by whom should work be done for the organization." Should it be full-time employees or temp staff and why? Should it be centered in one location or have a global workforce and why? In the talent management function, constantly rethink and redesign the performance management system, accountability and how it is measured. It is important to reward the person rather than paying the job. It is highly possible that someone with a higher skill set is working in a job where his full potential is not exhibited. Always rethink how excellence can be rewarded. When it comes to talent development, the important factor to be considered is Buy vs. Build. When there is a new skill requirement, a decision has to be made whether to hire a new employee with the skill set or should an existing employee be trained. Succession planning is yet another important function which plays a humongous role. Many times, companies fail to have a succession plan in place for mid-level employees. The entire system can collapse if most of the mid-level staff decides to leave suddenly. Hence, succession planning is important at all levels.
How can the effectiveness of HR strategy be measured?
When it comes to talent acquisition, two horrible matrices that people normally track are time-to -fill and turnover Rate. These two measurements do not add much value to business decisions. Instead, measure the quality of hire, i.e., am I hiring top/medium / mediocre performers? Quality of hire is a much better measurement as it would point out what can be learned from the hiring process. Also, instead of measuring turnover rate, measure the functional vs. dysfunctional turnover. Functional turnover is when an employee with poor performance leaves the company. For example, someone who is already on a performance improvement plan. Functional turnover is not disruptive to the company. Whereas dysfunctional turnover is when good performers leave the company. This is a dangerous matrix and must be tracked closely. Retention strategies have to be deployed when there is a red flag for dysfunctional turnover.
What would be the main learning points from your session at #SHRM19?
One important factor that will be discussed is "How to link my HR strategy to my own organization strategy." You need to constantly challenge yourself and your organization to achieve peak level performance. Do not focus just on operations and compliance to laws. Learn to think strategically on core areas like Talent acquisition, Talent Management and Talent Engagement.
Gary Kushner was a former HR Generalist in mid-size and large organizations, who had specialized more in compensation/benefits and HR strategy. He started his own consulting firm in 1982. The firm has expanded tremendously to serve clients in all sectors (for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental) in 36 states and 6 countries. Today, Kushner & Company and its amazing staff is a renowned HR strategy and employee benefits (analysis, design, implementation, and administration) firm. They specialize in Employee benefit consulting and administration and overall HR strategy linkages to organizational goals and objectives.
Don't miss out the Mega Session by Gary Kushner where he will be talking about Optimizing HR Strategy for Organizational Effectiveness on Tuesday June 25, 2019, 10:45 - 11:45 a.m. at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition.