5 HCM Challenges That Prevent Your Organization From Achieving Its OKRs 


Every year around budget time, organizations create plans for the next 12 months around a set of key objectives. They can include everything from  increasing sales figures or margins by a certain percentage, improving net promoter score (NPS) by a specific amount, or reducing product defects that impact in-store performance.. 


Goal setting is a necessary and helpful exercise for today’s businesses. But there’s one thing we often overlook in this process:  the impact of people on an organization's ability to meet these goals. 


Of course, we all know that people are the ones doing the work and people are a key competitive advantage in today’s complex business environment. But we don’t always see the connection between achieving our goals and how we identify the people we need, hire and onboard them, and replace them if necessary.


There’s a missing link between creating these objectives, hiring the people who will capture those key results – and that missing link is position management.


Today we want to explore five ways organizations can struggle to identify the right objectives and achieve the key results they need – and how position management software closes the gap to improve the bottom line.


  1. Key stakeholders have no oversight

After identifying the big picture priorities and going through the yearly budget and review process, an organization approves all of its hiring plans. Hiring managers then work with recruiting leads to start the sourcing process for unfilled positions (at the bare minimum) and identify potential positions to recruit for (if the company is growing).


In this scenario, the manager has the “Plan” and can communicate with recruiting personnel – but there’s really no way for them to follow up on any HR activity or capture a quick overview of where they are in the process. The manager is essentially flying blind unless they go through a very manual, interactive process of communicating directly with individuals, which can take their attention away from other priorities. 


  1. The HCM tracks authorizations, not open positions

Most human capital management platforms use requisitions to represent the authorization to hire. This is a great way to keep track of permissions, but it’s not an effective way to keep track of open positions because it leaves the dialogue between Hiring Manager and Recruiter outside the human capital management system, further scattering all of the critical data the HR team needs to assess how the hiring process is progressing. 


As a result, there’s no simple way to get a sense of communication and activity between manager, recruiter,  and candidates, or see the status of an open position in regards to interviews and offers extended. Without a connection to human capital management software, which tracks current employees, there's no consolidated view that correlates to the manager's original plan.


  1. No one’s monitoring changes in existing staff 

One of the most subtle challenges in operating without position management is that the manager cannot reference the status current staff to gain context for the open positions.


If there is any change in staff – terminations, transfers out, or other net changes to the span of control – it’s very unlikely that the manager’s external planning tool will be up to date. In a fast-paced, growing organization, this leaves the manager dangerously under-informed about the status of the plan and whether or not they have the resources they need to achieve their goal.  


  1. It’s impossible to know if your goals were attainable

Aggressive but achievable goals are inspirational. Unrealistic and unattainable goals are demoralizing. The difference between the two comes down to the size of the team and how equipped they are to tackle the goals that have been set. 


This is yet another way in which position management software impacts team performance. Because if the human resource requirements are efficiently operationalized by human capital management-enabled software and the performance management system is tracking the key results of the OKR, the objectives can be met. But without position management, which provides clear and timely information about the state of an organization’s human resources, the process breaks down. 


  1. Repetition compounds the problem

Every organization’s planning process is iterative and can change mid-year, quarterly, or ad-hoc based on market conditions. Without any of the key constituent systems in place and working in harmony, the problems identified here only compound: hiring managers get stuck in a never-ending loop of communication but still don’t have up-to-date information, hiring decisions are made out of context for net changes in staff, and there’s no clear sense of how accurate or attainable the organization’s goals are for a given team. 


It All Falls Into Place With Position Management Software

Empowered with a human capital management platform with position management software, an organization has the information it needs to operationalize the plan and be strategic about every step it takes towards achieving OKRs. 


With the separation of Person and Position, the organization empowers HR to keep track of intent as the business churns by:


  • The plan is operationalized and entered directly into the HCM

  • Enabling managers, recruiters, and candidates to monitor progress and communication in one central place

  • Closely monitoring net changes in existing staff in real-time, managers can add authorized new headcount into the HCM with dates that match the planned turnover

  • Authorized, open positions then feed the recruiting system automatically and timely based on the effective date and post jobs on boards, and offers can all be viewed online by the manager via the HCM system. 


Once an organization’s staffing plan is fully operationalized, the real work begins: the organization is able to focus on OKRs, perhaps based on John Doerr’s notable book Measure What Matters (2018). 


But what’s changed in the process of adopting an human capital management system with position management is that the company’s human capital management system can now use this OKR framework to drive organizational success. The combination of operationalizing the staffing plan and using a system to manage OKRs in the human capital management is what leads to real results. 



Contact us to learn more about how a position management-based HCM is key to gaining greater transparency into your business and achieving your business goals faster and more efficiently or schedule your free, personalized demo to see it in action. 



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Sarah Greesonbach

Sarah Greesonbach

Sarah Greesonbach turns cutting-edge research and data into captivating HR technology marketing content. She loves to consider the possibilities of humanizing, organizing, and minimalizing all things HR, and her writing helps HR executives and professionals develop their instincts and arrive at actionable insights for employee engagement and business performance.

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