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Benchmarking helps HR leaders define the right

HR strategy for their organization by helping them gauge where their organizations HR function leads, lags or operates at par with other organizations around the worldthereby helping to identify and address the areas that most urgently need improvement.

Achieving High Performance through Human Resources: The Value of Accenture Benchmarking Solutions
In todays highly competitive and volatile global economy, a longstanding human resources directive has only intensified: reducing the HR functions operating costs while improving the business value the function generates for the larger enterprise. Yet many HR leaders struggle to answer that call because they lack a detailed picture of their functions performance along key dimensions or, more importantly, how that performance measures up to their competitors and peers. Benchmarking is a critical tool in that regard. It helps HR leaders define the right HR strategy for their organization by helping them gauge where their organizations HR function leads, lags or operates at par with other organizations around the world therebyhelping to identify and address the areas that most urgently need improvement. Accenture Benchmarking Solutions helps an organization attain these goals, effectively and efficiently taking the pulse of its HR function and identifying areas in which improvements can be made in cost and performance. These solutions have played a key role in helping numerous organizations transform their HR functionas well as their overall workforce into significant contributors to high performance.

Why is HR benchmarking important?

Benchmarking delivers three critical benefits for private- and public-sector organizations looking to improve the performance of their HR function. The first such benefit is a current-state assessment of the organizations HR function. This assessment includes a rigorous baseline of cost, quality and cycle time; external and internal comparisons (for example, by region or business unit) of cost and performance; and the identification of meaningful gaps. The result of this assessment is a better understanding of the HR functions cost and/or performance drivers. A second benefit of HR benchmarking is a strong foundation for HR transformation programs. An effective benchmarking initiative enables an organization to more easily identify and prioritize opportunitiesby process, region and cost driverwhich, in turn, results in more informed and relevant improvement targets and a stronger overall business case for the transformation effort. A third major benefit is a strong basis for continuous improvement. Benchmarking helps create or renew a culture of managing by metrics by enabling periodic measurement against the initial baseline. Importantly, this baseline assessment is process based, so it remains relevant regardless of subsequent organizational changes.

Accenture Benchmarking Solutions: from insight to action

Working in close collaboration with an organizations HR leadership, Accentures skilled professionals use the comprehensive assets of Accenture Benchmarking Solutions to deliver a detailed assessment of the HR function. The Accenture team then helps the organization translate insights from the benchmarking analysis into an actionable set of initiativessupported by a business case that addresses shortcomings identified through the benchmarking processthat help drive high performance. Accentures benchmarking process involves four phases that help organizations to discover, deliver and maintain enhanced business value from their HR function (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Accenture Benchmarking Solutions helps HR organizations translate insight into action

We begin the first phase by working with executives to understand their key objectives and determine the scope of the benchmarking initiative (for instance, the entire HR function, specific business units or countries, or certain processes). Next, we give the organization a predefined template to guide subsequent data-collection activities. This template provides a standardized and structured way of collecting headcount, cost and performance data across the HR life cycle. (Figure 2). The second phase entails a deep-dive analysis of the cost, quality and cycle time of the HR functions operations, which results in a median and quartile ranking of the function against data from global, cross-industry organizations in the Accenture benchmarking database. The Accenture team also conducts a detailed qualitative assessment of the function and root-cause analysis of its performance. The output of this phase is a reporttailored to the organizations specific situation that provides a clear picture of the functions performance relative to other organizations in our benchmarking database or, if part of the scope of the initiative, an internal comparison of performance among internal business units. With an understanding of the functions performance and the context in which to understand that performance, we next identify specific areas with potential for

improvement, identify initiatives that may generate such improvement, and quantify the potential value of these initiatives to the organization. Importantly, we also provide a road map that helps the organization prioritize and execute these plans.
4 During the final phase of the benchmarking effort, Accenture works with an organization to establish an approach it can use to continually assess its performance against established baselines. We also can conduct periodic benchmarking to determine whether the organization is generating the desired results from its improvement initiatives and making progress toward its goals. One of the major advantages of Accenture Benchmarking Solutions is its flexibility. It can be used in a variety of settings to provide insights into a wide range of challenges. The following are just a few examples of how different organizations have used Accenture Benchmarking Solutions to gain insight into improvement opportunities in their HR function.

Accenture benchmarking solutions covers all major HR processes across the HR life cycle
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Organization management