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Think about two companies that differ vastly in terms of their work culture. Perhaps, you have an affinity towards one of them and want to emulate their ways of working. What makes this favored company more desirable? The answer, as delineated in this article by Forbes, is myriads of factors that can range from transparency to diversity. As a human resources professional, you might have an itch to unearth these factors so that you too can create a great work culture for your team. That’s where HR models come in.
Simply put, an HR model is an abstract representation of how an HR department works. Because it would be an arduous task to think about HR functions from scratch while starting a new company or even revamping an existing one, HR models are used to map out the workings of human resource management departments.
This list of top 10 HRM models is made for HR professionals of all kinds, and includes both rudimentary HR models formulated by the ilk of university professors and contemporary models put together by industry leaders. Consider adding it to your arsenal of HRM resources.
Developed in 1984, the Harvard Framework of HRM is a holistic HR operating model that focuses on overcoming problems associated with historical people management. It’s based on the belief that when HR leaders formulate an HR strategy that enables the growth and well-being of their employees, only then can personnel problems be solved and outputs increased.
This HRM model directs HR teams to develop HRM policies by factoring in stakeholder interests and situational factors which leads to better HR outcomes and long-term consequences.
Why is it useful today: Although this is an archaic model, present-day HR practices find their roots in it. Read about the best HR software that can help you integrate parts of this framework and streamline your HR processes.
Dave Ulrich is a renowned HR thought leader, and his eponymous HR model came into being in 1996. Devised as a means to streamline HR operations in large organizations, Ulrich proposed to change the structure of HR functions by splitting the human resource management into roles. He identified four key HR roles which are:
Why is it useful today: In a relatively recent article published in HR Magazine, Dave Ulrich talks about the growing complexity of the human resources profession. Given the increasing specialization of different roles within HR, Ulrich’s model couldn’t have been more relevant today. In fact, HR professionals must build upon this model to include the various kinds of HR roles that are in practice today.
The 8-box model shows eight boxes of factors that intertwine to lay the foundations of an HR department. This model can be best explained by analyzing the diagram structurally.
Why is it useful today: Thanks to globalization and advancement in technology, the world is changing rapidly. It’s more important than ever before to factor in the various external influences while formulating your HR strategies. A great example of the relevance of this model is the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on businesses, remote work, and new HR technologies for effectively managing people.
Formulated by Chris Hendry and Andrew Pettigrew at the University of Warwick, the Warwick model of HRM draws upon the Harvard Model and analyses the five key factors that contribute to the functioning of the human resources department. These five elements are:
Why is it useful today: Much like the 8-box model by Paul Boselie, this model acknowledges the dynamic nature of the world we live in. The five aforementioned elements directly or indirectly impact the HRM, and the organizations that try to align the internal and external contexts are bound to perform better. For instance, a research by Gartner reveals that 76% of newly remote/hybrid employees report a positive perception of the workplace.
According to this model, the role of an HR department in creating value for an organization is paramount. There are three HR factors that have a direct impact on key performance indicators from the point of view of customers, processes, and finance. These three factors are:
Why is it useful today: To achieve its business goals, an organization must pay heed to its HR value chain. For example, if a business has a low HR budget, it might lead to a lower compensation for its employees, which might further lower the retention and impact key performance indicators. HR professionals should take the three HR value chain factors in consideration and formulate a well-thought out strategy for the company’s human capital.
The ASTD Competency model was created in 2004 by The Association for Talent Development(ATD), formerly known as the American Society for Training and Development(ASTD). It has been revamped twice since its inception, the most recent of which happened in 2013.
This model is designed for talent development practitioners and serves as a roadmap of competencies that such professionals must build, in order to succeed in their careers. These competencies are grouped under two sections, ‘Foundational Competencies’ and ‘Areas of Expertise’ (AOEs), the former of which are base-level competencies that are used to build more specific competencies.
According to this model, training and development professionals need to integrate both of these competencies in their HR systems to operate efficiently and save training costs.
Why is it useful today: Over the decades, the HR profession has evolved. In order to thrive in the ever-changing world and maintain a competitive edge, it’s important for HR managers to build not only the foundational competencies but also find their area of expertise. The ASTD competency model broadly highlights the various directions that HR leaders can head towards in order to stand out. These AOEs are as relevant today as they were in 2013.
Developed in 1992 by Randall Schuler, a renowned HR leader and university professor, the 5 Ps model of HRM underscores the 5 key factors that drive an organization. These five factors are:
According to this model, the 5 Ps influence each other and HR practitioners should strive to align them.
Why is it useful today: As explained in this article by SHRM, the role of the human resource personnel has expanded beyond the core duties. It’s imperative for HR practitioners to align the organizational purpose, values, and principles to perform their jobs effectively.
The Standard Causal Model of HRM is based upon numerous overlapping models of the 90s and early 2000s. It shows a causal chain of organizational activities that illustrates how overall business strategy impacts the HR outcomes, which further affects the internal performance and financial outcomes of the business.
Why is it useful today: The model depicts how a well-formulated overall business strategy could go a long way in improving HR functions, and ultimately the overall performance.
Developed in early 2021, EY’s People Value Chain is a futuristic HR model that’s worth keeping an eye out for. This newly-built model is a deliberate departure from the Ulrich model and puts an emphasis on delivering long-term value creation across four key areas: financial value, consumer value, societal value, and human value.
The People Value Chain is built on three core components:
Why is it useful today: Employees these days prefer an empathetic style of leadership. According to this model, new tools and technology will help HR professionals focus more on long-term value creation and less on mundane tasks.
This HR Operating Model by Deloitte is a blueprint for an HR function built on adaptability, innovation, and expertise. There are four core elements of this model:
The model also describes the way to shift from current ways of working to high-impact HR in a framework called the 4 Cs: create capacity, grow capability, empower community, boost credibility.
Why is it useful today: According to their research, when HR operates with high impact, it leads to overall business growth.
These top 10 HR models have been created by brilliant scholars and HR thought leaders. Many companies including Deloitte and Ey use these HRM models to streamline their human resource management. Find which model best resonates with your company, and implement it to enhance your business.
One must, however, remember that the map is not the territory. Because a model by definition is a broad generalization of something, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Experiment and see which model works for you, and don’t hesitate from borrowing aspects from various models to create your own!