I recently attended a conference on infrastructure investing, and it struck me how similar the processes are (or at least should be) to the world of HR. Infrastructure is never one thing. You need the ideas and opinions of teams: designers and engineers, investors and champions, stakeholders and users.
When all of that is put together and collaborated on, there is a better chance for success to build that road or bridge or community centre, in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
The same is true for HR. Whether it is the HR software systems you are putting in place to manage people, the therapies and benefits you offer, the hiring practices you employ, or any host of services the HR function provides to the workplace, there needs to be teams and designers and buy-in at all levels to make it work — the idea being that an HR infrastructure will function better when all pieces are put in place collaboratively and with proper planning. It must start with a need and/or community (employee buy-in) and also buy-in at the top levels where the money flows. Then you can build the teams and processes to engineer the right solutions for your workplace.
Planning is the first stage. Building is the second stage. The third stage, and arguably the most important stage, is maintenance. Just like infrastructure, a long-term maintenance plan is essential to ensure the time and money spent is worth the effort.
Without it, infrastructure breaks down quickly, and you’ll have to double your efforts and costs down the road (pun intended).
It will be hard to reach “point B” without the right planning and maintenance in place.