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  • Mark Shaw

Applying the KISS principle to HR processes – an example

I recently wrote an article on how many HR processes used today are too complex for managers to use, for records to be maintained, and for reporting to be collated. I then argued it’s time to adapt to changing demands and ideas and apply KISS principles to HR processes.


Since then, a friend of mine explained the exit survey he completed when he recently resigned. It turned out to be a 30-question e-paper form (computer screen) using questions that required answers to be typed into a free text field. A very typical HR process.


In reviewing his responses, I struggled to understand the feedback he was providing. It turned out he felt undervalued, not adequately recognised, and felt HR did not care.


Sad that I could not find this in his exit questionnaire.


In response, I redesigned the exit questionnaire using our BARS format and asked my friend to repeat the survey.


His feedback was that my approach was clearer, simpler, faster by 50%, and easier. Almost 50% of his answers simply required selecting a pre-set option rather than typing in a free-text field.


When analysing his responses to my BARS-based exit questionnaire I quickly realise that almost 80% of his responses were negative. This much richer data analysis is just one benefit of using a BARS approach compared to traditional text-only responses.


Now remember what I said about reporting results to management. To me, using the ratings underpinning the BARS approach, allows more accurate understanding and reporting to management on the issues leading to my friend’s resignation.


This ‘hard data’ can then be reinforced by any anecdotal comments my friend supplied.


In summary by redesigning this HR process, we have confirmed that the three goals we discussed can be achieved. I.e.

1. Collect appropriate and accurate data for senior management

2. Provide HR with big data to make analysis easier

3. Make the user interface simple and easy for managers and employees


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