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  • Mark Shaw

Why the Blue and Red Approach to HR Practices Best Suites Modern Organisations

It may surprise you to know that you most of your HR decisions can be made with just two processes; a Blue process and a Red process.

Proactive HR activities such as assessing candidates for a job, probation reviews, performance appraisals, remuneration reviews of reclassification requests and exit interviews can all be completed using the Blue process.

Reactive HR activities such as managing under/poor performance; investigating and resolving workplace bullying, harassment and/or discrimination claims; and defending unfair and/or constructive dismissal claims can all be successfully resolved using the Red process.

The blue process is built on developing a set of BARS (Behavioural Anchored Rating Statements) that apply to the relevant HR processes as listed.  Using BARS in this way guides the decision maker in a quality-controlled framework and delivers predicable outcomes.  The decision maker is also able to justify their BARS selection by simple reference to the other options provided.  Most importantly blue processes are high in volume and low in risk meaning that BARS create a perfect process that requires minimal effort and cost to achieve the same outcome.  

The red process focuses on the management problem caused by the reported behaviour.  As all red processes have already occurred, the goal is to ensure reasonable management action is taken in a reasonable way when investigating and resolving the issue(s) promptly.  Unlike traditional approaches that tend to look at each HR process differently, if you focus on the management problem, you not only address the concerns but identify the problem to be resolved.  Most importantly red processes are low in volume and high in risk meaning that focusing on the management problem and ensuring reasonable management action is taken in a reasonable way creates a perfect process that requires only targeted effort and cost to achieve the same outcome.

The Blue and Red approach works because it overcomes all the difficulties and weaknesses associated with the myriad of traditional HR processes, receivers higher acceptance and support from line managers, and allows decision makers to focus on the outcomes.

As one colleague commented, it annoys him that HR is always telling others that this is the process you have to follow, without ever considering if we get the same outcome for less time, effort and/or cost.

Specific benefits include:

  • Reducing the time, cost and effort associated with HR processes by up to 80%

  • Improved management of developing problems and resolution of the associated problem(s)

  • 100% success in defending the management action and decision where an unfair dismissal claim was lodged.

  • 100% success in defending the management action and decision where an appeal against a staff selection or individual remuneration occurred.

  • Managers happier to complete HR processes

  • HR Practitioners happier that process is followed, and decisions justified.

  • Reduces the need to engage external resources such as lawyers and investigators by over 90%

The Blue and Red approach to HR better suites modern organisations.  The question is, are you ready to give it a go?

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