Have you ever wondered what it would be like to startup the car and not knowing where you would be traveling to or why you would be going there! This is why setting objectives is a fundamental component to short and long-term business success. The basic reason for this is that you can’t get where you are trying to go until you clearly define where that is, why you need to be there, when you need to be in that location and last but not list how long you will be in that location and what route you would take to get there. Research studies also shows a direct link between setting objectives and enhanced performance in business. Objectives help focus and allocate time and resources efficiently, and they can keep staff motivated when going gets tough. In other words objectives help employees stay aware of what is expected from them and leave little room for people to hide behind the curtain of unspecified expectations. Furthermore, setting and achieving goals translates to feelings of success for both individuals and companies, which in turn spurs greater productivity and confidence. Given the current challenges in the oil and gas industry and in light of the upcoming changes in thelocal market due lifting of sanctions it would seem that now is more pressing that ever to have clear set of objectivesand organizational goals in order to steer us through the turmoil.
Points to consider when setting objectives on macro or micro size:
1. Linking the HR Objective to Organizational Targets.
HR as a support function of the oil and gas upstream and downstream companies cannot and should not make have make decisions or set objectives which are not in support of the Mission, Vision, Strategic Goalsand Key Results Areas(KRAs) of that Company. Meaning HR is acting in support and only then we can guarantee that the HR functionin not in rouge and is in fact a key contributor to business successthus a strategic partner.
2. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
We cannot manage what we cannot measure, HR is not different. Driven from the organizational and functional KRAs described above will be list of KPIs which will be used to measure HR success ratio in that area, which in turn will show us the efficiency of our HR function in support of the day to day operations. Note, we may have several KPI to measure one KRAfor example Organizational KRA “Profit” (% reduction of Cost per hire, % decrease in training cost, etc.). KPIs will always be shown in percentage and time bound, (when setting these KPIs) we should be mindful of how realistic yet competitive they are, in other words KPIs will need to be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound).
3. Cascading Objectives in HRand Other Segments or Functions
Now that we have our KPIs on the macro level we can cascade these objectives on micro level throughout the HR function based on the HR member’s job and level of responsibility. In fact the same can be said for any function or segment within an organization which are business critical meaning they play a critical role in day to day operational success (e.g. supply management, drilling, HSE, etc).
4. Flexibility and honesty
In order to insure success similar to any performance management system one must assess of theprogress periodically and honestly. There will always roadblocks or unexpected turmoil unforeseen in our overall business strategy, namely the recent shift in global oil and gas prices. Instead,with timely honest revaluation of the business strategy,given the right amount of flexibility we should be able to adjustour KPIs as to meet ournew business needs. It makes no business sense to become so rigid in accomplishing something that is no longer relevant to you or your organization just for the sake of ego. Sometimes knowing when to walk away or shift gears is progress in itself.
5. Long terms vs. short term thinking
While setting objectives both short and long term organizational and functional needs must be considered, whereas short term will consist of objectives with less than a year targets and the long terms can expand up to 5 years Based on company’s strategic plan and vision. Conclusion The only certainty in life is uncertainty and those who acknowledge this fact and plan accordingly will rip its rewards. Infused with integrity and flexibility, given the timely review it would seem that this might be the edge that we have much longed for in HR, in Oil and Gas, in business or perhaps in day to day life for an increase in success ratio. Outstanding individual performance may win us a few ventures from time to time but they will not bring us a trueconsistently in business success, whereas efficiency will require dedication, planning, control and integrity from all members in an organization including HR for continues success.
Author: Kamyar Zandi