Renumeration expert Rachael McCamley (HR Nitty Gritty interview)

by Steve

1. How has HR changed since you first entered the sector?
I started in HR 15 years ago. At that time, HR in many organisations were still operating as more of a “Personnel” department which was more of an administrative than forward thinking function with focus on building a positive culture and a fully engaged workforce. As companies changed and the function of HR developed, it became more of a paternalistic function. Although HR looked to build employee satisfaction and tried to become an “Employer of Choice”, engaging employees was not really a focus. The focus was more on providing for employees and looking at what type of “package” they could offer. Today, companies are realising that they need to look wider than solely remuneration to build retention and to ensure that employees truly buy into the culture of the organisation and the overall business objectives.

2. How are HR departments managing / promoting employee engagement nowadays?
Many organisations are now starting to realise the value of an engaged employee population however, they are still in the early stages of promoting and implementing it. Many organisations are looking to open the lines of communication although, in these early stages, it tends to be more of a top down approach whereby the executives are ensuring that communications and information are cascaded down through the organisation. There aren’t necessarily successful mechanisms for bottom up communication.

3. Can an employee suggestion box be an effective way to start an employee engagement scheme at a company?
I believe an employee suggestion box can be an effective way to start an employee engagement scheme but only if it is fully supported at the top levels of the organisation and if adequate resources are allocated to follow through and manage the system. If it is merely paid lip service, it can actually have more of a negative impact on employee engagement than not having it at all. For such a scheme to be successful, employees must be able to see that all suggestions are taken seriously. When suggestions are implemented, it should be important for employees to understand that this was something originating from the suggestion box and even suggestions which cannot be implemented should be acknowledged appropriately.

4. What's the most common HR mistake you see?
A lack of communication is a mistake often made by HR. Many HR functions like to ensure they have every element 100% covered before communicating to employees however, in most cases, regular communication can be much more effective. A lack of communication can lead to employees becoming cynical and believing that HR is being secretive and therefore hiding things from them.

5. What's the future for the HR department, what does HR's role look like in 10-15 years?
I think HR needs to become far more pro-active rather than reactive. HR needs to ensure Board presence to ensure that HR strategy is directly linked to business strategy and that there is full support from the top of the organisation. HR needs to become more flexible and understand that employees needs are constantly changing and to attract and retain an empowered workforce, it is important to always understand what employees are looking for and what is important to them.

6. What are some of your favourite blogs for HR news?
I tend to favour HR websites such as CIPD, AHRI and World at Work but I also find that LinkedIn Groups and be a very useful source of information and specifically problems which companies, HR practitioners are facing.

7. What does your company specialize in?
McCamley Remuneration is an Australian Human Resources Consultancy specialising in the provision of remuneration advice to assist clients to achieve their business objectives. McCamley Remuneration aims to provide advice and solutions enabling clients to attract, engage, reward and retain their employees. Services include Total Remuneration Statements, Salary reviews, Role Banding and Salary Band Design, Remuneration Strategy and Incentive Scheme Design.

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