Human Resources is reinventing itself.
A number of major organizational and customer service
changes are on tap as the office strives
to transform itself to better align with the university's
mission and goals, and to be more responsive
to a changing workplace.
Among its aims, Human Resources wants to ensure that
the right talent is in the right job,
increase employee morale and engagement, identify high
potential talent in an organization's pipeline
for succession planning and develop employee skills to
support current and future needs.
The "HR Transformation," which has already begun and
will play out over the next two years, will
change some central and Homewood divisional HR office roles
and reporting relationships. There will
be a new team-based interdisciplinary approach to talent
management and an increased focus on
analytics and metrics. Some physical office locations may
Charlene Hayes, vice president for
said that the university's new market-
based compensation program and integrated SAP business
software system, both rolled out in 2006,
laid the foundation for what she calls the organization's
"people" strategy, articulated in a new mission
and vision statement [see below]. Hayes said she wants to
raise the bar on Human Resources' services
and increase the overall skill level for personnel.
"These are big changes," Hayes said. "We want to be
sure that Human Resources is positioned
to help our leaders figure out what skills are needed
across the university. Do we have the right
person in the right job with the right skills? And, if not,
how do we figure out how to close this gap?
We also want to do a better job of getting our people
engaged and involved with the work of the
Perhaps the most visible and wide-ranging change will
be in talent management and
organizational development, which is now consolidated into
one office under the direction of Debbie
Sampson. In place of the centers for Training and
Education, Career Management and Organizational
Development, all of which have been dissolved, will be two
cross-expertise Talent Management and
Organization Development teams. These two teams will be
supported administratively by a Project
Learning Solutions, formerly Financial and Information
Technology Training, will continue to be
led by Louis Biggie and provide institutionwide financial
and technology learning and e-learning
capabilities. The majority of training and skill classes,
currently offered at the Johns Hopkins at
Eastern campus, will remain.
The two Talent Management and Organization Development
teams — one for the East Baltimore
campus and one for all other university divisions,
excluding the Applied Physics Laboratory — will
strategic consulting services and partner with their
clients to address talent management needs. Each
team includes consultants with expertise in talent
management, learning management/development and
Hayes said that these two groups of professionals will
be able to offer a more holistic approach.
For example, she said, a team could be contacted to provide
a training program in interactive
multimedia for a department, but during the consultation
process a specialist might identify other skill
training or organizational deficiencies that need to be
"Before, we had the three centers that all worked in
their own silos," Hayes said. "Now we have
these two teams of people who will be able to offer a range
of services. Instead of just addressing
individual issues, or the symptoms of a problem, we are now
able to look at the bigger picture and root
Additionally, TMOD has established centers of
expertise made up of representatives from both
teams. These centers will proactively develop and implement
new processes and strategies to support
the university's current and future needs in the areas of
organization development, talent management
and learning development.
The Program Management team will develop and provide
tools and resources, both new and
enhanced, for managers and university leaders. It will
design templates and tool kits for performance
management and succession planning, Web-based resources and
assessments for career development,
career pathing guides and leadership development tools and
articles. This group will also develop
reports to track the university's progress in key talent
The effort is already under way. A program in
performance management is currently being
piloted at the Wilmer Eye Institute, and a program in
succession planning will be piloted at the School
In another sweeping organizational change, a new
office of WorkLife and Engagement has been
created, with Michelle Carlstrom as its senior director.
The new office oversees the Faculty and
Staff Assistance Program, Johns Hopkins Student Assistance
Program, LifeSpan Services and the
Office of Faculty, Staff and Retiree Programs.
As part of this reorganization, WorkLife and Faculty,
Staff and Retiree Programs will share
responsibilities for outreach and university activities
such as the annual picnic. The new office will also
have a dedicated marketing and communications person and a
new data management system to enhance
services. The HR Today publication also falls under
Hayes said that the WorkLife and Engagement Office
will be able to better promote and
communicate its events and activities and expand or enhance
outreach, retiree and clinical services.
The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program already offers
expanded locations and hours, and plans are
to develop services and support to pre-retirees, such as
enhanced retirement planning for employees
roughly five years out.
"By pulling all of these offices together, we hope to
leverage our resources and enhance
workplace satisfaction and productivity," Hayes said. "It's
also about creating an environment where
the employee can focus on his or her work."
In the Homewood Human Resources Division, Art McCombs,
senior director, will assume direct
supervisory responsibility for recruiting staff and will
serve as primary contact for staff-relations
issues. There will be additional restructuring of Homewood
HR positions, including the creation of a
generalist position to provide more in-depth expertise in
Hayes said that HR ultimately wants to evolve into a
strategic business partner that better
serves its clients.
"This transformation should be a win-win for both the
university and Human Resources," she
said. "HR will partner with the university to attract,
develop and engage the high-quality work force it
demands. During the process, HR staff will be learning new
skills in business understanding, consulting,
and financial and project management."
The university as a whole is evolving, Hayes said, and
Human Resources needs to change with it.
She points to the reality of a new university president in
2009, an ongoing universitywide strategic
planning effort (Framework for the Future), Johns Hopkins'
continued physical growth and
advancements in technology.
"We want to be more responsive to change," she said.
"I think the HR Transformation will allow
us to see the change as it happens and have the right
people in place to deal with issues that arise."