Progressive HR Guidance to Advance People Programs

Progressive HR Guidance to Advance People Programs

Carlos Larracilla Carlos Larracilla
6 minute read

Organizations operate at different levels of sophistication with unique challenges and conditions. A multinational company with thousands of employees does not have the same needs as a startup or a medium-sized business. Consequently, the goals and requirements they have in terms of how they manage their people and organization can be quite distinct. Having the most advanced and complex HR practices might not be the best solution for every organization, as it depends on their context, culture, and aspirations. Companies need to grow, mature and evolve deploying HR practices that fit their current circumstances and future ambitions. This can be achieved by utilizing progressive HR guidance that is rooted in proven experiences and successful application at similarly staged organizations. 

When looking to upgrade the utility and impact of HR practices and processes, it is important to understand the various characteristics of success. That typically requires extensive research, testing, and experience to understand which elements to include in the upgrade and in what order to implement them. However, solid direction to such enhancements can be found through combined instructional guides and maturity models.

The basic idea is not new; it's based on the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) concept created to measure the level of formality and optimization of government contractors’ software development practices in place for the last few decades. It is now a uniform and accepted measuring standard for companies.

Applied to HR practices, such a model can serve as both an assessment of the current state, a compass to define aspirations, and a guide to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of those processes.

A novel and unique approach

At Wowledge, we have developed an exclusive approach to providing HR guidance for advancing people programs that leverages these concepts in what we call “progressions”. The Wowledge progressions, as applied to each key HR area are multi-level models that incorporate a series of sequentially more advanced best practices or processes that build on each other to produce a desired HR and/or business outcome. Their progressive nature refers to the increased degree of sophistication that each level represents, and they provide “how-to” guidance for each practice.

Since each organization has unique characteristics, needs, and aspirations, we believe in providing companies the choice to identify and focus on the most appropriate level that meets both their current stage as well as their ambitions. Furthermore, companies continue to evolve by targeting new and improved strategies or by needing to adapt to changing market conditions. Wowledge’s progressive HR guidance allows organizations to advance as their needs and aspirations change and grow.

Wowledge’s progression levels

Wowledge’s progressive HR guidance defines the various practices to implement at each of three stages of maturity when building or enhancing a process or HR capability. The idea is that practices at the lower level of the spectrum are the most fundamental and can be built upon as the company is ready to progress from lower to greater levels of sophistication. These three levels represent:

1. The CORE or most fundamental practices are those considered “must haves” in the process. These tend to be both less complex and expensive to implement and are generally practices that should be deployed at a minimum. The implementation of these sets the organization up for greater success when using them as building blocks for implementing more advanced practices.   

For example, at the most basic level of a performance management process, formalizing goal setting, performance feedback, and documentation processes would be considered core practices that all companies should conduct.

2. The ADVANCED or more mature practices are those at the next level of sophistication that lead to more desirable outcomes and tend to be observed in more progressive companies that have refined and tested them for greater impact.

For example, institutionalizing the performance management practice of holding brief weekly coaching and feedback sessions (rather than meeting only at year-end) between a manager and subordinate, and separating compensation and development conversations from those related to performance would be considered more advanced practices seen frequently in more sophisticated organizations.

3. The EMERGING or leading-edge practices involve the latest HR thinking and when adopted are designed to drive more optimized, objective, agile, and targeted processes and outcomes. These most-sophisticated practices are seen at companies that view their use as providing a competitive advantage and representing more impactful approaches to managing their workforces.

For example, the formalized use of multi-rater performance evaluations or talent calibration sessions that more fairly and objectively compare the performance of individuals are considered leading-edge practices.

The value of Wowledge’s progressions, which combine maturity with “how-to” guidance, brings a whole new level of direction to HR teams, especially smaller ones that might lack the in-house depth of expertise needed to design a more impactful process or program. These provide a ready resource that guides the building and strengthening of various HR practices and programs without taking the weeks and months of effort most often required to generate a design, much less develop it into a practice that can be introduced to the organization.

Enter Wowledge

Wowledge is the on-demand expertise partner for HR Pioneers who are building and advancing strategic people programs where they can access up-to-date topic packages comprised of level-specific actionable practices, step-by-step guides, tools, templates, and insights to accelerate the implementation of all their key HR programs.

It represents a modern, all-in-one source for HR professionals to learn from seasoned experts and access actionable best practices for every stage of their organizations. Purpose-built for small, midsize, and growing HR teams, Wowledge delivers the expertise needed to evaluate, build, and advance effective HR programs. Level-based topic packages progress from core to advanced to emerging practices. These guides provide the necessary know-how to implement programs that can transform all HR processes.

Wowledge combines the expertise of a big HR consultancy with the agility of an on-demand service to offer a new way for HR professionals to obtain the necessary know-how and implement effective people programs needed to produce exceptional employee experiences. Wowledge’s curated content comes from its network of seasoned HR experts with backgrounds in management consulting and corporate HR leadership. Expert progression-based topic guides and best practices are continuously updated through its collaborative platform, equipping HR professionals with the know-how to advance their people programs. Anytime. Anywhere.


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