I know you’re probably sick of hearing about the “2020 vision for the future” by now, but the reality is that as we enter the New Year, it’s full steam ahead for both personal and professional planning, goal setting, and health and well-being inventory-taking. For human resources professionals, this is a busy, stressful, yet exciting time where new initiatives might be put into place and new teams formed to carry out those tasks.

In short, whenever the calendar turns to any new year, things naturally begin…changing.

Several months ago, I wrote about the cost of doing nothing in HR and mentioned how doing things because that’s the way they’ve always been done is comfortable and consistent but might not be steering your organization in the right direction as we move ahead to 2020 and beyond. Reflecting on that blog post got me thinking about the concept of change in the workplace a bit more thoroughly. How can you identify where change is needed? It’s certainly not as simple as throwing new things against the wall to see what will stick. That is productivity at its worst!

If you want to keep from becoming complacent or just taking random actions, it’s vital to evaluate where you stand currently and identify targeted opportunities for improvements.

More importantly, it’s vital to act on those opportunities by being proactive and not reactive, thus staying ahead of any problems that might arise. That’s why I’ve developed a simple framework to help HR professionals do just that called the PARTS framework.

HR PARTS framework concept wood puzzle

PARTS framework overview

This is the first post in a series that will cover all the PARTS you need to make changes in your people processes. Much like a puzzle, when PARTS are put together correctly a clear picture is formed for workplaces. The PARTS framework is an inventory tracker of sorts—a simple yet useful checklist to ensure that your processes are on the right path, and that you’re asking the right questions about your workplace. We will delve deeper into each area of the framework in subsequent blog posts, but for now, here’s a summary of how it all fits together and how you get started.

Spoiler alert: it starts with YOU.

Yes, you.


The P in the PARTS framework focuses on the personal aspect of HR. In a profession where most of the time and effort is spent focusing on the needs of others, oftentimes HR professionals neglect what they need to prosper. It’s making sure that you have what you need to do your job effectively and efficiently so you can be a strategic partner and not a dreaded paper-pusher.

Take a second to think: do you truly have what you need to do your job in the most productive way? Proper HCM technology implementation is key in each piece of the framework, but it’s among the most important elements for this first area. Without the right tools providing efficient and effective processes, the other pieces to PARTS will not fit.


Acquiring employees continues the process of putting the PARTS together, because without employees there is no business! The recruiting process is more important than ever in today’s era of low unemployment and employee choice, and businesses only have one chance to make a good first impression on talented and well-informed candidates. A clear job posting, smooth and efficient application process, and a quick time to hire are just a few vital aspects to ensuring that the acquisition of employees is the best it can be for your organization, your applicants, and your new hires.


Logically, once you recruit employees, you want to be sure you are doing all you can to retain them, which is the R in the PARTS framework. Being in tune with why employees are leaving through a predictive people analytics strategy is a great way to jump start changes that will help improve turnover rates. This starts with having accurate data, and by ensuring you have a single point of truth as the source for that data.

Disparate systems that don’t integrate with each other to share data are an antiquated practice in 2020. If you don’t want to be “so 2019,” you need to start seriously looking at people analytics to help you continuously improve as an HR department and retain your best and brightest employees, especially leading-edge ideas like using AI to help you look at the right pieces of data.


Another key aspect to retaining employees is training them properly and giving them the tools they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability. There are many nuances to training depending on industry, but there are also some things in business that can be viewed as universal.

As an example, managers should not be spending time on mundane scheduling tasks, time off requests, or paper-based performance reviews. Instead, they should be on the front line with workers supporting them, teaching them, and having the conversations necessary to enhance engagement and productivity. Furthermore, managers and employees alike should be notified when they have training expiration dates approaching, thus giving employees the opportunity to renew certifications before they expire. Another aspect to the training piece of the PARTS framework is the implication of communication—or lack thereof—with employees. I’ll discuss that in a future blog post.


Finally, once you’ve mastered your personal HR zen, acquired great employees, put policies in place to retain them, and provided first-class training and development in your workplace, the challenge then moves on to sustaining the culture you worked so hard to build. This is not easy, and it requires effort and the willingness to continue to change, adapt, and pivot when necessary. You might even need to take a risk or two where appropriate. Sustaining a positive culture in the workplace is about making sure you are always thinking of the moments that matter to employees and making changes where necessary based on the data that you have. It’s about acting, not reacting, and giving your employees an experience where the PARTS all stay in place.

Conclusion: Start putting your HR PARTS together now

The PARTS framework is universal, and you can adapt it to fit just about any goals or standards specific to your industry, organization, or department. If you'd like to put your PARTS together and start making positive change in HR, we've got resources to help you do it. Our HR PARTS action plan worksheet is a quick, easy checklist that gives you insight into where your organization stands and the opportunities you have for positive improvements. Answer the questions and you'll get a powerful tool that will help you know where to focus and be confident that you're making a difference. Also keep an eye out for my future blog posts where I'll highlight the different pieces of the PARTS framework in more detail. See you there!

Build your HR PARTS action plan

Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2020