by Michael Pickett

The Challenge 

How does an ambitious nonprofit organization make sure its human resources (HR) team is keeping up with its evolving needs? A national nonprofit was concerned that its HR systems, processes, skills and engagement model with internal customers were not able to drive the value and deliver the services needed across its 875-person organization. Leadership engaged Point B to conduct an HR assessment that would identify key challenges and deliver effective recommendations to address them.

Getting clear on critical needs

What were the HR team's opportunities, objectives and priorities? What obstacles were standing in the way of achieving them? Our assessment brought together senior executives from across the organization with a number of people from the HR team. We led a deep dive that included one-to-one interviews, a close look at HR capabilities, and a thorough needs analysis. Based on our findings, we identified a number of key challenges and shared clear recommendations to address them.

Our assessment found the HR team to be resilient and adaptable, with faith in leadership. These are important foundational strengths for addressing the challenges we identified: unclear processes, including new-hire processes; lack of prioritization across operations and projects; unclear service expectations; and no clear model for engaging with internal customers. We also found a gap in project management processes, and a need for more active collaboration across departments such as Finance and Learning & Development. On a maturity scale of 0 (unmanaged) to 5 (optimized), we rated the HR organization at an emerging Level 2, with limited managed process and repeatability.

Leading a leap forward 

We developed near- and long-term recommendations for the HR team, together with a roadmap for change and an implementation plan. Because our collective effort was so efficient during the assessment phase, we were able to deliver above and beyond the original scope of our engagement. We actually began implementing our client's highest priority projects in three areas: process improvement, customer engagement and program management. Leading these key projects into action was a leap forward in delivering new HR value across the organization.

A mission-critical asset

In short order, Point B helped the HR team to not only align around a vision, but to begin achieving its most important goals. The HR team is now moving forward with the plans, processes and tools to be a major strategic asset with a visible, valued role in achieving the organization's mission.