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HR Modernization FAQs

Updated January 13, 2022

  1. What is HR Modernization?
  2. What is the benefit of HR Modernization?
  3. How is HR Modernization different from the Human Capital Management (HCM) Phase II of the Luma Project?
  4. Will HR Modernization be handled similarly to IT Modernization?
  5. What is the timeline for the implementation of HR Modernization? Will HR Modernization occur in phases?
  6. Does HR Modernization include agencies with Delegated Authority?
  1. Will HR staff be laid off from their existing agency and then apply for positions with DHR?
  2. What will the new organization look like?
  3. Are there any specific skillsets the state needs to be successful in modernizing our HR function?
  4. Will DHR’s location move to accommodate more employees?
  5. Will HR positions be reclassified as a result of HR Modernization?
  6. What if I really like the agency I support currently and the work I perform, will I be given the option to continue my work as it is today?
  7. Will agency HR be responsible for their current agency in addition to other agencies?
  8. Who will I report to under the new model?
  9. Will I be able to telecommute?
  10. Will I have to relocate?
  11. I am really nervous about this change and what it means for me and my family. Are there any resources to assist me with this
    transition?
  1. How to I support my HR staff during this time?
  2. How will you ensure HR Modernization meets the needs of the agency?
  3. What can I do to support this initiative?
  4. What should the agency do if they have HR positions they wish to recruit for or reclassify?
  5. Agencies will be working on preparing and submitting their budgets to DFM in the next couple of months. Do we need to plan for a change to the fee charged by DHR?
  6. Will agency Delegated Authority be changed or modified during the implementation of HR Modernization?

What is HR Modernization? HR Modernization is an initiative by Governor Little to provide consistency and efficiency in human resource services delivered by executive state agencies. The HR Modernization Project includes consolidation of HR staff and HR functions through the centralized agency of DHR. This project will be administered by DHR in collaboration with state agencies.

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What is the benefit of HR Modernization? Governor Little and DHR expect that, through modernization, the State of Idaho will:

  • Provide more efficient and effective HR services to state agencies;
  • Assist agency leadership in fulfilling and carrying out their missions by ensuring they hire, train, and retain a skilled workforce;
  • Reduce legal liability and costs through consistent application of HR statutes, rules, policies and procedures;
  • Eliminate duplication of effort, reduce paperwork, and increase efficiencies;
  • Increase consistency of HR related information communicated to state employees; and,
  • Lessen the “loss of knowledge” and/or skills due to turnover of HR positions.

In addition, a consolidated HR model will provide greater career and development opportunities for existing HR staff.

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How is HR Modernization different from the Human Capital Management (HCM) Phase II of the Luma Project? The Luma Project is the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System, which includes Human Capital Management (HCM). The Luma project addresses the automated process functions related to human resources. The Luma Project is managed by the State Controller’s Office (SCO) in consultation with state agencies, such as DHR.

Learn more about the Luma Project.

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Will HR Modernization be handled similarly to IT Modernization? While we do not have all the operational details for how exactly the HR Modernization Project will be implemented, we do know that it will likely occur by HR function, rather than agency-by-agency. Additionally, DHR does not intend to implement a reduction-in-force of HR staff at agencies and have them reapply for positions with DHR. While this was necessary for the successful implementation of the IT Modernization staffing model, we do not anticipate it will be necessary for HR Modernization.

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What is the timeline for the implementation of HR Modernization? Will HR Modernization occur in phases? Planning and implementation of HR Modernization will begin immediately. However, DHR intends to execute this initiative in a thorough and thoughtful manner. DHR will meet with agency heads to discuss and prioritize needs. By announcing this initiative now, the State can begin more detailed operational planning to ensure a smooth transition for all impacted employees and stakeholders.

DHR will begin to centralize HR functions in a phased approach and plans to be fully implemented by the time Phase II of the Luma Project is finalized (est. July 2023).

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Does HR Modernization include agencies with Delegated Authority? Yes, this includes all agencies within the Executive Branch.

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Will HR staff be laid off from their existing agency and then apply for positions with DHR? DHR’s model for Modernization does not currently include a proposal to implement a reduction-in-force of employees at their existing agencies and have them reapply for positions with DHR. Nor does DHR anticipate an overall reduction in full-time- equivalents (FTE) as a result of HR Modernization. Instead, existing staff will be utilized to support the new model.

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What will the new organization look like? We do not yet have an organization chart to share with agencies. This will be constructed by taking into account the needs of the agency, existing staff, and future priorities for HR.

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Are there any specific skillsets the state needs to be successful in modernizing our HR function? All areas of human resources are needed to successfully modernize HR within the State of Idaho. However, we do have an idea of some of the gaps in existing skillsets. For example, most agency HR staff are HR generalists rather than specializing in a single area. We will continue to need HR generalists to provide agency support, but additional specialist skillsets will be needed, such as expertise in recruitment, compensation, classification, investigations, training, and employee relations.

For HR professionals looking to expand their skillset, DHR recommends considering HR certification, through programs such as SHRM or HRCI. HR Certification is not required to be considered for positions within DHR. Additionally, there are other HR training courses available through the colleges and universities.

DHR also provides training courses which may be beneficial to HR professionals, such as Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, Getting Things Done, Supervisor Academy, etc.

In addition to the technical skills needed, DHR recognizes the importance of the necessary “soft skills,” such as problem-solving, communication, writing, conflict management, etc.

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Will DHR’s location move to accommodate more employees? A move is not anticipated at this time, but we will continue to assess the need and make the best decision to support HR Modernization.

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Will HR positions be reclassified as a result of HR Modernization? It is possible that with the HR Modernization Project, updated HR classifications will be necessary. However, we do not have any proposed new job classifications at this time.

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What if I really like the agency I support currently and the work I perform, will I be given the option to continue my work as it is today? DHR will certainly take into account HR employee preferences; however, our commitment is to ensure we have the most efficient and effective HR model supporting the business needs of the agency.

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Will agency HR be responsible for their current agency in addition to other agencies? If agency HR staff has the bandwidth to provide HR support for more than one agency (which will vary depending on the size of the agency) then, yes, they would support more than one agency.

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Who will I report to under the new model? All HR staff will be DHR employees. As the new organizational chart is developed, leadership roles will be identified along with reporting structures.

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Will I be able to telecommute? DHR will consider telecommuting requests based on job duties and the needs of the agency.

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Will I have to relocate? Since HR staff will physically remain within state agencies it is not anticipated that employees will have to relocate. However, it is possible that HR staff will support an additional agency or a different agency than they do today, which may result in some travel. Additionally, DHR cannot guarantee that if an agency HR staff member wishes to remain in their current location that they will be able to do so in their current position (i.e., they may have to move into a different position in order to remain in the location).

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I am really nervous about this change and what it means for me and my family. Are there any resources to assist me with this transition? As always, employees are encouraged to seek out support from a counselor through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help address any stress they may be experiencing due to this announcement. Additional information is available on the Office of Group Insurance website.

In addition, HR employees are encouraged to reach out to DHR to discuss their questions regarding HR Modernization.

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How to I support my HR staff during this time? An initiative of this scale is going to create angst for employees, specifically those within human resources. It is imperative that agency leadership provide positive support, otherwise it will be detrimental to both the HR and agency employees, negatively affecting morale.

Agency leadership needs to be in frequent communication with their HR staff to address any concerns they have and make sure they are receiving the most recent information regarding HR Modernization.

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How will you ensure HR Modernization meets the needs of the agency? DHR will meet with agency leadership and human resources on an ongoing basis to ensure business needs are being met.

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What can I do to support this initiative? While this initiative changes the structure of how human resource services are delivered within the state and may impact who performs the work, it is important to remember that we are all working towards the same goal – providing efficient and effective public services to state employees and Idaho’s citizens.

Agency leadership can support this initiative by ensuring their own concerns are quickly addressed thereby verbalizing their support of the initiative and ensuring that their employee’s questions are addressed in similar manner.

Engaging in negative discussion and behavior regarding this change will not help us move forward in the direction necessary. If any agency director has questions or concerns regarding this initiative, they should contact the DHR Administrator.

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What should the agency do if they have HR positions they wish to recruit for or reclassify? The agency must discuss any HR recruitments or reclassifications with DHR prior to announcing, making job offers, or submitting documentation to reclassify a position.

Our intent is to continue business operations; however, we want to be mindful of any of these actions in order to ensure they support the future HR Modernization model.

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Agencies will be working on preparing and submitting their budgets to DFM in the next couple of months. Do we need to plan for a change to the fee charged by DHR? DHR is consulting with DFM to provide guidance regarding this question. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.

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Will agency Delegated Authority be changed or modified during the implementation of HR Modernization? The end goal is that delegated authority does not exist after the Modernization of HR in the state because all HR staff will report to DHR.

Agencies need to begin considering the impacts of HR decisions at a statewide level and be communicative with DHR regarding such decisions so that planning and implementation of HR Modernization can occur with their input.

The focus should be about how we operate as one team rather than as siloed and individual agencies.

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Do you have a question about HR Modernization?

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