The Five Essential Activities of HR Maturity

by Robert Bluett, the author of The “Maturing” of H.R. (Changing Markets Drive Development in the Companies) - People Management Evolving to Meet the Global Needs.

Key concepts

Several conceptual threads are woven through this book:

  • A focus on employee engagement (and indirectly on customer engagement).

  • Identifying and developing each employee’s strengths to create a strength-based organization – one in which most employees are doing what they are good at most of the time. (We call this working to your strengths.)

  • A focus on the five stakeholders, in other words the five critical players in any sustainable business: customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, the environment and society.

The five stakeholders

Here follows a quick history of where the “five stakeholders” standard has come from.

For a long time a company’s shareholders were the only ones given any real attention. Then, with increased globalization, new competitors arrived and existing companies lost market share to them. As a result, the customers – who now had a choice – started to be taken more seriously. At the same time the competitors began to tempt away the best employees, so employees too were recognized as critical to the sustainable success of a business.

The next development was that competition for resources highlighted the importance of suppliers. It was clearly a good idea to start treating them as the enterprise’s long-term partners.

The increasing occurrence of extreme weather conditions like floods and droughts has since then highlighted the importance of the raw materials suppliers rely on, which led to the environment being counted as a stakeholder for the first time since the start of the industrial age.

The latest – although maybe not the last – evolution has been the way society judges the company brand, that is, the ethics and values a company’s leadership is seen to be promoting. Society has become one more stakeholder whose opinion could make or break an organization.

The five stakeholders are an essential aspect of long-term, sustainable success when applying the principles of HR Maturity .

Key principle

HR Maturity can be summed up as follows:

In an organization, the focus must be on the individual, not only for the individual’s sake, but because this is an essential business strategy. This is the only way a company can stay on top of constantly changing challenges in the marketplace.

In other words, every aspect of business depends on the human factor to make it happen. What we are aiming to do, therefore, is to improve organizational performance through individual personal growth.


This book is not meant to be an exhaustive exploration of all of the aspects of HR Maturity , but rather an illustration of how to apply the main concepts, which have been tried, tested and improved on over the past several decades.

HR Maturity covers the following five essential activities: selecting talent, developing talent, motivating talent, attracting talent, and retaining talent.

As you may know, "talent" is a term borrowed from the theater and film industries. By "talent" I mean your human assets, because without them most of your potential customers would not be interested in your "show" – your product or service.


The Five Essential Activities of HR Maturity

Here is a summary of what each of these means in the context of this book.


Selection includes both recruitment and promotion. The qualities assessed in a candidate are both the "can-do" factors (including education and experience) and the "will-do" factors (like personality and attitude).


Having identified the potential – both realized and latent – of an individual, it is important to develop this potential so that both the person and the company benefit from it. Training, coaching, and mentoring are all used to this effect. Chapter 4 looks at some of the systems that will help you develop the potential of your people.


Motivation is a vital part of developing the individual. I give additional emphasis to this critical area in Chapter 5 of the Book.


Attracting talented people is easy once your systems for Selection, Development and Motivation are in place and working well.

If you don’t get this right, selection is always going to be extremely difficult, because if you only attract unsuitable people, then no matter how efficient and effective your selection process is, it will be impossible to put the right person in the right job at the right time.


The retention of high quality people is important! Employees are happier and more effective when, in HR Maturity terms, they are "working to their strengths"; in other words, they are good at what they do. Equally, you need to be aware of the people who are in jobs for which they are not suited ("working to their weaknesses"). Putting each individual to work in a position where they work to their strengths is critical to the motivation and output of the entire team.

The biggest challenge in implementing the principles of HR Maturity is not that the ideas are complex or difficult; it’s simply the human tendency to resist change and uncertainty. This means that if you want to introduce HR Maturity into your organization successfully, the employees have to be involved in creating and carrying out the changes. This is another very important aspect – participative management.


Copyright © 2018 Robert Bluett

All rights reserved. No part of this content may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author.

Publisher: People Plus (

Third Edition: 2020

ISBN: 978-1-387-74575-3

For Further Information on the HR Maturity, and ordering of the book (hard copy or on-line) please go to subscribe to our website. Or contact us at +66 840 073107, or email us @
7 views0 comments