High Impact HR

HR is a discipline which can be waved off by many as being ‘just more H.R. Pufnstuf’ – meaning a lot of noise and action, but with very few tangible outcomes. Like any department or specialty business, human resources can be executed well or poorly. Today’s Karen Gately blog looks at ‘High Impact HR’, and discusses how HR guided by unique business objectives is the most successful. In our experience, measurable and effective HR can be achieved in close consultation with clients who have a strong business agenda. Read on in what is an interesting blog about new wave HR – the kind you can rely on for real change and productivity.

A quote I read recently from a London business school strongly resonated with me … “who cares if your HR strategies are ‘world’s best practice’; to add value HR need to provide solutions that will support the business to achieve its goals”.  While we can all learn from and leverage what has worked for others, HR must work with their clients to ensure approaches taken are targeted to the unique objectives of each organisation. In my experience, high impact HR is achieved only when the business agenda determines priorities and business results are the measure of success.

We are often asked what the most important characteristics and capabilities of HR are.  After many years observing what works and what doesn’t at the top of our list are:

  • Well-developed ability to challenge, influence and coach leaders to drive business success through people
  • Pragmatic and practical approach to applying HR theory and practice; ensuring relevance of HR priorities to achieving specific and measurable business outcomes
  • Strong commercial acumen and ability to align HR strategy to key drivers of business performance
  • Avoidance of a “program driven approach” by instead measuring success through what is created, how it is implemented, and what is achieved
  • Ability to clearly articulate the relevance and impact of HR strategies so as to influence and win the ‘buy-in’ of business leaders
  • Understanding and managing risk while avoiding unnecessary focus on compliance

Working in partnership with the CEO and others leaders, I believe it is HR’s job to influence business performance through leveraging the full potential of teams.   To truly play a key role HR must earn respect from business leaders and build a reputation for being trusted advisors.

Through development and application of strategies, programs and processes but most importantly through leadership strength, HR has the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the success of an organisation through the development of capabilities as well as the spirit of the team.

We’d love to  hear about your experiences with HR. When have you felt that effective HR has truly changed the course and productivity of a business?


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