We chat with the AHRI Queensland state president Corinne Butler CAHRI on how HR can drive positive change in organisations.
Tell us about the work you do at Tweak HR?
I work with businesses in the small, medium and large sectors to align business activity and business strategy. I often find that for most organisations it is about tweaking how they do their ‘people things’, to further improve their performance or productivity. And I believe that a little tweak can make a large difference.
How does the work you do in the private sector differ from that in the public sector?
There are many similarities in the public and private sectors. They have both been impacted by the economy and wanting to provide the same services or produce the same products, but often with less staff or budget. This has created opportunities for the human resources profession. For those of us who can understand how people link to strategy and can assist decision makers in increasing profitability, there are opportunities to be found. Other similarities include that the people I work with genuinely want to make a difference in their chosen field, whether it be in the public or private sectors. And at the end of the day, it is all about people; it always has been and always will be. I vary my approach mainly by the language that I use. One thing that I have found is that some HR people are not good at educating business owners and decision makers on how we can add value to their business. As a result, another HR professional and I have just launched a book, titled Getting Out of the Dog House, which does exactly that – it helps us as individuals, teams, managers and business owners to get out of the dog house. It helps us understand the importance of benchmarking, understanding our personality and that of others, having commonsense that we apply every day, partnered with the need to develop emotional intelligence.
How has the profession changed over the past 15 years in regards to HR playing a strategic role within organisations?
Good HR practitioners have always had a seat at the corporate table in the past 15 years. What I think has changed is most practitioners now understand that it is up to us. It is up to us to understand the business, connect with the team and drive change to make a positive difference. The other main change I have seen in the past 15 years is that the HR profession has had to move from simply ensuring that businesses have the basics right to helping businesses improve their sustainability and growth. Emotional intelligence is another field that many businesses are now starting to realise will help deliver increased performance.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?
Dream big – and then put the building blocks in place to make it happen. Rome wasn’t built in a day – and it was built to last.
How does your involvement with AHRI strengthen and enhance your career?
For me, my involvement with AHRI is about giving back to the profession. I joined AHRI to create a network on the Darling Downs so that I could connect with like-minded HR people in my local area. I then became involved with the state council to continue to be able to contribute. I have now been the state president for three years and my focus has been, and continues to be, on networks (of which Queensland has the most with over 20 networks), value for members and having a regional, SME and public sector focus. It takes a lot of personal time and effort and the results are better informed and well connected HR professionals in the state – which can help us all.