Why your HR department is key to a successful business


Never underestimate the importance of a good employee experience on successful business practice – its effect on client retention is surprising.

We are living through exciting times in HR, says Penny Lovett (FCPHR). What used to be a bit of a backwater, HR is increasingly impacting on the fate and fitness of organisations, proving its worth as key to any successful business.

“I’m really excited by the possibilities for HR in future years, as it’s becoming clearer to the business community that effective HR is a real differentiator to business performance.”

Lovett has spent much of her career working in HR, most notably in senior roles with Bupa, Dulux Group, Pitcher Partners and ANZ, focussing, as she says, “on the people piece of the puzzle.” Yet her route into HR was via accountancy, where she worked as an auditor for a professional services firm.

What brought about the change was a growing fascination with how the experience of employees ultimately influenced the experience of clients.

“I became aware that by getting it right with people, an organisation is much better positioned to get it right with clients. I began to see it as an area that I wanted to learn more about and towards which I could develop my career.”

Lovett places emphasis on continuous learning and professional development – no matter how senior you are in an organisation. That appetite for knowledge, she believes, is not only a good personal attribute but contributes to raising standards and building strong HR practices across the profession.

“The perception in many parts of various industries is that HR isn’t contributing enough to build a  successful business. There is an increasing demand for HR to contribute at a strategic level and to really focus on business performance through people. But at the same time, HR departments are required to deliver day-to-day compliance services – and that’s something that really can’t be overlooked.”

The challenge, says Lovett, is to create an effective HR department or model to enable organisations to deliver on the operational requirements while simultaneously focusing on things that are driving organisational performance. “Getting that balance right is crucial at that high performance level. So, too, is finding great HR talent and developing the capability of HR professionals.”

AHRI’s certification program was a perfect response to those business requirements, says Lovett.

“When I first heard about the professional certification initiative, my response was ‘At last!’. I think it’s a great thing because it enables the HR profession to have a consistent way of certifying the people who work in it. One of the HR profession’s challenges has been not being able to measure the knowledge that we have and the skills that we bring to the role. This certification process enables us to say, that those people who achieve certification have met the standards that are required to perform the HR role effectively’. We can move ahead to have a much higher benchmark for HR capability in Australia.”

Lovett says she enjoyed putting together her case study for assessment as part of the senior pathways program. She drew on a project that she had worked on recently and measured the outcome against the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in AHRI’s Model of Excellence.

“It was a good learning experience because the Model of Excellence provided an effective framework to assess and reflect on what I had done and I learnt some really important things from it.”

Exploring what those lessons were in more detail, Lovett says the case study was about how she had worked within an executive leadership team to develop a new organisational structure and leadership strategy.

“I reflected on my work, looking at how credible I was as I went through the project and how I had applied my skills to resolve issues that arose. I could see where the delivery had been strong but also where there were opportunities where I could have improved.”

It also brought into focus for Lovett the complexity of the HR role and a real paradox that can exist between some of the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are brought together.

If a project requires courage, influencing capabilities and collaborative skills at the same time, for example, that can generate some tension, says Lovett.

“If you become too collaborative, it’s harder to have influence; if you become too courageous, it is potentially harder to be collaborative. It’s getting that balance right, while often under pressure to deliver. At times it means saying ‘No’ in order to build really effective and productive relationships.” Lovett says the case study made her question whether she could have done better and was there a different way to have made it work.

“It was an incredibly constructive process. I didn’t find it particularly arduous; in fact, it was enjoyable because when I came to present it to the NCC panel and be interviewed, it was a reflection of my work and what I have learned.”

Lovett says she is now using her professional networks to spread the word among senior members of the HR community about the new certification process so that there is greater understanding of not only how it works, but of the benefits of strong HR to building a successful business.

“The more we understand that certification will help HR as a community reach higher levels of professionalism, the benefits to us as individuals become clearer and clearer.”

AHRI certification distinguishes HR professionals who are practising effective and strategic HR. To find out more about HR certification, click here

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docandrews
docandrews
8 years ago

Certifying HR practitioners: yesterday’s agenda. Certifying organisations to National HR Standards: that’s the real deal.

If you think there isn’t a role for HR Standards you haven’t seen a country with National HR standards for organisations, an independent HR Auditing program to examine and certify those organisations, and universities teaching undergraduates and postgraduates about HR Standards. Their graduates are moving into industry never having known a business world that didn’t have HR Standards.

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Why your HR department is key to a successful business


Never underestimate the importance of a good employee experience on successful business practice – its effect on client retention is surprising.

We are living through exciting times in HR, says Penny Lovett (FCPHR). What used to be a bit of a backwater, HR is increasingly impacting on the fate and fitness of organisations, proving its worth as key to any successful business.

“I’m really excited by the possibilities for HR in future years, as it’s becoming clearer to the business community that effective HR is a real differentiator to business performance.”

Lovett has spent much of her career working in HR, most notably in senior roles with Bupa, Dulux Group, Pitcher Partners and ANZ, focussing, as she says, “on the people piece of the puzzle.” Yet her route into HR was via accountancy, where she worked as an auditor for a professional services firm.

What brought about the change was a growing fascination with how the experience of employees ultimately influenced the experience of clients.

“I became aware that by getting it right with people, an organisation is much better positioned to get it right with clients. I began to see it as an area that I wanted to learn more about and towards which I could develop my career.”

Lovett places emphasis on continuous learning and professional development – no matter how senior you are in an organisation. That appetite for knowledge, she believes, is not only a good personal attribute but contributes to raising standards and building strong HR practices across the profession.

“The perception in many parts of various industries is that HR isn’t contributing enough to build a  successful business. There is an increasing demand for HR to contribute at a strategic level and to really focus on business performance through people. But at the same time, HR departments are required to deliver day-to-day compliance services – and that’s something that really can’t be overlooked.”

The challenge, says Lovett, is to create an effective HR department or model to enable organisations to deliver on the operational requirements while simultaneously focusing on things that are driving organisational performance. “Getting that balance right is crucial at that high performance level. So, too, is finding great HR talent and developing the capability of HR professionals.”

AHRI’s certification program was a perfect response to those business requirements, says Lovett.

“When I first heard about the professional certification initiative, my response was ‘At last!’. I think it’s a great thing because it enables the HR profession to have a consistent way of certifying the people who work in it. One of the HR profession’s challenges has been not being able to measure the knowledge that we have and the skills that we bring to the role. This certification process enables us to say, that those people who achieve certification have met the standards that are required to perform the HR role effectively’. We can move ahead to have a much higher benchmark for HR capability in Australia.”

Lovett says she enjoyed putting together her case study for assessment as part of the senior pathways program. She drew on a project that she had worked on recently and measured the outcome against the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in AHRI’s Model of Excellence.

“It was a good learning experience because the Model of Excellence provided an effective framework to assess and reflect on what I had done and I learnt some really important things from it.”

Exploring what those lessons were in more detail, Lovett says the case study was about how she had worked within an executive leadership team to develop a new organisational structure and leadership strategy.

“I reflected on my work, looking at how credible I was as I went through the project and how I had applied my skills to resolve issues that arose. I could see where the delivery had been strong but also where there were opportunities where I could have improved.”

It also brought into focus for Lovett the complexity of the HR role and a real paradox that can exist between some of the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are brought together.

If a project requires courage, influencing capabilities and collaborative skills at the same time, for example, that can generate some tension, says Lovett.

“If you become too collaborative, it’s harder to have influence; if you become too courageous, it is potentially harder to be collaborative. It’s getting that balance right, while often under pressure to deliver. At times it means saying ‘No’ in order to build really effective and productive relationships.” Lovett says the case study made her question whether she could have done better and was there a different way to have made it work.

“It was an incredibly constructive process. I didn’t find it particularly arduous; in fact, it was enjoyable because when I came to present it to the NCC panel and be interviewed, it was a reflection of my work and what I have learned.”

Lovett says she is now using her professional networks to spread the word among senior members of the HR community about the new certification process so that there is greater understanding of not only how it works, but of the benefits of strong HR to building a successful business.

“The more we understand that certification will help HR as a community reach higher levels of professionalism, the benefits to us as individuals become clearer and clearer.”

AHRI certification distinguishes HR professionals who are practising effective and strategic HR. To find out more about HR certification, click here

Subscribe to receive comments
Notify me of
guest

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
docandrews
docandrews
8 years ago

Certifying HR practitioners: yesterday’s agenda. Certifying organisations to National HR Standards: that’s the real deal.

If you think there isn’t a role for HR Standards you haven’t seen a country with National HR standards for organisations, an independent HR Auditing program to examine and certify those organisations, and universities teaching undergraduates and postgraduates about HR Standards. Their graduates are moving into industry never having known a business world that didn’t have HR Standards.

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.
More on HRM