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Transform HR Performance With These Five Powerful Tactics

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Let’s face it – HR hasn’t always had the best rep for being strategic or driving business performance. The administrative paper-pusher. The policy police. But it’s safe to say those days are over!

HR leaders are feeling the heat to step up and demonstrate real workforce and organisational impact. And for good reason – HR owns critical responsibilities like attracting talent, onboarding employees, setting culture, managing performance, and ensuring compliance. They are the backbone of any successful company.

However, less than half of businesses invest in developing HR’s capabilities as a strategic business function. The problem is, making the leap from taskmaster to strategic powerhouse doesn’t happen overnight.

Turns out, there are a few key moves that can catalyst HR’s glow-up. By investing in digitalisation, prioritising high-value initiatives, embracing workforce analytics, and integrating into business operations, HR can level up their strategic game. Read on for five tactics to transform HR from back-office function to front-line business driver. 

Tactic #1: Invest in HR Digital Transformation

It’s almost 2024 people – time to digitise those archaic HR systems. Those manual processes and messy paperwork aren’t doing anyone favours. Transitioning HR to slick, automated digital systems lays the foundations for next-gen performance. No more wasting hours on dull administrative work, freeing up the team to focus their talents on more impactful initiatives.

A cloud-based HR platform can centralise all your people data – employee info, payroll, absences, performance stats – into unified systems with self-service access. Managers can handle basic HR requests, while leadership gets down with advanced analytics for real-time workforce insights.

And while we are at it, let’s talk about how tech can help tick those compliance boxes. Automated workflow approvals and audit trails means HR can effortlessly track and demonstrate adherence. That’s strategic value baby!

As HR rigs its underlying infrastructure for the digital age, it unlocks more doors to drive performance from recruitment right through to retirement. Streamline those processes, embrace the cloud, turn on the tech – prioritising digital transformation sets HR up for a seriously slick future.

Tactic #2: Prioritise Strategic HR Initiatives 

Whether you lead the HR function or own the whole business, strategy alignment is key. Yet, with so many competing priorities, it’s tough to know where to focus for maximum people impact.

The key? To sync HR goals to overall business objectives – we’re talking long-term vision here. Ask: what workforce superpowers will fuel this company’s five-year plan? Build your programmes to activate those.

For example, leadership wants rapid growth. So HR focuses on hiring influxes of new talent, upskilling veterans, and readying high-potentials to step up. Otherwise, you have solid business targets but lack the workforce to achieve and maintain them. Equally, HR needs a seat at the strategy table when those c-suite conversations happen. People priorities need to be baked into operations from the start.

Aligning business and HR strategy is how you catalyse transformational people impact. It’s on both groups to make this a priority.

Tactic #3: Build HR Analytics Capabilities 

For HR teams looking to up their data game, workforce analytics can seriously raise strategic value. Start by bringing analytical muscle into the HR function – data-driven specialists who crunch retention metrics, absence rates, succession gaps and beyond.

Track key performance indicators across the employee lifecycle to spotlight risks and opportunities. Are certain groups disengaged? Is talent flowing as needed? Who’s at risk of quitting and why?

Serve up insights as data-backed recommendations for leadership. There should be real-talk around succession planning gaps, diversity shortfalls, or hidden retention landmines – this allows the business to course correct quickly.

Armed with analytics, executives can make smarter calls on the people initiatives that move the needle. All driving towards a high-performing and resilient workforce. So while numbers aren’t everyone’s talent, there’s strategic power in workforce data. Continue building analytical capabilities and HR’s voice only grows louder.

Tactic #4: Cultivate a Performance-Driven Culture

When it comes to getting serious performance gains, work culture matters. Let’s talk about how HR can catalyse a workforce that’s aligned, motivated and firing on all cylinders.

Smart move number one – connect individual employee objectives back to organisational targets. Help people see how their role ladders up to big-picture goals. That clarity seriously drives engagement.

Next up is arming managers with the coaching A-game to lead motivated teams. From autonomy and recognition to inclusion and development, equip them with the motivational toolkit.

The ongoing priority should be performance feedback and planning. Identify strengths to double down on and skill gaps to address. Regular check-ins also ensure everyone consistently clocks in with a high-performance mindset.

With the right cultural ingredients, your workforce can level up performance. It may take some work and a bit of adjustment, but the eventual pay off is well worth it.

Tactic #5: Structure HR as a Business Partner 

If we’re really talking transformation, it’s time for HR to plug into the day-to-day business operations. That behind-the-scenes admin stuff isn’t cutting it anymore. To drive real workforce strategy, you need to embed people experts right into the mix.

Think decentralised HR models, where specialist partners work within individual business units. These people loop into the management team and get granular on talent and capability building within their division.

The benefit? They bring that specialised people lens to decisions being made. When a new market strategy launches, when products get redesigned, when regional targets shift – HR is already in the room flagging the talent and change management implications.

What’s more, these embedded HRBPs build tight relationships with the managers they partner with. Together they diagnose needs, rapidly respond to pain points, and trial innovative solutions.

Final Word

By adopting these five powerful tactics, HR can truly transform from a back-office function into a front-line driver of business performance. Digital transformation, strategic prioritisation, data-driven insights, culture-building, and business partnering – when executed well, each one raises HR’s impact significantly. But together? They empower the HR team to not just keep up with business demands, but to help shape its future direction through savvy workforce management. 


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