By Angela Finlay, Founding Member and LWCN's SME on Human Resources
Research continues to show that companies who focus on their people strategies drive significantly higher performance than those not focused on employees and culture. We also know smaller, growing companies are often strapped for resources. There is often a push to get the operations team in order, the sales team up and running, and the finance team hired to manage the cashflow. Human Resources talent is often hired but at a more functional level – find us talent, make sure that we all get paid and, if we have the resources, make sure the benefits are in place.
Given the research though, we know that growing companies will need to invest in a more strategic view towards their people at some point in the growth trajectory to be successful. When should leaders start to bring on more strategic HR? Below are the top five things that tend to happen that tell business leader that it is time to make an investment in more strategic HR support:
1) You find yourself having to make tough people decisions without a sounding board, such as workforce planning, retention strategies or rightsizing the organization.
2) You find yourself too involved in the minutia of how HR is running because you worry that they are not looking at the bigger business needs when they create programs and make decisions.
3) Your turnover is too high, is disrupting your business, and you are having trouble recruiting new talent.
4) Your employees seem to be disengaged and not meeting performance targets.
5) The return to office has been difficult after the pandemic and you can’t figure out what the future of work will look like for your organization.
The good news for leaders who find themselves in this situation is that more strategic HR support doesn’t always mean additional headcount. While a dedicated head of HR is always the best option, many companies can bridge the gap with fractional or consultative Chief Human Resources services. Just having access to five hours a month of strategic HR support can drive the right people strategies and performance to lead a business to significantly higher performance.
Angela Finlay is Chief Human Capital Strategist at Windward Human Capital Management LLC. Windward HCM builds sustainable, value drive human capital functions that are aligned directly with driving business performance and company strategic initiatives. We believe that your people programs should be realistic, simplified, data-driven and targeted to your organization. We build transformative programs to meet your people needs for today and in the future, including both fractional and interim HR leader support. Angela Finlay was a former CHRO/Head of HR at organizations ranging from Global Fortune 150 to start-up.