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6 ways HR can positively impact the bottom line

How to maximise the impact of your HR department
hr women working

Your company’s HR team may be in a more powerful position than you realise to drive the success of your business. 

We’ve identified six key ways your HR department can have a positive impact on your organisation’s bottom line…

1) Attracting and retaining the right people 

Person specifications aside, the right people are likely to be ones who will be ambassadors for your brand, consistently giving their best and delivering beyond expectations. It’s these people who will really drive the profitability of your business. 

To attract and retain them, you need to work on making sure your employees are engaged. 

Engaged employees are not only more likely to want to stay and develop their careers
with your business but to be more productive. Businesses with a highly engaged workforce receive up to double the number of applications for the roles they advertise, putting them in a much stronger position to secure the best candidates. They are also more profitable.

If you don’t already carry out employee engagement surveys, that would be a good idea. Make sure to include questions to gather solid data, not only on how satisfied employees are but whether they are keen to stay and what keeps them there. Also, take the opportunity to ask for suggestions on what could be improved to make them feel more engaged. Then be sure to take some of their suggestions on board, so employees feel listened to and that their views are important.

You can easily gauge whether you’re getting it right by analysing your attrition data.

2) Recruiting and developing strong leaders

Strong, effective leaders are key to both employee and company performance, and there is a definite correlation between exceptional leadership and outstanding profitability. 

Ideally, your leaders should:

  • have a clear vision for the business
  • communicate effectively 
  • be results-focused
  • be strong role models
  • inspire excellent performance
  • and be good at building relationships.

While it’s desirable to recruit new leaders who already have all those qualities, there are strong arguments for developing existing employees to build their leadership potential. Not least, hiring leaders from within gives more junior employees a strong aspirational message, which will help to drive loyalty and performance. But also, a leader who truly understands the business and feels a genuine sense of ownership and belonging may be more likely to inspire their colleagues to work together for your company’s success. 

Putting a leadership development programme in place to provide training and coaching for employees who show leadership potential will help them make a smooth transition into senior roles.

3) Ensuring HR goals are aligned with overall business objectives

In order to be truly effective, your HR department needs to be working towards goals that mesh with the overarching goals of the business. 

When planning any initiative within the department, taking into consideration how it could contribute towards the company achieving its goals will help to maximise its impact and effectiveness.

Incidentally, knowing that what they are doing is helping the company reach its goals will be instrumental to the engagement of the HR team itself.

4) Providing training that adds real value

In most medium to large companies, it’s the HR department that is responsible for
providing training. 

When deciding which training to offer, consider the value it will bring. If you can correlate successful training outcomes with improved profitability that will make it easier to persuade whoever is responsible for signing off the costs involved that it will be money well spent.

However there are more subtle aspects of value to consider. For example making employees themselves feel valued by providing training that aids their personal or professional development will enhance engagement, bringing more long-term benefits to the business.  

5) Communicating with care

As the intermediary between staff and their employer, your HR department is in a unique position to improve the employee experience. Given the correlation between engagement, productivity and business success, it’s vital to leverage this.  

One of the most powerful ways to drive engagement is through communication. So think carefully about the way HR communicates with staff, and maximise opportunities for two way communication, between employees and HR, and also between staff at different levels. 

Ensure line managers understand the importance of letting staff know how their work and their achievements contribute to the company’s overall goals. Being able to see how their work fits into the bigger picture is the best way to secure buy-in and drive loyalty and performance.   

6) Taking full advantage of technology

Using the right technology effectively is a vital aspect of running an efficient HR operation and could help to give your company an edge over its competition.  

In particular, an advanced enterprise content management (ECM) or document management solution can have a transformative effect. 

For example it can:

  • increase efficiency by eliminating manual, paper-based processes
  • streamline your entire HR operation by integrating with your human capital management (HCM) system 
  • improve data security by encrypting information
  • and free up HR staff to focus on activities that benefit employees and the business as a whole. 

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