Best Practices of High-Impact HR

Oceanic Pharmachem Private Limited (OPPL) believes that the HR Department has to rethink about current work environments and devise high-impact practices to drive productivity.


The workplace has been disrupted in recent times; more working hours, overwhelming stress, and greater deliverables. Employees are forced to re-invent skills to cope with the rise of labour-saving technology and software, including Artificial Intelligence.

HR’s new role for adding value in all this change is challenging. High-Impact HR is the latest buzzword for the definition of HR’s new responsibilities. Even though not easy, HR professionals can play a vital role in responding to this disruption.

In many ways HR is a “no-win” profession: when things go well management takes the credit, and when things go poorly, HR is often blamed. Today’s global HR function is expected to: train managers, address diversity problems, find and hire talented people as fast as possible, train better employees, on-board and transition people smoothly, pay people competitively, arrange great benefits and perks, and build a work environment that is rewarding, enjoyable, and inspiring. Through it all, HR is also expected to maintain accurate records, make sure the global payroll works efficiently, and keep the company out of legal and compliance problems. A difficult job, nonetheless, the HR function can be seen as having two essential tasks: Doing “hard things” and “soft things.”

The Hard Things are the “transactional” issues at work: getting people screened and hired, posting job descriptions, building a career portal, running the payroll, making sure compliance training is done, getting people to do appraisals, and handling employee grievances, safety issues, and terminations. These processes, including things like benefits administration, on boarding, alumni management, and employee communications, are very complicated – but people tend to get upset if they aren’t done well every single time.

The Soft Things are the “people-centric” challenges at work: making sure performance management is done in a positive way, training new managers to be effective, building a leadership and executive pipeline, assessing and strengthening culture and engagement, understanding turnover and productivity, and diagnosing complex issues like theft, harassment, lack of diversity, collaboration, innovation, and employment brand.

While HR can be creative and consultative in addressing these “soft issues,” they tend to be squeezed into available time and budget, while the “hard stuff” gets done first. Research shows that the Soft Things matter more, as people-centric issues drive value, regardless of the business.

In addition, the “soft issues” are at the heart of some major challenges and focussing on them can help HR get more done at work.


Effective HR

To create an impact on profitability, revenue growth, and other financial metrics, effective HR organizations today are taking on a whole new identity. They are still doing the “hard things” well, but they are using automation and streamlining these “must do” activities so they can focus on design, culture, values, leadership, and productivity – the people-centric outcomes from addressing the “soft things.”

This is a transformation called “High-Impact HR,” and it represents a manifesto for the HR department. Not limited to HR alone, High-Impact HR gives insights and practices into making better managers, running IT and other business functions effectively, and focusing on entire business.


Key Practices for High-Impact HR

Seven key practices that differentiate high performing companies are:

> Designing employee experiences by segmenting and understanding work lives

Design thinking takes into account how people already work, make decisions and otherwise organize their day and effort – and uses that knowledge to build specific HR-driven tools to help employees meet goals, improve skills, collaborate and feel more engaged.

> Using HR technology to help improve people’s productivity and experience at work

HR-driven technology has the potential to do much more than automate existing practices. High-impact HR organizations find opportunities to use technology to improve productivity, feedback, and alignment among teams throughout the company.

> Leading the company’s digital transformation

As many companies struggle to understand the utility of digital revolution, HR is uniquely positioned to lead rather than follow. Organizational structure, reward systems and incentives – all under the purview of HR – are critical pieces for businesses in reaching the digital future.

> Understanding and supporting agile and team-centric organizational models

Traditional hierarchies no longer represent the way that most work really gets done. High-impact HR organizations offer collaborative solutions to help constantly shifting team structures with issues such as goal management, performance management, coaching, check-ins, and development.

> Working with leadership to shape a culture of trust, inclusion, purpose, and accountability

High-impact HR organizations don’t just focus on compliance and control – the “hard issues.” By focusing on culture, high-performance HR teams are able to address multiple entry points for “soft issues.”

> Designing HR function to operate as a network of teams, breaking down silos

While specialization in issues like recruiting, learning, compensation and other key functions is important, almost all problems today are multi-disciplinary. High-impact HR teams operate as agile consulting groups, bringing together all the disciplines into action when a problem emerges.

> Regenerating, professionalizing, and continuously developing HR professionals

HR should never be a place to dump those who can’t perform in other parts of the business. Demand the same level of growth and innovation as from other functions of the business and give people lots of opportunities for developmental assignments, external education, research and visits to peer companies.


HR Matters More Than Ever

The examples of HR organizations that climb the ladder to deliver high-impact results are often inspiring and educational. They focus on achieving the seven common outcomes of effective HR organizations. They tend to be more profitable, grow faster, and have higher levels of employee engagement.


Today’s “disrupted world of work” demands leadership, creativity, and passion from HR. HR teams have been given the opportunity to lead. High-Impact HR professionals should lead a crusade to make the work experience productive, engaging and rewarding.