Reinventing HR: How Can Impact Your Business Strategy

by Pranav Ramesh
August 16, 2022

Businesses need every competitive advantage they can get in today’s fast-evolving and increasingly technological economy. That’s why many C-Suite executives today have been re-examining every aspect of their businesses; determining what is essential, what can go, and what drives value back to their companies. We don’t have to look any further than Google’s recent Simplicity Sprint initiative  for an example of this reimagining in action.

One department that often finds itself overlooked in the reimagination process is Human Resources. Despite being responsible for employee management across metrics like job satisfaction, engagement, and training, HR departments often don’t benefit from overhauling initiatives that target more conventionally important areas such as production, logistics, sales, or management. Businesses today need to understand that there are significant and tangible benefits to re-inventing their HR development processes.

The Many Benefits of Re-Inventing HR

An agile HR unit improves both company performance and employee satisfaction. HR will be instrumental in helping a company shift from a classical hierarchy to an arena that supplies talent to all teams across a company, helping them to achieve their missions while acting as a way-finder. Strategic innovation within HR calls for a future-oriented process of developing and implementing systems that directly contribute to major long-term overall company business objectives while solving day-to-day business problems. 

Once largely focused on the daily grind of the administrative functions of the unit, like employee recruitment, selection, and benefits, the massive disruptions caused by Covid-19 have been an absolute game changer for HR. The stronger the alignment between HR and a company’s larger business strategy, the better a company’s ability to anticipate potential challenges and respond accordingly. This then leads to HR having a much more significant impact on a company’s future projection than if it were continually treated as a singular, siloed unit.  

 Top benefits of increasing HR’s impact on business strategy include: 

1) Promoting employee well-being for continued growth and success, both for the employee and the company

2) Providing leaders with resources to help implement their strategic initiatives

3) Avoiding disruptions that waste valuable time and resources (and ultimately delay companies from reaching their goals)

4) Keeping employees engaged so a company’s long-term goals can be met

5) Providing a sense of direction and purpose to positively affect how work gets done 

How to Increase Your HR’s Strategic Impact 

While the positive benefits of HR impacting business strategy sound great in theory, putting them into practice may give those in the C-Suite pause for concern. Many employees, across all levels of a company, can become very resistant to change. But just because it might be difficult, especially in a traditionally defined unit like HR, doesn’t mean that it can’t, or shouldn’t, be done.  

HR as a partner

One way to begin this process is to have HR function as a partner in helping companies adopt new organizational models. By developing the critical elements of the staffing process, including re-imagined performance reviews, employee wellness, and skill building, HR can begin to lead the shift towards larger, long-term company goals, whether those are a cultural shift or financial shift. HR can also lead by example by shifting its employees to a more agile working model, where people are assigned work based on priorities, not just job descriptions alone.  

Keeping HR tech current

A second approach to increasing HR’s impact on business goals involves the rapid pace of technological advancement and the corresponding skills gap. To survive and thrive, shortly, all companies will need to reskill and upskill the majority of their staff within the next decade.  

Creating a flexible workforce allows companies to better deliver on their strategic business goals while prioritizing shifts in talent.  

A recent McKinsey survey on the post-pandemic workforce showed that more than a third of respondents said that their organizations were unprepared to address the skill gaps exacerbated by automation and digitization. HR is the perfect partner to help rectify this concern by confidently knowing that the right talent is in place to move the company forward efficiently and productively. HR units can also assist larger company goals by researching how disruptions affect employees and understanding how supply and demand will apply to future skills gaps.  

Empowering HR with growth-focused decision-making

A third way to increase HR’s impact on larger business goals includes enabling a company to make quicker and more reliable decisions to increase growth and avoid disruption. A revamped HR, with a better understanding of skills and priorities, can empower staff to take risks in a culture that rewards them for weighing their options quickly and acting in the company’s best interest. Employees who are allowed to make decisions (and who receive effective mentorship from their managers) are much more likely to stay engaged in their day-to-day work while understanding how their decision-making affects the company positively overall. 


Learning from Example: Wistia’s Agility-driven HR Revamp 

At the start of 2020, Wistia, a video marketing company, announced to its 115-odd employees that significant changes were coming to their HR processes. Leadership wanted HR to align better with the company’s overall operating structure. Changes would include moving to a semi-annual performance review cycle, moving all employees into one yearly compensation review cycle, and better defining other HR activities to increasingly support the company’s business strategy.  

The changes that Wistia implemented to employee reviews included: 

  • Providing all employees with the opportunity to decide on the format of their performance review (or skip it entirely) 
  • Removing the peer review portion to ease the burden on all employees 
  • For managers, the number of questions on the review was decreased and timelines were extended for completing reviews  

For Wistia, reevaluating their review process helped them ensure that HR processes impact the overall business strategy, while still adding value to employee growth during an especially challenging time.  


Re-inventing Human Resources is a great opportunity for executives to realign company goals and priorities. After all, if a company’s greatest asset is its workforce, making certain that employees are engaged and productive at work is critical- not to mention all the disruptions that occur with high attrition rates and poor productivity.   






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