The following article is by Ruth Gawthorpe. Ruth is an experienced HR & Transformation Director who has worked across a wide range of industry sectors.

Getting the best value from your people requires a concerted and strategic effort from today’s HR professionals combined with the ability to have a strategic influence over other business leaders. How can we approach it?

Measure what Matters

Gone are the days when HR measures consisted solely of labour turnover and number of vacancies. While those measures are still valid at an operational level, if you want to directly influence revenue growth then begin with top level measures. One example that I often begin with is “Remuneration as a percentage of Revenue”. Is it at an appropriate level for your type of business and if it’s not then what is causing it to be too high. This will point you in the direction of the policies, procedures or contracts which need to be changed to reduce cost.

That’s just one example. If you are aiming to directly improve revenue growth then remember that your measures should have three characteristics; strategic importance, financial significance and widespread impact. Then get some upward visibility and buy in from leadership and some downward action.

Communicating the need for improvement to your staff

It’s important to get your employees on board with the change needed and to communicate with your staff about the current direction of the business. Review and translate market data into employee speak which will help them to understand why the improvements are needed and use a number of forms of communication to ensure you communicate easily to all preferred styles of learning. For example, use focus groups to ensure employees leave the session concerned about the business and eager to know how they can help reach its goals. Follow this with newsletters to back up the message. For the reflectors, post information relating to the focus groups onto the company intranet and provide a Q and A frameworks and sessions so that they can pose questions at a later date.

Help employees realise where your business is today, the challenge and the changes required. Leave them hungry to help make the business more successful and fully aware of challenges and change in your industry, and why a new direction is needed because of the challenges in your marketplace.

Revise Reward and Benefits

Your Reward system should provide a clear line of sight between what the individual does on a daily basis to help achieve the business plan. It will revolutionise the way that employees are managed, encouraged and rewarded within your company. With the right solution Employees will become focused on their performance and bonus. If you back the system up with good communication they will understand how this links both to the organisations objectives and vision and how they can help achieve improvement.

E Learning Portals

Fast, efficient and cost effective learning, anywhere in the world!! With the onset of social media networks we have found staff increasingly happy to learn online if we make it fun, dynamic and colourful. Learning on line removes the expensive luxury of putting people into classrooms and allows business to manage training time during quieter times. By sourcing and implementating the right online learning portal for your business you will speed up the learning process and you can use a bespoke design to suit business needs and tailor online learning packages. With this type of system you can also capture all relevant training and development management information and integrate it with performance appraisal system.


Finally, if it’s not your core business then outsource it to specialists. Facilities Management, Payroll, Security all take up valuable time for HR… leave yourself time to concentrate on the important task of supporting growth in your business, the optimisation of revenue and improvement of margins.

The Change Directors
Ruth Gawthorpe is the owner of the Change Directors: an HR & business consultancy with a specialist focus on driving growth. For more details on Ruth and the Change Directors visit


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