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Three ways HR can maximise its ROI in a downturn

How can HR protect its financial investments and retain influence during an economic downturn?

Here are three tips we learned from the latest HR Lunchtime Debate in partnership with Lattice (catch up on demand here.)


1. Capitalise on top performers

When trying to push through projects, the top performing employees at a company will most likely be the ones making sure they become a success, thus providing HR with the desired return on investment (ROI).

Seth Kramer, head of EMEA at Lattice, said that HR needs to make the best use of these top performers to maximise long-term success.

"If your top performers are not in an environment where they can thrive, they're likely to leave because they still have the skillsets that other businesses will find attractive.

"First you need to be able to recognise them, but if you can tap into them and realise why they're successful, that could be an area to use your limited budget to support them and hopefully create more."

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2. Throw out the people strategy

Letting employees rather than HR shape the people strategy is one approach that could help companies get the best out of people.

Michelle Reid, people and operations director at the Institute of Occupational Medicine, shared how this approach helps her create a more agile HR team.

She said: "Not having a people strategy enables me to be more agile but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone as you need to decide what is best in your own organisational context. My plan wrote itself because I took the time to talk to my people and just championed their ideas and solutions.

"That's what I would recommend as a concept and if that means writing it in a strategy because that's how the influence can be won then go ahead. I am lucky that I can influence in other ways thanks to the team and C-suite I work with."


3. Focus on stability rather than agility

Times of crisis may call for agility from HR departments. 

2022 HR Most Influential thinker Paul Taylor-Pitt, founder and creative change consultant at Metamorphosish, said there are certain aspects of business that employees need to depend on regularly.

He said "There are certain things people in an organisation need, and they need the confidence to know we can deliver those for them - some things need stability. Agility is what we can do together for the time that it's needed. 

"HR is always in a process of change and always will be. It's easy to get lost in planning an idealistic future rather than focusing on what's happening here and now"


Learn more and catch up on this webinar on demand here