Why should we love HR and L&D? The Organisational Profit/Value Equation!


More and more leaders are seeing the benefits of a people focused strategy. 

Not only does this extend to satisfying external customer demands and better mutual understanding but what sits in the 'engine' of organisational success is undoubtedly an engaged and capable workforce.

In this info-graphic we see the critical elements of organisational success (profit or value depending on your status):

The crucial risk is in the Engaged and Capable People division, where this seriously reduces the ability to deliver on the top 3 areas of the equation, impacting on the final results.

The position of HR and L&D should be central.

It's very difficult to achieve these 'goals' without evaluation, planning, targeted interventions at all stages, particularly because SMART LEADERSHIP drives the whole situation. Without that, it's hard to achieve a balanced equation. So a priority has to be, DEPLOY SMART LEADERS.

That means recruiting them, developing them, growing them internally, designing frameworks that highlight the right thinking, behaviours and knowledge depth, all to a high standard.

Understanding the equation.

Slick processes
Often these can:

  1. act as barriers to getting things done
  2. slow down and complicate decision making
  3. be used as a method of high control due to a lack of trust

It's interesting to map the decision making process in your organisation.
Even better to slim down those processes so people can feel free and are trained and supported to take more responsibility for decisions. Leaders empower their teams. In HR and L&D terms this means slimming down processes but making sure they are fit for purpose. In the drive to collect more data, we must be clear that we cannot keep ADDING more process to the organisational mix.

Innovative approach
This is the drive to do better, more effectively and efficiently. In profit terms it can mean competitive advantage which often leads to increased market share and shareholder value. In other organisational terms it means better value (for money spent) and increased satisfaction.

When we're not innovative we are:

  1. following rules and conventional boundaries that discourage risk taking
  2. copy others and we waste time following their EXACT example
  3. stay behind the curve and create nothing new
  4. stifle enthusiasm, passion and creative thinking

Here, we must develop a culture of innovation and collaboration, with empowerment, freedom to think and encourage to think beyond conventional boundaries. Looking outside and explore what others in different industries are doing and achieving, so these things can be adapted for our own organsiation, achieved in a collaborative way, without silos, across the whole organisation.

Focused action
Unclear strategic direction, wooly goals and targets, disconnected purpose. These are the signs of unfocused action. Wasted effort in the process of 'doing' something. Smart leaders provide a clear vision and communicate that in different ways so it permeates though the multiple levels of the organisation at pace.

Those clear goals (backed up role modeled values) focus our actions and intentions in the right direction. Without it, we set out on our journey with no idea where we are going to end up.

For HR and L&D it's about evaluating those essential elements to make sure they are clear enough. Secondly we must ensure that strengths are capitalised on because the slow journey of building weaknesses (or areas of lack of motivation) is a long one and people's capability must be put to best use. Poor performance is assessed properly and dealt with and top performers get recognised and their expertise spread and used as role models.


The net impact of low engagement and enthusiasm for the work or the leadership team, means everything else in the equation suffers and mediocre results, slow growth or decline is the outcome. HR and L&D functions therefore must measure, evaluate and look at how high performing teams work and are created in the organisation and support the development of both leaders, managers and team members to the shift towards high performance.

SMART LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY acts as a central pillar, therefore is a major focus of energy, effort and budget and is a key starting point for HR and L&D to really make a difference to the organisation, both in terms of profit/value but engagement and satisfaction of the people who work in it.