If you’ve ever won a workplace award, you know that it’s an achievement worth celebrating. But here’s something you may not know: according to one study, a whopping two-thirds of companies that win workplace awards fail within 5 years.
Research shows that a wide range of factors contribute to this high failure rate, from poor management and internal dysfunction to bad talent selection and cost overruns. So what do all of these have in common? Each has something to do with an organization’s people and process management. Or put another way, in the cases of the companies that failed, HR wasn’t aligned with the business objectives.
That’s not to say that organizations should shy away from winning awards. Indeed, companies can reap significant benefits after earning a spot on a workplace award list. These include:
- Attracting and retaining higher caliber talent
- Marketplace credibility
- Greater brand recognition
- Higher revenue (according to one study, awards were linked to a 37% increase sales growth1)
Overcoming the Challenge
The challenge for many award winners is capitalizing on their achievement and creating sustainable, bottom-line success (and winning more awards!)
In order to do that, companies need both a long-term business strategy and the right people and programs to execute on it – essentially, they need to create a “winning” culture.
But it can be hard to get there if those leading the effort – internal HR team members -- don’t have enough time or resources to do it effectively.
Consider this… a CFO.com study found that in-house HR practitioners spend more than 56% of their time working on non-strategic matters like record maintenance, auditing, and daily employee relations issues. That’s about 22 hours of every 40 hour work week.
Imagine what could be accomplished if that time was focused on strategic initiatives aimed at driving business and workplace excellence.
The solution: a collaborative HR partner
No one knows your culture better than you do, so your internal people are going to be most effective at shaping and driving it. But you can get there faster, and realize a range of other benefits, by teaming up with an outside HR partner.
Not only can you shift day-to-day work off of your internal team’s plate, that allows them to focus on the strategic initiatives aimed at propelling your business.
Here are some other benefits of teaming up with an HR partner:
Take Advantage of Additional Resources
There are more than 2 dozen common HR practice areas, from benefits to wage and hour and everything in between. Studies show that the typical in-house HR practitioner can stay on top of 4-5. That’s becoming even more challenging as rules and regulations evolve more quickly and become more state and local-specific. When you partner with a collaborative HR team, you have access to a wide range of HR expertise, in most cases covering all 50 states. The best HR partners also have technology platforms, so you can get HR answers, access documents and forms, see updates to laws and regulations, and more -- any time you need them.
Build the HR capabilities of your team
A highly effective HR partner will not only help shoulder many of your HR tasks, they’ll also increase the capabilities of your HR team. Many in-house HR practitioners may not have the type of training or experience necessary to tackle and act upon more complex initiatives, like employee engagement surveys, succession plans, or a total rewards program. An engaged HR partner will work with your internal team, training them on how to build and execute on strategic efforts, so they can become more effective and productive.
Peace of Mind (and cost savings)
The average cost of an employment lawsuit can cost up to $125,000 and take up to a year to resolve. A knowledgeable HR partner can help ensure your workplace is compliant, giving you peace of mind and saving you from potentially costly penalties.
Bottom Line Benefits
The research is clear: when your HR improves, so does your business. Highly effective HR has been shown to result in the following2:
- 22% higher revenue growth
- 23% faster profit growth
- 19% increase in operating income
- 67% lower employee turnover
- 20% better employee performance
- 3x higher 5-year total returns
By understanding the pivotal ways HR can and should align with the larger business objectives, you can prioritize HR on your agenda and in your budget. That means you can better evaluate the investments you want to make, including winning more workplace awards.
The truth is that if your HR partner is doing its job, the HR leader will feel more empowered and energized than they ever have been. That’s a great step toward building and sustaining a winning company culture.
1 University of Western Ontario and Georgia Institute of Technology
2 Cornell University, Watson Wyatt, Entrepreneur.com, St. Cloud University, Gallup
Learn how to retain your employees with 'stay interviews." As the name implies, the stay interview simply asks employees why they stay. Unlike the well-known exit interview, a stay interview solicits employee feedback before they decide to leave the organization, which can help lead to an increase in employee retention.