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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Clear link between HR effectiveness and financial growth – study


Organisations with an effective HR function generate revenues that are up to 3.5 times higher and profits that are about 2.1 times greater than rivals, according to research.

These are the key findings of a survey among more than 4,200 HR and non-HR managers based in over 100 countries across the world conducted by The Boston Consulting Group and the World Federation of People Management Associations.
The report entitled ‘From Capability to Profitability: Realizing the Value of People Management’ revealed that the highest performing companies excelled in leadership development, talent and performance management activities:
Leadership development – Expectations in terms of contributions and behaviour were made clear to leaders. People development was also made a central tenant of their job specifications, using incentives such as compensation and career development opportunities.
Talent management – Development programmes were offered to a broader range of people than simply the usual successors to top management, with efforts also made to attract international talent. Proactive talent reviews and ample vertical and horizontal career progression opportunities were likewise provided in order to nurture employees’ individual growth and ensure that they were fulfilled professionally.
Performance management – Fair and transparent measurement and rewards systems were used to create a meritocracy, in which clear norms, expectations and global standards were aligned with business goals but also acted as motivators. A key concept, however, was to reward behaviour rather than simply results.
But to perform well in these three disciplines was still not sufficient in and of itself to come out on top. Instead, to be truly effective, it was necessary to integrate such practices and adopt a broad-based, more holistic approach.
Jean-Michel Caye, Boston Consulting Group’s senior partner and co-author of the report, said: “It’s not enough to carry out people management activities in a linear and separate fashion. There is an integrated logic in how a company builds, for example, its talent management, leadership development and performance management efforts.”
The “demonstrable economic benefits of people management” also had important implications for employers that were evaluating which initiatives and activities to cut due to a hard-to-quantify return on investment, he added.
Rainer Stack, another BCG senior partner and report co-writer, pointed out that so-called ‘people companies’ were likewise “far more proactive and more strategic about ensuring they have the talent they need – today and in the future”.
This was because they fully understood the “connection between talent and sustainable performance”, he added.

One Response

  1. great post

     Interesting but not surprising as the role human resources is very important but often downplayed by some. It may not matter how succesful a company is or how good their values are, a group of employees can only work as well as their managed and led, therefore it is essential that high quality leaders are developed and put in place. This as well as monitoring performances and making sure that training is up to scratch. The list of responsibilities that fall under the jurisdiction of human resources allow others to do thier jobs properly and so the ripple effects can determine the failure and success of your organisation.


    David Evans, commercial director at accessplanit, specialist in learning mangement system and learning management software. 

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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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