Can HR Become Strategic? – The Future of Organizations in Canada

By Thomas MacIntosh  |  

3.5 min read

Can HR Become Strategic? – The Future of Organizations in Canada

Human Resources.

Often mocked in pop-culture as the “boring part of business,” HR takes a tough rap sometimes. Think: Michael Scott in the hit TV show, “The Office,” and his unreserved and outward hatred of the office HR manager.

But maybe pop culture has it wrong?

Interest in HR-related subjects have jumped 50% since 2013. [1] Why? Possibly for a few reasons: a rise in mainstream coverage of social-issues, talent-wars, and a spike in the interest in work-life balance.

Although all of those make sense, there is one term that has grown in interest at about the same rate as the interest in the term Human Resources: Company Culture. [2]

Why this sudden interest in a term that first surfaced in thought over 50 years ago? [3] Research has proven company culture is not just a fluffy word to be thrown around, it has significant impacts on a company’s most important line: the bottom one.

A 2019 study by Boston-based talent leader The Predictive Index found that the 80% of CEOs top five business issues are people-based. [4] The data isn’t just empirical either.

A University of Warwick study found that a disengaged and unhappy employee is 10% less productive than they would be, while an engaged employee is 12% more productive. [5] According to a Gallup Business Journal Study, this loss in productivity is costing US businesses a whopping $300 billion a year. [6] As a comparison, every U.S. natural disaster in 2018 combined cost the government $91 billion. [7]

Top business owners around the world have taken note of the changing tides: Google has invested heavily in culture-efforts, and saw a 37% increase in productivity as a result. [8] Blackrock CEO Larry Fink wrote an open letter in 2018 to CEOs worldwide, asking them to support the idea that people and profits go hand in hand. [9]

So, can HR become strategic? What is strategic HR?

Strategic-HR boils down to one idea: that companies can increase culture, market share, and revenue, while cutting costs, by hiring the right people and managing them well. Simply put, using your hires and culture to make more money.

Until the last decade, HR was very concerned with hiring people with the right skills, and then making sure they met their managers expectations and didn’t do anything wrong.

As barriers to entry for new businesses fall, and competition for consumer attention and talent heat up, strategic thinking HR leaders are using their work to gain a competitive advantage. Not just hiring to fill spots, but hiring with the direct purpose of putting high-performers in the right roles to succeed and grow.

At Predictive Success, we use The Predictive Index to help teams hire and inspire the cultural champions that will grow their business and smash the bottom line. We dramatically reduce turnover costs and increase revenues.

Want to give it a try for your next hire? Email and mention this blog, we’ll get you set up.




[3] Lim, Sandra. “How to Tell If Your Corporate Culture Is Healthy.” Investopedia. May 07, 2019. Accessed August 21, 2019.

[4] “A CEO’s #1 Challenge Today Is Finding the Right Talent, According to the Annual CEO Benchmarking Report 2019.” The Predictive Index. Accessed August 21, 2019.

[5] “News & Events.” New Study Shows We Work Harder When We Are Happy. Accessed August 21, 2019.

[6] Gallup, Inc. “What Your Disaffected Workers Cost.” August 05, 2019. Accessed August 21, 2019.

[7] Chappell, Carmin. “Natural Disasters Cost $91 Billion in 2018, According to Federal Report.” CNBC. February 06, 2019. Accessed August 21, 2019.

[8] “News & Events.” New Study Shows We Work Harder When We Are Happy. Accessed August 21, 2019.

[9] Tabaka, Marla. “Keeping Your Employees Happy and Engaged Can Be Expensive. 7 Strategies to Make Sure It Pays Off.” December 31, 2018. Accessed August 21, 2019.





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