How to Evaluate Your HR Impact 

Thoughtful attractive young businesswoman relaxing with a mug of hot coffee at her desk staring pensively off to the side with a serious expression

Introspective HR

Before HR can align itself with an organizations business strategy it must analyze itself.

HR is always concerned with corporate measurements, such as Key Performance Indicators, benchmarking, and turnover rates. These organizational measurements are good and are required but they not all that is required. In order to impact an organization’s behaviour HR has to first be able to measure its own impact.

Here is a great little article by Tom Haak, a Global HR expert from HR Trends Institute where he highlights his insights into how HR can simply measure its impact.  He outlines ingredients in his recipe for HR impact.  Here are 12 questions every HR department should think about:

  1. To what extent does your HR team speak the language of the business?
  2. How good is your HR team at connecting the various disciplines within the organization?
  3. Which description fits better with your HR team: are you leaders or followers?
  4. Does HR have clear principles?
  5. Is your HR department sufficiently flexible and client focused?
  6. Does your organization laugh with HR or laugh at HR?
  7. Does your HR team dare to experiment?
  8. Is your HR department good at implementing major projects?
  9. Does your HR team dare to innovate?
  10. Does HR have a large and strong network?
  11. Does HR use the opportunities offered by HR analytics?
  12. Does HR come with practical and simple solutions?

Click here to read the complete article by Ton Haak.

Looking inward at your HR department’s ability to influence organizational performance is key to helping the organization meet it business goals and objectives.


  1. 1. Think about an HR department you are familiar with, rate them on the 12 questions above using a 5 point scale, 1 being low and 5 being high. Where are the HR department’s strengths? Where are the areas of improvement?
  2. Your VP of HR wants you to draft an action plan to present to the Board of Directors on how to improve the HR department’s success.



Good News, Bad News

Reading Between the Lines

In 2014, Tim Horton’s was acquired by 3G Capital Partners LP.  Since then, it seems that the acquisition is destined for success as the parent company (3G Capital) and its shareholders are reaping profitable rewards.   These profits did not come from an unplanned, accidental approach.  Instead, there have been and will continue to be, specific and tangible HR business strategies implemented as the company continues through the transition phase of the acquisition process.

Two intertwined arrows graphic
Source: maxuser/Shutterstock

Click Here to Read the Article 

Where do the profits come from?  The article speaks to the streamlining of services, cost efficiency and a new zero based approach to budgeting.  What does this mean?  Job loss, restructuring, outsourcing, downsizing, changes to infrastructure, and culture shift.  The acquisition and merger of Tim Horton’s into an international parent company provides us with evidence of what the theory looks like in actual practice.  Each of these elements has been part of the theoretical Strategic HR Planning discussions that have been included in course of study.

The ‘real life’ end result provides for a good news story about a successful acquisition and merger based on a profitable reward.  What is not included in the story, so far, is the reality of this profitable success and its impact on the hundreds of employees who have lost their jobs.

This too should be included in the tangible HR business strategy, as this particular story continues to unfold.

 Discussion Questions:

  1. Identify three HR business strategies that, when implemented, will result in increased efficiency for 3G Capital Partners LP.
  2. What are the back office functions that could and should be outsourced when two companies merge?
  3. What types of HR programs would help employees as they move through the transition phase of an acquisition or merger?
  4. In your opinion, is this a good news story? Why or why not?