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In our recent poll on LinkedIn, we found that over 75% of you (at the time of writing) are hoping for a promotion this year.

For many of you, this will mean showcasing the impact you’re making in your role, and aligning the work you and your team do to the business strategy, all while building the right relationships as you progress in the organisation.

Sounds a little bit daunting, doesn’t it? Fear not. On the HR Room Podcast this month, we’ve been chatting to some of the top experts and influencers in HR, asking them their advice on all of the above, and more!

So let’s see what they had to say, in this month’s blog, “Tips from the top table!”

P.S. We’ve also got a very useful webinar coming up, as we host “The Secret to HR Strategy” on Wednesday 22nd February at 11:15. Register here and get it in the diary!

For now though, let’s read on!


On episode 101 of the HR Room Podcast, we were delighted to sit down with one of the leading voices in the world of HR, CEO of the CIPD, Peter Cheese. Our discussion was packed with golden pieces of advice and perspectives, but most notably, Peter outlined that when it comes to making a bigger impact in HR, there is no time like the present. Peter has been asked many times over the years, “when will HR get a seat at the table?” His answer….

“The seat at the table has always been there. But historically, we (the HR profession) would have had to fight for it a bit more and be more confident in educating business leaders how the things we care about are so fundamental to business. But now we’ve seen a big shift, and business leaders are far more alert to all of these very big questions and recognise how important it is to their business.”

In addition, Peter also noted how important it is to reflect on our ability to make the progress and drive the change that businesses now need, post-pandemic.

“We’re going through a time of significant change, the expectations of the workforce have changed, we’ve got a huge skills shortage, and a lot of uncertainty. So, the ability to build organisations which are adaptive, agile and responsive – that’s really core stuff for our profession. That implies everything from leadership capabilities, to culture, to empowering people, to upskilling people, to strategic workforce planning.”

So, it’s clear that the time is right – but what can we do day-to-day to build our impact, and the impact of our HR team?

In our discussion with Rachel Fellowes, Chief Wellbeing Officer at Aon, on episode 100 of The HR Room Podcast, Rachel outlined how taking something like wellbeing and embedding it across the business effectively, can be a huge way to build impact; it’s what she calls a sustainable performance initiative, as it touches on many areas of the workplace, and can be directly linked to performance of the business.

“We are very clearly seeing in our data, the link between diversity, equity and inclusion to wellbeing. If you feel a sense of belonging, your wellbeing is likely to be high. It’s also interesting to see how previously it may have been difficult to get business to speak about wellbeing, but now they see the cost – the cost related to attrition, the cost related to succession planning, and so on.”

But therein lies the question, how do we do just that? If our objective or piece of work is, in fact, a sustainable performance initiative, then how do we prove it? How do we link our HR-led project to the costs to the business?

In a sneak peek ahead to episode 105 of The HR Room Podcast, we sat down with Garry McCabe, Chief People Officer at the Mater Private Network, who spoke quite practically and clearly about how to align HR impact to business strategy, and how you can stand over the numbers and results when asked.

“I monetise all of the HR activity. I look at ways we can understand what the return on investment is, what the value add is, and communicate that. It’s so important. We also look at the data, and see if there are opportunities to save money, to find overspend, and to cut out future spend. For L&D, it’s about looking at, for example, a €50,000 leadership program and locking in some return on investment there. Or even simple things like absence reduction – if you’ve got a payroll bill of €100 million and you can save 1% absence, you’re adding €1 million to the bottom line.”

For Garry, it’s also not all about just the numbers, all be they hugely important. It’s also about the values, the behaviours, and building relationships.

“Trust and respect are the great cornerstones of every great relationship, within every great organisation.”

We were also very lucky to hear the organisational psychology perspective, from Julie O’ Sullivan, Head of People Development at Jigsaw Better Business, who, on episode 103 of The HR Room Podcast, spoke to us about those skills of building relationships, knowing your audience, talking the talk, and having a real voice at the top table.

“It’s not just about talking the talk; there’s a lot of background work to be done when it comes to relationship building. People are more inclined to go with your idea if they know you, if they trust you, if they can see that you’re flexible, if there’s generosity and reciprocity there – so don’t neglect that.”

Similarly, in our discussion with Jeni Brown, Chief People Officer at Teamwork, Jeni outlined how bringing this all together can shine a light on your true role as a people leader, within a company. The term Jeni uses for the HR leader is the term “organisational architect“. We highly suggest you listen to the full episode, but here’s a quick insight into what Jeni means by this.

“We are here to bring it all together, to bring what we know, bring our expertise around people, organisation, change, the new operating model for the world of work, and thinking about it as a business strategy, not a people strategy. It is a business conversation; we’re just using our people to deliver it. And without them, we wouldn’t be in business at all.”


How about you? Do you find it an uphill battle making it up the HR ladder, and making an impact when you get there?

Fear not, we’ve got an upcoming webinar where we’ll aim to unlock ‘The Secret To HR Strategy’ with our very own Mary Cullen, Managing Director at Insight HR, and our special guests, Jeni Brown, Chief People Officer at Teamwork, and Julie O’ Sullivan, Head of People Development at Jigsaw Better Business. In this free webinar, we’ll be discussing building skills, building strategies, and building the impact you can make as a HR professional!

Book your space today before you miss out!

And for further guidance and discussion on these topics, and advice and support on anything HR-related, get in touch with us today at 0567701060 or send an email to


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