State of

People Strategy

Report

2024

Connecting HR to Business Impact

It’s been a chaotic year. Yet in the face of so much uncertainty, this year’s State of People Strategy Report found that HR teams still serve as a rock for employees and executives to lean on. But there’s more:

  • HR teams are holding steady: Only 41% are meeting or exceeding their goals, but 64% feel engaged and 65% feel confident about their job security.
  • HR budgets and bandwidth are stabilizing: 79% said their budgets are staying the same or increasing, 76% are already looking into AI solutions, and 86% have a flat or increasing headcount.
  • Successful HR teams have a lot in common: Of those who are exceeding their goals, 82% are confident in connecting their work to business outcomes, and 67% get sufficient support from the C-suite. They’re also 2.6 times as likely to be using performance management software.

Thankfully, there are ways HR can work through these challenges. Scroll through the findings from this year’s survey to discover how high-performing teams are leading the pack and hear from industry leaders on how to do the same.

Overview

Holding Steady in Turbulent Times

In many ways, workplaces this year are making solid steps toward a new normal. The disruption of the pandemic has mostly run its course, and most organizations have chosen a way forward — whether it be fully remote, hybrid, or a full return to the office. And this year’s survey shows that employees have accepted those return-to-office (RTO) policies, for the most part.

Yet many employees still feel uncertain — and for good reason. Economic turbulence in 2023 led to mass layoffs across industries. In fact, this year’s survey found that over the past year, almost half of respondents’ companies laid off staff, and some saw as many as 20% of their employees impacted. Unsurprisingly, in 67% of the organizations surveyed, that has led to low morale.

Perhaps that’s why the outlook has been slightly different for HR. Critical now more than ever during turbulent times, economic uncertainties, and mass layoffs, people teams tell us they have been mostly holding steady. While faced with challenges across the business, HR still feels confident in their job security, budgets, engagement, and outlooks for the year ahead.

  • In most cases, HR headcount and budgets have either remained the same or increased somewhat. And in the case of larger companies, budgets have increased slightly.
  • A healthy 65% of HR professionals are confident in their job security. Only one-third are worried about their jobs or their team’s jobs. Low-performing teams were slightly more likely to
be worried about future employment.
  • Most HR professionals (64%) also feel fully engaged. HR professionals on the highest-performing teams — those who are exceeding their goals — feel the most engaged overall.
  • European HR professionals report higher employee engagement 
than their US counterparts (66% vs. 47%). They’re also slightly more likely than US teams to feel they are meeting or exceeding their goals (45% vs. 40%).
State of HR headcount
Increasing significantly
6%
Increasing slightly
27%
Staying the same
53%
Decreasing slightly
10%
Decreasing significantly
4%
State of HR budget
Increasing significantly
6%
Increasing slightly
31%
Staying the same
42%
Decreasing slightly
14%
Decreasing significantly
6%

HR teams also have another reason to feel hopeful: Leaders at half of the surveyed companies that had layoffs over the past 12 months expect to return to pre-layoff headcount numbers within the next year — pointing to a more certain future for everyone.

Overview

Changing Goals

While HR has stabilized in many areas, what has changed are the programs they’re prioritizing to meet their goals. While employee engagement is still the top priority for HR teams, performance management has gained momentum and is now ranked right alongside it.

Other programs have notably dropped in priority. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) programs, for instance, have dropped significantly on the priority list — falling from 30% in 2022 to 17%
in 2023.

Percent who said DEIB was a top priority
Chart showing the drop in HR teams who included DEIB as a priority, falling from 30% in 2022 to 17% in 2023.
How has your effort level changed with respect to DEIB?
10%
Less effort
36%
No change
19%
Somewhat more effort
35%
Significantly more effort

What that means for actual DEIB programming, though, is unclear — especially given that 90% of respondents claimed 
that DEIB efforts remained the same or increased.

It’s possible that organizations may have completed the implementation of policies and are waiting for them to play out — or they may have backed off on efforts as DEIB has fallen from the spotlight. Either way, this may mean it’s time for HR teams to regroup on DEIB.

“Employees today place more emphasis than ever before on the alignment between company culture and their personal values,” said Regina Ross, chief people officer at Khan Academy. Workplace research from Gartner backs this up, finding that workers want better alignment between their employers’ values and their own. “While HR teams may be tempted to move DEIB down the priority list, the talent they are seeking to attract and maintain are keeping it front and center in their expectations.”

But with DEIB not making headlines in the same way it was during the pandemic, it may no longer be as much the hot topic of conversation in workplaces that it once was, added Gianna Driver, chief human resources officer at Exabeam.

That means it could have easily been deprioritized in favor of more popular topics of the moment, like AI.

But the reality is that these topics are not mutually exclusive. 
“I would encourage people teams to remain steadfast in DEIB prioritization and also continue to weave the narrative around DEIB into all of the work that we do,” Driver added.

While HR teams may be tempted to move DEIB down the priority list, the talent they are seeking to attract 
and maintain are keeping it front and center in their expectations.
Photo of Regina Ross
Regina Ross
Chief People Officer
Khan Academy
Overview

A Positive Feedback Loop

Despite the successes and new priorities, there are still areas where many HR teams are struggling. In fact, only 11% of HR professionals
say they are exceeding their goals, and over half admit they fell short this year. Confidence appears to be a defining trait that sets those high-performing HR teams ahead of the pack. Across company sizes, high-performing teams are more confident in their ability to demonstrate a direct connection to key business objectives.

High and low performers also deviate on several other key factors. 
High-performing teams, for instance, are more likely to have increasing HR headcounts and budgets and are more likely to feel supported by their C-suite.

HR's Confidence in Showing Business Impact
Low-performing teams
High-performing teams
40%
60%
80%
100%
Product/service quality
62%
81%
Customer satisfaction
58%
85%
Revenue growth
49%
75%
Cost avoidance
63%
81%
Key factors of high-performing teams
Low-performing teams
High-performing teams
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Are confident in demonstrating the link between HR and business objectives
40%
82%
Increase HR budget for next year
24%
62%
Use performance management software
18%
48%
Feel supported by C-suite during layoffs
38%
67%
Work with a C-suite that values having a positive culture
44%
62%
Report high employee engagement
44%
75%

These trends point to a positive feedback loop within the organizations led by those high-performing HR teams: By investing in HR tools, they are better able to demonstrate the link between HR and business outcomes, achieving C-suite alignment in turn. And through C-suite alignment, they can build a culture that achieves greater employee and manager engagement — which itself can inspire even more technology investment.

Connecting with the C-suite is like a well-choreographed dance. We need to find common ground, talk their language, but also infuse our unique HR insights. It‘s a tango of data, strategy, and heart.
Photo of Donald Knight
Donald Knight
Chief People Officer
Greenhouse
Key finding 01

HR is struggling to demonstrate its impact

Almost half of HR leaders are feeling increased pressure and scrutiny to show the value of their work — and they’re struggling with how to do so. That increased scrutiny is complicated by two factors: believing in the connection between their work and business outcomes and feeling confident in their ability to demonstrate that connection to other stakeholders.

“It‘s shortsighted to think HR should be focused solely on people programs. I believe HR needs to be an influencer and supporter on every aspect of the business, because people drive results and engaged, supported employees will drive the best results while feeling valued and fulfilled,” said Farrah Jessani Mitra, founder of Green Reed, a leadership development and executive coaching company.

“People teams think about people all day long, so they can
— and should — be key strategic partners in achieving business goals.”

HR teams know the work they're doing is meaningful — most of them indicated they believe in the connection between their people programs and the business’ bottom line. Demonstrating that connection is a skill which can be learned and mastered.

44%
of HR leaders feel increased pressure from the C-suite to justify the investment in people programs

Believing That HR Makes
a Difference

HR teams, for the most part, can see the value of some of their offerings — at least across some categories. For instance, a full 83% of the HR professionals polled feel they can have a significant impact on overall company productivity. But a much smaller number believe HR can impact other key business outcomes — including customer satisfaction, revenue growth, and product/service quality.

This means HR has a ways to go in understanding the connection between people programs and the business’s bottom line.

Revenue growth is driven by the people, all of whom are recruited, hired, and supported by HR. The people team drives business impact because that goal can only be met through your people — and your people are everything. If you treat your employees well and create clear goals that support both the people and the business, you can significantly impact the company’s bottom line.
Photo of Farrah Mitra
Farrah Jessani Mitra
Founder
Green Reed
Which business outcomes do you believe are most impacted by HR?
Productivity
83%
Avoiding Costs
60%
Customer Satisfaction
54%
Revenue
53%
Product Quality
52%

Of course, believing in that connection is just the
start — other stakeholders throughout the business, especially its executive team, have to believe it as well. This means HR teams have to be able to demonstrate the impact.

83%
of the HR professionals polled feel they can have a significant impact on overall company productivity.

Demonstrating a Connection to Business Outcomes

While some HR teams are struggling to understand the impact of their work on key business outcomes, a vast majority of stakeholders outside of HR aren’t seeing it at all.

Even in the areas where HR teams are most sure of their business impact — productivity and cost avoidance — they believe the C-suite is much less likely to recognize that impact.

A positive culture directly impacts employee retention, engagement, and productivity. It’s imperative that we share data linking positive culture to tangible business outcomes.
Photo of Donald Knight
Donald Knight
Chief People Officer
Greenhouse
Which business outcomes do you believe are most impacted by HR?
Productivity
83%
61%
Avoiding Costs
60%
44%
Customer Satisfaction
54%
30%
Revenue
53%
27%
Product Quality
52%
28%
28%
said their executive team sees a link to product/service quality
27%
said their C-suite sees a connection between HR programs and revenue growth
30%
said their C-suite sees a connection between HR programs and customer satisfaction

The remaining categories painted an even more dismal picture: Only 27% of respondents said their C-suite sees a connection between HR programs
and revenue growth. Just 28% said their executive team sees a link to product/service quality and 30% to customer satisfaction. It’s up to HR to connect those dots for stakeholders at every level.

69%
of the HR professionals are confident or very confident in demonstrating their impact on the business


HR teams need to be able to demonstrate these key connections to stakeholders. And the data shows they’re struggling with that objective. While HR teams may be confident in HR programs’ ability to impact productivity, only 69% are confident or very confident in demonstrating their impact. They’re even less confident in connecting the dots for business outcomes like revenue growth and product/service quality.

Demonstrating the connection between people programs and bottom-line objectives is a skill HR teams will need to master in order to secure buy-in from their C-suite executives and help them understand the true value they offer.

Need help presenting key metrics to your leadership team?
Look no further than Lattice’s HR Metrics Slide Deck template and deliver a presentation that will prove the value of your hard work this year.
how confident are you in connecting HR to business impact?
Very confident
Confident
Not Confident
Productivity
31%
41%
28%
Avoiding Costs
32%
39%
29%
Customer Satisfaction
35%
36%
29%
Revenue
36%
39%
25%
Product Quality
42%
35%
23%
key finding 02

HR leaders and the C-suite are disconnected

According to HR leaders at many of the organizations we surveyed, alignment between HR and the C-suite is lacking. Lack of alignment can have negative consequences that reverberate across people teams and through to the employees they work with.

Communicating impact as a people team can come down to self-confidence, especially when businesses are under pressure and people investments are drawing increased scrutiny [...] People leaders shouldn’t be afraid to have — and share — strong opinions around their people strategies and the ways in which they will support overall business growth, both within their organization and in the boardroom.
Photo of Q Hamirani
Q Hamirani
Chief People Officer
Paper
Executives Are Struggling to See the Value of HR
HR teams with strong C-suite alignment are more likely to feel their C-Suite recognizes the impact of their work.
HR Says Their C-Suites:
Believe positive company culture leads directly to better business outcomes
Take employee engagement survey data seriously
Are committed to improving compensation transparency
Recognize HR’s impact on revenue growth

The C-suite’s attitude toward people programs is integral to company culture and influences employee engagement overall. HR leaders were asked to rate their employees’ engagement levels and whether executives valued productivity over having a positive culture. This year’s survey shows that 64% of employees in companies where executives prioritized a positive culture are engaged — compared to only 30% of employees in companies where executives put productivity first.

In companies with high levels of alignment between HR and executives, the C-suite is twice as likely to recognize that a positive company culture leads directly to better business outcomes: 65% vs. 32%.

That means HR can spend less time convincing executives that employees need things like clear expectations or a healthy workplace environment, and more time working to drive business outcomes.

C-suite engagement is also critical to HR teams’ wellbeing. The survey results show that HR teams that aren't aligned with 
the C-suite are:

59%
more likely to feel overwhelmed and burnt out
25%
less likely to feel fully engaged with their job
50%
more likely to worry about job security for themselves 
or their team

A Negative Feedback Loop

But the repercussions of HR and C-suite misalignment can go even further than that, creating a negative feedback loop that trickles down to the individual employee.

Laying off employees is an incredibly challenging decision that 
typically requires HR and C-suite leaders to move in lockstep as they make decisions to reduce their workforce, communicate changes, and provide support to employees.

One area of disagreement lies in how long a layoff’s recovery period should take. HR leaders overwhelmingly (74%) said it takes from four months up to over a year for employee morale and productivity to bounce back after a layoff — while most said their C-suite (66%) expects a full recovery from four months to over a year. That leaves almost eight months for HR to support employees through the
recovery period without help from the C-suite.

If HR teams are not aligned with the business, HR initiatives might not receive the necessary resources, and the organization may face misalignment in goals. This can mean missed revenue goals, dissatisfied employees, and even attrition.
Photo of Donald Knight
Donald Knight
Chief People Officer
Greenhouse


Most HR teams feel that the C-suite falls short in providing the support they need during a layoff. For example, 59% say the C-suite does not provide enough support for addressing low morale. Another 62% and 63% say the C-suite doesn’t provide enough support with training managers about how to talk about layoffs or with redefining roles, respectively.

Time for performance and morale to improve post-layoff
HR’s Perspective
C-Suite’s Perspective
Almost Immediately
3%
24%
1-3 Months
23%
42%
4-6 Months
37%
25%
Up to a Year
27%
7%
Over a Year
10%
2%
74%
of HR leaders said it takes between four and twelve months
for employee morale and productivity to bounce back after a layoff
66%
said their C-suite expects a full recovery
within three months or less

The highest-performing HR teams, on the other hand, are more likely to say they receive long-term support from the C-suite following a layoff — including support with training managers to talk about layoffs and redefining job descriptions. This is in contrast to low-performing teams, who are more often left to their own devices after the initial announcement of a layoff. Without support from the C-suite during such a turbulent time, people teams are even less empowered to reach their goals and drive the kind of impact that could help keep the business afloat.

key finding 03

Performance and engagement are HR’s top focuses

For the third year in a row, employee engagement reigns as a leading priority for HR teams. This year, though, it's joined by performance management. Both initiatives were ranked by more than a third of respondents as their highest priorities, showing that performance and engagement can — and should — be managed in harmony.

highest priority hr initiatives
2021
2022
2023
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
Employee Engagement
Performance Management
Manager Enablement
Learning and Development
Talent Acquisition
Compensation
Goal Setting
Updating HR Tech
DEIB Programs
Recognition Programs
Benefits

Performance Management

Performance management ranked higher in 2023 than it ever has in the history of this report, increasing considerably in the past year in terms of importance. In 2023, it was a top priority for 38% of survey respondents — demonstrating a 40% increase compared to 2022.

This increase is likely a response to a newfound focus on productivity in the wake of layoffs and an uncertain economy. No matter the reasons, the new focus has brought fresh challenges to light, particularly with the execution of performance management programs at the manager level.

In fact, this year’s survey shows that HR professionals have low confidence in managers’ skills, knowledge, and training about performance reviews and conversations about pay. Only 34% of surveyed HR professionals either agree or strongly agree that 
managers have these skills in place.

This lack of confidence in managers around performance management isn’t insurmountable. HR should play an active role in equipping and empowering managers
with knowledge and the ability to practice their skills.
Photo of Regina Ross
Regina Ross
Chief People Officer
Khan Academy
International HR Teams Are Leading the Pack
US
Non-US
Employee engagement levels are high
66%
47%
Managers have the skills, knowledge, and training to have effective compensation conversations
46%
27%
Managers have the skills and tools needed to provide effective employee performance reviews
54%
41%
HR is effectively cultivating employee engagement
61%
49%
HR is effectively supporting employee development and learning
54%
40%
Managers are enabled to address the challenges of remote workers and a hybrid workforce
59%
46%

It’s also interesting to note that HR leaders at international companies have more confidence in their managers’ skills in executing performance management compared to those in the US. Notably, they also report higher employee engagement. This shows a potential link between strongly enabled performance management programs and the overall engagement of employees — another reason investing in both in tandem is a good idea.

Engagement

Meanwhile, the practices HR teams are putting into place to build engagement have been consistent and stabilizing across the board 
— indicating that most HR teams understand and endorse the importance of employee engagement. For three years running, 50% of HR professionals have said they believe their workforce is engaged. And engagement programs have continued to achieve good results this year.

But there are also areas where HR teams may need to do more work in building engagement. A third of HR teams feel that engagement is declining in their organization. Almost half of respondents (48%) said their C-suite executives are still not taking engagement data as seriously as they could — even when most employees respond. That lack of support can be damaging to HR programs as a whole.

75%
of firms conduct engagement surveys, with a 72% average
response rate
50%
Almost half of HR leaders feel their employees are more
engaged than they were two years ago
Key finding 04

HR tech can make or break teams

Across the board, high-performing teams invest differently in HR tech than low-performing teams do. For instance:

  • The highest-performing teams — those exceeding their goals — are 2.6 times more likely to be investing in performance management software than the lowest performers are. In the survey, 40% of all respondents indicate that they use performance management software, but those who don’t use it report falling short of many of their goals.
  • Most of the HR teams surveyed are heavily reliant on basic tools
like Microsoft Office and Google Workspace, as well as human capital management (HCM) and human resource information system (HRIS) solutions. Smaller companies, especially, rely on
basic tools like Microsoft Office. But the data shows that HR teams that use more specialized software for activities such as employee engagement or learning are more likely to be achieving their goals.
  • Among low-performing teams, 65% are still stuck in basic tools like spreadsheets, and only 11% are using people analytics software. Meanwhile, 24% of high-performing teams are using people analytics software, and 48% have performance management software in play.
48%
of HR teams exceeding their goals are using performance management software
18%
of HR teams falling short of many goals are using performance management software
HR‘s Most-Used Software
Exceeding all goals
Falling short of many goals
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, etc
HCM or HRIS Platform Software
Performance Management Software
Solutions from Payroll Provider
Employee Engagement Software
Learning Management Software
Employee Development and Training
People Analytics Software
Performance Management Software
Falling short of many goals
18%
Meeting most goals
41%
Meeting all goals
43%
Exceeding all goals
48%
2.6x
HR teams exceeding their goals are 2.6x more likely to be investing in performance management software.

The Rise of AI

Will artificial intelligence replace jobs? The majority of HR professionals we surveyed don’t think so. While most HR teams (74%) have started discussing and looking for ways to use AI — with 38% beginning to formally evaluate or implement AI solutions — few (28%) believe it will lead to a reduction in headcount in many departments.

AI enables us to do our jobs better. So let AI do what the technology can do, and focus on being human and bringing empathy and other human-centric skills to HR.
Photo of Gianna Driver
Gianna Driver
Chief Human Resources Officer
Exabeam


Rather, they see the potential for AI to help them spend less time buried in paperwork, and more time making a strategic impact.

This points to the positive feedback loop we introduced earlier 
— showing that an investment in HR tools can help people teams better demonstrate the link between their efforts and business outcomes to their C-suite. This can help establish a cycle of continuous improvement backed by C-suite support.

hr ai adoption levels
Pie chart showing the breakdown of HR teams that are implementing AI, exploring AI, informally discussing AI, or not even considering AI. 

Rather, they see the potential for AI to help them spend less time buried in paperwork, and more time making a strategic impact.

Driver encouraged HR leaders to take proactive steps to embrace this new technology. “AI enables us to do our jobs better,” she said. “So let AI do what the technology can do, and focus on being human and bringing empathy and other human-centric skills to HR.
Download Lattice‘s free ebook, The ROI of HR Tech
The cost of implementing HR software might seem steep — but so is the cost of doing nothing.
Charting the way forward 01

Invest in performance and engagement in tandem to create a harmonious cycle

“Engagement and performance are two sides of the same coin, maybe even a bit of a ‘chicken and the egg problem.’ You can’t have one without the other,” said Knight.

By investing in both, you begin to create a harmonious cycle within your organization. Engaged employees are simply more productive — and therefore higher performers overall. When those employees are given the resources, training, and opportunities to do work they’re passionate about, they bring their best selves to the job, which makes driving performance easier for managers and HR.

A 2023 survey by Lattice and YouGov specifically shows that trust, clear responsibilities, and regular praise and recognition all go a long way to creating a work environment where employees perform at their best.

“For high-performing teams, having that crystal clarity is motivating and drives engagement,” Jessani Mitra said. “Not knowing where one stands can feel psychologically unsafe and worrying. High performers want to know what they could do better, they don't want to be told six months later what they could have been doing — or worse yet, never be told.”

To stay engaged, employees need clarity, encouragement, and recognition for a job well done. A well-executed performance management program will then continue to build on that engagement, creating opportunities for employee growth and improvement.

Performance metrics have their place, but we mustn’t overlook the genuine joy and motivation that comes from authentic engagement. It’s about harmonizing the science of performance with the art of engagement.
Photo of Donald Knight
Donald Knight
Chief People Officer
Greenhouse
Charting the way forward 02

Leverage evidence and confidence to prove
HR’s value

High-performing HR teams know how to align their initiatives with business outcomes — but that starts with knowing how to leverage evidence to prove the value of their work.

“The secret sauce that HR leaders sometimes lack is the ability to manage a careful mix of data combined with human stories,” said Knight. “Sure, numbers capture ROI, but illuminating, for example, stories of employee growth and success behind those numbers is key. As a profession, we are capable of bridging the confidence and influence gap through consistent, data-driven reporting supported 
by compelling storytelling.”

Some organizations are starting to get this right. While HR teams that are meeting and exceeding their goals are only slightly more likely to see a connection between HR programs and bottom-line objectives, they are significantly more confident in their ability to demonstrate that link.

For those who struggle with this, though, Hamirani explained how HR leaders can fix that disconnect: “People leaders often lead with people solutions first, business impacts second. Taking the time to understand the business in depth — from what’s working well, to any headwinds the company is facing — will empower teams to lead with these big-picture challenges and align on the right people strategies from there, instead of the other way around.”

But what’s the best approach to building confidence? Driver suggests confronting the challenge head-on. “Understand directly the problem you’re trying to solve, and make sure the business cares about that problem,” she said. “Ask yourself: Why do you want to take a specific action, and what impact do you want to achieve?”

From there, “look for metrics that will help you establish a baseline,” she added. “And where you don’t have metrics, make sure you’re doing what you need to do to generate them. Have a control group, and take a subset HR can work with to measure impact.”

And while it’s hard to tell whether that disconnect is happening with HR teams in the UK, France, and Germany, the data does show they are doing something right. They not only have more confidence in their general ability to demonstrate a link to business outcomes than their US counterparts, but they also rated their performance on HR objectives highly.

Need help presenting key metrics to your leadership team?
Look no further than Lattice’s HR  Metrics Slide Deck template and deliver a presentation that will prove the
value of your hard work this year.
Charting the way forward 03

Align the C-suite and people team
to drive a positive feedback loop

“It's disheartening when the C-suite doesn’t fully grasp the essence of culture. Sometimes it's on us to flip on the light switch on employee engagement, to artfully leverage data and stories to remind the C-suite that people matter,” Knight said. “By weaving in compelling stories with concrete outcomes, we can showcase that culture isn’t an HR perk, it's a business imperative.”

By aligning your C-suite with your HR goals, you’re also taking the first step in improving your HR team’s overall wellbeing. But you’re also putting in place the pieces you need to achieve a positive feedback loop that will begin to elevate people programs and improve engagement throughout the organization as a whole.

Developing that alignment is about “ensuring that you're always taking input strategically and proactively,” Jessani Mitra said. “You have to take input and hear everybody's voices. This includes understanding the business’s goals, the company’s mission, vision, and values, the perspectives of your leadership team, and the voice of the employee. Once you have these key inputs, it’s critical to combine those with your HR lens and expertise.”

Proactively communicating, seeking input, and keeping the executive team updated on where you are in the process can also keep the 
C-suite engaged with your people programs, she added. “As a people leader, I would proactively communicate to the executive team the business and people impact we were trying to achieve, the top three things we needed to achieve that impact, and the support required.”

That choreography can pay off. Highly aligned teams receive more investment and support from the C-suite into their people programs — in turn improving employee and manager engagement. With that in place, HR teams are more likely to reach or exceed their goals and become high performers.

A Cycle of Better Business Outcomes
Link to HR Business Outcomes
High performers confidently link HR initiatives and business outcomes
Align with the C-suite
High performers partner closely with the C-suite
Empower Employees and Managers
High performers report higher workplace engagement and manager trust
Invest in HR Tools
High performers are more likely to use specialized HR tools


Everything begins with the right HR technology. Powerful, integrated tools can empower teams to demonstrate the links between people programs and business outcomes — in turn helping them create better C-suite alignment and win over support across their people programs. For the best-performing programs, this will be a continuous cycle, as teams seek to continue to improve engagement, further alignment, and better link programs to business outcomes — driving even more investment into the technology they need to meet their goals.

Want to learn how to link employee performance 
and engagement?
Read our ebook to get actionable tips on building an organization that’s both engaged and high-performing.
Charting the way forward 04

Build out your tech stack with specialized software that empowers your goals

To meet and exceed all of these goals, take a cue from the high performers and invest in the technology that will get you there.

The highest-performing teams use specialized solutions that empower their people programs and measure the results — enabling them to create a culture of continuous improvement. This also helps them demonstrate the impact their people programs are having, and how those results tie back to the things executives care about — namely, revenue, customer satisfaction, and the quality of the products and services they offer.

That means looking beyond solutions like Microsoft Office and Google Workspace, or even basic HCM and HRIS tools.

While those technologies will always be necessary and provide value, more targeted tools such as performance management and people analytics solutions will help you establish a better understanding of the effectiveness of your people strategies and let you feel confident demonstrating alignment to key business outcomes.

With those in place, you’ll be able to introduce the positive feedback loop we saw earlier — continuously building on the elements that make for more successful people programs and a stronger employee culture overall.