5 New Year’s resolutions for businesses in 2019

Joe Wedgwood | 2nd January 2019

“In a world of increasing change and complexity, we have a lot to think about as we develop the future for HR. But we also have a great opportunity to position HR at the heart of business, rising to our role in building organizations [sic] that are more agile and adaptive, more diverse, more responsible and sustainable, and that drive greater value.”

– Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of CIPD

Another year has come to a close, and another has just started. We’re in 2019! With a new year comes new resolutions. If you haven’t thought of your own yet – here are my top-5 for businesses of all sizes for 2019:

Put your people first

The majority of businesses still operate with a hierarchical structure. It’s tried and tested, but does that mean it’s the best option? The main reasoning behind this model is to control people. Will controlling your people motivate them their best work or help them to be happy at work?

Happy employees will ensure you have satisfied, loyal customers who in turn keep the board happy.

If your business is still operating the traditional hierarchical business model with stakeholders at the top, then clients, then your people – you are sure to find operating inefficiencies. Invert the triangle and put your people at the top.

Be strategic

With the ongoing shift from transactional HR, to HR being directly involved in setting company strategy – your focus should be on making time for the things that matter most. Focus on more exciting and engaging projects that have a real impact on your people and their work. Let technology aid you in managing the transactional stuff and put your creativity and energy into making positive changes that will be felt throughout the organisation and make your people happier!

According to Morneau Shepell’s Human Resources Trends for 2018 report, “HR leaders want to spend more time delivering value, and less time on tactical activities. 43% said that streamlining the administration of HR programs was a key priority.”

Develop leadership competencies

Develop leadership

We recently attended the HR Vision event and it was cited that, “Only 27% of individuals believe they have the leaders they need for successful personal development, and only 14% of people have the right leaders to lead their organisation successfully.”

According to research by The Job Exodus 2018 report, a whopping “49% of workers looking for a new role, cite poor management as the main reason they’re considering looking for a new job next year.”

This highlights there’s no time to carry ineffective leaders. If you haven’t already identified your future leaders, now is the time. Those managers who do not possess the right skills and natural characteristics could be costing you more than you realise in recruitment and retention strategies.


Over the years I’ve seen too many HR professionals struggling to work alone or worse still – against other internal teams who should be helping to make HR’s life easier. If your departments are failing to work collaboratively, then you are missing out on huge opportunities.

By creating networks of collaborative departments which interact with each other – you will help breed creativity and encourage agility. Everyone can use their initiative and work with the departments they need to in order to achieve their goals.

Working with the finance teams can help generate board level buy-in and ensure you are measuring the right things. Working with IT will mean your technology and related programmes run quicker and more smoothly. Meaning you can achieve more, much faster. If technology is not your natural strength, then harness the people internally who will help you get to grips with it quicker.

Collaboration with your Marketing team is essential. Your marketing team are expert at creating a compelling story and delivering it in the right format for each audience. Their input can add huge value to your people programmes.

Collaboration often leads to cost efficiencies. Consider what facilities and technology can be shared between teams to reduce the cost to HR…

Use data

Use data

2019 is the year to embrace a data-driven approach. If you don’t, you’ll be outstripped by your competition. They will recruit and retain the best talent, leaving you trailing behind.

Make efforts to embrace the changes that technology brings and find what works best for you. Embracing technology is essential, but implementing new tech shouldn’t create more work. Pull systems together if you can, making sure the data you need is in an environment that is fitting for you and easily accessible.

Often when we add new tech, we have another siloed system that works independently and requires its own login. By unleashing data and incorporating it with existing systems, you will create a unified network. Look for technology solutions you can integrate into your existing systems to give yourself a head start. By removing inefficiencies, you will make your data more timely, usable and useful.

2019 will be the year we start to see game-changing technology. AI, Machine Learning and predictive analytics will revolutionise how businesses operate. Make sure you keep abreast of all the new and exciting opportunities!