Resiliency and HR's Strategic Value to the Organization

This week in HR kicks off our second quarter theme of 2023, cost effectiveness through sustainable planning. Sustainability through cost-effective HR is not any single decision, program, or function; it is a concerted approach of all HR efforts. Cost-effectiveness is not finding cheaper operational methods, either. It is about identifying the best ways to spend your money, especially in a tight environment.

I was working with a 600-person organization recently where the prevailing anxiety had to do with weathering economic uncertainty and the buzz word on the CEO’s lips and all the top leadership was “resilience.” Turns out this is on everyone’s mind these days. How do organizations help their workers be more resilient in uncertain times?

Organizations who care about their employees are already off to a great start. When businesses experience operational turbulence and stresses, employees feel it as much or more so in their personal lives and in their professional pursuits. In business, strategy is how the organization maintains marketability through sustainability and competitive advantage. A strategy would be incomplete if it didn’t anticipate threats to its existence, and this is where resiliency comes in handy as an organizational competency. It should be discussed, rewarded, and reinforced in every activity and function at the organization. I read a definition of resilience in the context of business that really simplified my understanding:

“Resilience is the ability to protect and grow value in the face of rapidly changing external conditions.”

If HR is focused on continuing to find ways to give value to the organizations it serves, building organizational resiliency has got to be its core motivation. One way to do that is to constantly reevaluate the company’s competitive position. Obviously, HR isn’t tasked with designing new products for the marketplace, but HR can think of its worth to the business as a service provider within the business, with dynamic customers and political, social, and economic drivers that it must constantly evaluate and address in its decision-making processes.

If your HR team is doing its job these days, competitive and sustainable compensation will rank among its top concerns, especially if you’re a small to medium-sized business or SMB. HR at SMBs balance competitive compensation with cost-management measures in a very delicate budget dialogue with business leaders and it can begin to feel like a losing battle. So, instead of focusing on just salary increases, think creatively about how to increase the value proposition of your organization beyond the monetary.

There are several strategies that SMBs can use to attract and retain top talent without breaking the bank.

  1. Flexible work arrangements

Offer flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks. These arrangements can help reduce overhead costs by requiring less office space, equipment, and utilities. Additionally, they can help employees achieve better work-life balance, leading to higher job satisfaction and improved retention rates.

  1. Performance-based pay

Performance-based, discretionary incentives is another compensation strategy that SMBs should explore. Instead of offering across-the-board salary increases, performance-based pay ties an employee's compensation to actual business outcomes. This incentivizes employees to work harder and achieve better results, improving productivity and the company's bottom line.

  1. Employee benefits

SMBs often struggle to offer comprehensive benefits packages because they have not properly assessed employee needs and utilization. One cost-cutting compensation strategy is to offer a limited number of high-value benefits, such as health insurance or retirement plans, instead of a broader range of benefits. This approach can help SMBs attract and retain top talent while also keeping costs under control.

  1. Training and development

Workers today are focused on the value exchange between the employee and the employer in much more holistic terms than was previously normal. Employees want more investment in their careers by their employers – in fact, many workers today site the lack of training and investment by their employers as proof that the employer doesn’t value them, directly influencing their decisions to leave employers. The organization should look at professional development as the key to sustaining their business in rapidly changing consumer markets.

Upskilling your workforce can be your strategic lever for innovation and market competitiveness.

  1. Leveraging technology

SMBs should rely on technology to reduce overhead and improve efficiencies, as well as to improve the employee experience. Technology can help automate processes, reduce administrative costs, and improve productivity. By investing in technology, SMBs can maintain competitive compensation packages while also keeping costs under control.


Resilience, Competitive Advantage, Sustainable Practices…these words speak to necessity. Necessity is the mother of all invention. HR, if truly interested in these pursuits, will be key to your business’ success. These are core concerns of all of our work at empact, if we aren’t helping your company achieve its strategic vision, we are not the right fit. Even compliance has key, strategic value. Let us help you turn your HR challenges into a competitive advantages for your organization.


Director, HR Services

Philip began his 12-year Human Resource career in HR Project Management and Recruiting in the legal tech sector, working for startups that were listed among Forbes Fastest Growing Companies. Philip has managed human capital operations in almost all 50 states and in parts of Europe. His experience ranges from compliance to leadership coaching. After achieving his MBA from Tulane University in 2019, Philip transitioned from in-house Director to consulting, where he focuses on helping leaders understand, document, and improve productivity and visibility through Performance Management, Mission Vision and Values integration, and Professional Development. Compliance remains a cornerstone of his strategic assistance to companies that want to scale carefully and smartly.

Philip believes that every employer can methodically create an attractive and inspiring Employer Brand and Human Capital strategy. “Every challenge can become the building block of a breakthrough opportunity through a dynamic HR strategy.