Lyndell Fogarty CEO performHR started her business 10 years ago, with a vision of providing a HR service model that allowed business leaders to focus on leading, growing and protecting their organisations. Ten years on and performHR is leading the way in how professional HR delivery can be – pragmatic, agile and delivered in a true partnership model.
As well as a powerfully inspiring set of organisational values and a focus on developing the next generation of HR professionals, performHR also embed a model of ‘give back’ to continue to grow a healthy eco-system of business, education and community in the geographical areas they work in.
performHR was awarded 2018 Employer of Choice – Training & Professional Development by HRD Magazine, and in 2017 was named a Finalist in the Australian HR Awards for Australian HR Champion (CEO) of the Year, and Best Workplace Flexibility Program.
Tell us why you started performHR and how you have grown the business over a decade.
My observation was that Australia’s sector mix and therefore talent mix started to shift. More off-shore hires, emerging industries and the re-positioning of Australia as a country of ‘smarts’. HR was not keeping up with this. It was barely delivering for change resistant organisations as opposed to ones that knew they needed to evolve. I am a systems thinker and a change maker. I could see that access for decision makers did not equal keeping all HR capability internally – how could they create the change agenda, strategy and energy required to help steer the organisation into the next era when they are on the payroll? It didn’t make sense. Not seeing anyone doing this well, I decided to create it.
My more personal ‘why’ behind starting performHR was to stand behind how I showed up as a mother. For me, being a mum of three daughters, I felt a great sense of responsibility to be a role model to them on what was possible. Being fulfilled professionally but staying true to who I am have been my motivators in how I have grown performHR.
performHR’s growth over the last 10 years has been organic. It’s been a real focus on two things. One is providing information to the Australian market around a better way of doing HR. The other was the development of great HR practitioners that could deliver quality HR services to a broad range of industries. And not everybody can do that. The parallel focus on these two drivers has seen us be able to grow sustainably, not always smoothly might I add.
What are the key HR areas for businesses to get right?
The HR areas that we hear making the most noise for businesses is anything compliance related. It’s an area that when working well, you don’t notice. And when it’s not working well, it can make life very difficult for business owners.
Beyond that, the key HR areas that business leaders need to invest in, is driving a culture that allows the organisation to achieve its strategic objectives. This is far more complex, but crucial for sustainable commercial objectives to be met. Great culture makes everything more achievable.
Compliance is the most quantifiable part of HR for businesses. But culture – what it is, how you measure it – is not as obvious. My observation is that it is due to the intangible nature of how we can measure, discuss, and create culture that leaders can shy away from it. And I believe that this is the greatest people risk organisations have.
Share your own leadership philosophy and how you connect performHR‘s mission and values across your team.
My leadership philosophy is that I truly believe any thing is possible, but it’s about what you want to make possible. Our mission is ‘changing the way HR done’, and our values are all around delivering in a pragmatic, innovative way. Our team are comfortable with challenging the status quo.
I’ve been lucky in my own leadership journey to have been able to shape and set the tone of what we’re about as an organisation. For our team, values are far more than just statements on our office wall. They inform the way that we work with each other as a team and just as importantly how we work with our clients.
Our values are:
- Dare to be extraordinary: Which is all around challenging any glass ceiling that we place on ourselves. We’re always willing to operate with growth mindsets, and to challenge our comfort zones. We do this respectfully, through stretching our teams and stretching our clients to consider things they may not have considered before, ensuring that we align what is possible with what is needed.
- No excuses just own it: This value is all about giving people permission to have a go and fail, to make mistakes and learn from them, then move on. And that goes for our Clients as well, we can’t truly partner with our clients if they don’t trust us, and therefore are willing to be completely transparent with us.
- New York state of mind: Represents the way that we show up as the trusted HR partner for our clients. It’s about always being ‘on’ and being highly energetic experts. We are always willing to take on more knowledge, we think outside the square, and we provide customer centric support in a New York minute.
What future HR trends are on the horizon?
The future of both work and of HR is all about people optimization. Attracting the right talent into your organisation is critical. This is relevant to every sector that we work in, including our own. And this is no easy task. It’s about not settling for what’s available, but being smart in how you ensure you’re attracting the right mindsets and skill sets that you can develop and optimize in your organisation.
When you do get the ‘right’ people into your organisation, don’t be complacent. Accountability is not about telling people when they get things wrong. It is about the continuous conversation around what’s right, and what needs to be developed. It’s about shaping each person and steering them in the direction that you need. When you are prepared to hold people accountable, the goal is to get to a point where people are self accountable.
And the third trend on our horizon is ensuring that with the plethora of great technology solutions that continue to come on the market to help with HR automation, that we don’t lose sight of the human element of HR.
HR automation is only one component of HR support – technology is never the ultimate silver bullet. There’s has to be a balance, leadership through human centricity around how we interact with our people, backed by great systems. Not the other way around.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the fact that we have built a business service offering that is leading the outsourced HR sector in Australia in a human centric, client focused way.
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