Empowering HR with Deborah Wilkes

Episode: 029

Of course HR should have a seat at the top table. Right? But what does HR needs to do to get there?

Lately, HR has become a very hot topic. And for very good reasons as we shift towards a more people centric approach in this new world.

Some research shows that executive leadership wants and needs an HR business partner who adds value to the organisation and the bottom line.

The question is: How can HR deliver that?

Join our host, Michael Banks, and our guest, an HR expert, Deborah Wilkes FCIPD, as she pulls back the curtain on how HR can secure an equal place at the table.

This is a ‘must listen’ for anyone who wants to see HR stand up to business leaders and be seen as a business leader in their own right.

Deborah Wilkes FCIPD eloquently and authoritatively shares the reasons HR historically has never been on the same page as business leaders and how practitioners can leverage the increased credibility and visibility they have gained over the past two years to challenge business leaders by speaking ‘the language of business’, being more assertive, being ‘Politically Intelligent’ and having the courage to push back and be part of the strategy conversation from the beginning versus being invited to the party down the line as mere implementers.

Deborah says ‘HR Maturity’ is required so that the CHRO can sit down with the CEO and have a ‘balanced conversation’. And at the end of this interview she shortlists the main obstacles in the way of HR ‘rising up’ to build a shared agenda with the business, and the major solutions to these obstacles.

This brief overview does not fully do justice to this rich and informative conversation.

If you are interested in knowing more about ‘HR MATURITY’ please join us to find out more.


Deborah Wilkes, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and is an expert on all matters HR. She has worked with leaders and managers for 25 years running development workshops and as a coach.  Clients have included global, national and local organisations, private and public sector.  Deborah has worked with many HR leaders and teams, and in HR strategy and OD.  Prior to that, she worked her way up in HR and set up and led UK and European HR functions in global organisations.

In 2016 Deborah began researching what makes great HR and the company Enable-HR was born.  She brings together depth of experience in developing great leaders and managers, and relates this to the particular challenges faced in HR.  Their unique framework of 7 HR Enablers facilitates development and also evaluation – self, team and 360.  Deborah’s book ‘Empowering HR’ was published in March 2021.

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