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Why Human Resources Plays a Strategic Role within any Organization

Posted on: November 25, 2018

Sandi von Drateln As Chief Human Resources Officer, Sandi von Drateln is responsible for developing and executing Tangoe’s global human resource strategy, including organization effectiveness, engagement, change management, talent acquisition, compensation and benefits. Prior to joining Tangoe, Sandi was Vice President of Human Resources for Fiserv’s Card Services business where she was responsible for overseeing the people aspects of organizational change required for Card Services to respond to increased demand and usage of technology-driven solutions. Sandi has held human resources leadership positions in the United States, Asia-Pacific, and Europe for companies such as gategroup, ANZ Bank, Premier Farnell and Nabisco.


Early in my career, several great mentors helped prepare me for the field of HR and taught me that Human Resources should be a business partner that helps drive the goals of an organization. To me, as Tangoe’s Chief Human Resources Officer, this means balancing advocacy between our investors, our customers, our company and our people.

Doing this well results in attracting and engaging the right team to move our business forward.

Attract the Right Team

Most in my profession agree that creating a great candidate experience is the first step to engaging employees, and this year, Tangoe made the strategic decision to bring more of our recruitment efforts in-house. Our internal recruiters tell Tangoe’s story with the passion and personal experience that only an employee can. They recruit beyond skills and knowledge to find individuals whose personal values and professional drivers align with ours. I am proud when candidates, employees and managers tell me they’ve had a great recruitment experience and the caliber of talent we are recruiting is our proof point.

Engage the Right Team

People are often the largest investment of a company, and the correlation between strong employee engagement and strong business results is well proven.

This summer, every Tangoe employee worldwide was invited to participate in Gallup’s Q12 Employee Engagement Survey to help us see our organization from the viewpoint of our employees. Are we involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to our work and workplace?

When we launched the survey, I made two promises to our employees: (1) Your feedback will not be forgotten in a desk drawer, we will take action and (2) Our action plan will not be so long that we substitute motion for impact.

Here’s a quick look at our approach:

  • Conduct Employment Engagement Survey
  • Communicate Results
  • Dig into the Details
  • Identify the #1 Thing
  • Identify the #1 Fix
  • Communicate Progress

Currently, Tangoe is focusing on identifying one thing that we can implement and/or correct to strengthen employee engagement. That’s right—one thing. We asked for volunteers to host peer focus groups to ensure each of our voices are heard. Today, we have 22 “Engagement Champions” who have already hosted more than 40 focus groups globally. That’s powerful.

I’m excited to debrief with our “Engagement Champions” and to communicate the results to our organization before the end of the year.

Some Closing Thoughts

If you are fortunate enough to work for an organization that creates an environment where you feel valued, get a personal sense of pride and accomplishment from your work and have a clear line of sight between the work you do and your company’s goal – value this. If this is not your current experience, I encourage you to find it. I did! There’s something terrific about the positive energy you get from being highly engaged.

Lastly, please leave any comments for me below. I would love to hear your thoughts around this topic.

One Reply to “Why Human Resources Plays a Strategic Role within any Organization”

  1. Dear Sandy,
    I had the pleasure to work with you. Now I envy those who are working for you. You’re still a great coach and mentor. Keep writing HR articles – great value.

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