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Kate McCormack

  • Programme: Human Resources Strategy for Transforming Organisations
  • Nationality: Australian
  • Job Post-programme: Director – People, Learning and Culture, Mercy Health 

Current position

Kate is responsible for the development and implementation of the overall HR strategy for Mercy Health, providing strategic advice to the CEO, Chief Officers and Executive. Her work involves driving initiatives such as performance management, recruitment and retention, health and wellbeing, and diversity across the organisation to engage employees and connect the mission, vision and strategic direction. She attended the Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Organisations programme at London Business School in 2009.

Complementing industry experience

With over 20 years experience in HR across retail, logistics and health, I joined Mercy Health in 2001 as Group Human Resources Manager, Director of HR. I have followed Lynda Gratton’s career over the years, so when, in 2009, Mercy Health’s CEO, Dr John Ballard, was awarded the Lynda Gratton CEO of the Year award at the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) Awards, I recognised this programme as an opportunity to review Mercy Health’s strategy and gain invaluable knowledge from some of the most recognised leaders in the field.

Maximising employees’ contribution

Participating in the programme reinforced for me that an HR strategy must be aligned to business goals in order to maximise the contribution of employees and produce results for the organisation.

The programme provided a forum for networking with global organisations and sharing ideas, experiences and challenges. It also gave me a chance to reflect on Mercy Health’s strategies and opportunities to further develop our innovative practices and programmes.

Implementing initiatives

As a result of a discussion with a fellow participant about offering flexible work options within the health industry, we are now developing and piloting a ‘Mother’s Contract’ based on a similar initiative implemented at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht, Holland.

In addition, as a direct result of the programme, I have commenced implementing a number of initiatives, including the development of a robust appraisal process linking a series of measures to the overall business strategy to ensure our people take ownership for meeting agreed objectives. Our goal is to create awareness of strategy through discussion with employees at all levels.

Having also recognised that it is essential to engage senior leaders, in order to enhance their performance and deliver on strategy, I have, in conjunction with an organisational psychologist, developed an onboarding programme that aims to support new executives joining Mercy Health with mentoring and 

Hot spots

The future of the organisation is dependent on our leadership. London Business School, led by Professor Lynda Gratton, has further emphasised this learning. Following my return to work, Mercy Health has committed to participating in phase two of Professor Gratton’s Future of Work Consortium: Turning Ideas into Action. I am working with the business to define its signature processes to ensure sustainability for the organisation into the future.