Emily Lofting-Kisakye, HR Director
Looking back on your time with the Urban Outfitters, what are you most proud of?
There are many things that I look back at proudly over my nine years tenure – the most impactful event has been the people agenda and team becoming a focus and a key partner to, and for, the business. We have continually embraced change and maintained agility in strategy and output to uphold this. Specifically, there has been an increase in engagement resulting in a reduction in labour turnover and increased productivity; this may seem simple but without excellent baseline KPIs it is very hard to level up with a people growth strategy.
What is the most exciting project you’re working on over the next 12 months?
One of the most evolutionary projects that I am currently leading and working on is the journey we have started in diversity, inclusion and equality. The ideas were initiated during the last financial year and this year we have begun with some fantastic and deep-diving leadership discussions. The majority of companies have a pathway in diversity, inclusion and equality already and I am very happy and engaged to be starting ours at Urban Outfitters. There is much conversation and action to be taken in this field across our industry and I am hopeful to be one of the contributors to this discussion in the future.
What do you hope to achieve at Urban Outfitters in the future?
I hope for continued business success and growth. For people, I hope to achieve excellent engagement levels and continued positive succession planning throughout the business in all brands and at all levels. It would be easy to point to a strategic goal here that leaves an amazing legacy. However, as much as we all, as HR professionals, strive for that without the basic level of success the ability to build with complex strategy becomes challenging. Ensuring excellence with engagement brings reduced labour turnover and increased promotional opportunities allowing the basis for brilliant people growth.
What is your guiding philosophy for HR?
An excellent guiding philosophy can help create a culture where everyone understands what is important and knows what we can all strive for together. My guiding philosophy for HR amalgamates my personal values and business focus; it holds firm and true irrespective of changes in strategy, tactical goals or business direction. I believe that true honesty and transparency, along with dedicated business partnering, allows for the best support for any commercial business. The ability to be agile and work well within and during change is so important in modern HR and my philosophy encourages and empowers that way of working.