How Peter Hartnett rose to HR Director of the Year in 2016

by John Hilton03 May 2017

Peter Hartnett has made quite a name for himself in the HR profession – capped in 2016 by winning HR Director of the Year at the Australian HR Awards.

At Sanitarium, he has been instrumental in developing a bespoke development plan for sales and account management staff, and launching a leadership program to ensure the executive has a constructive impact on their teams.

When asked about his personal leadership style, he cites three key elements: inclusiveness, empowerment and candour. He is also quick to praise his colleagues.

“I truly value my team and know that without their efforts, passion and skills the achievements that we’ve had would not be possible,” he told HC.

Hartnett’s skills and experience in the HR space were first nurtured in his early career within the police force.

“You learn heaps about people – in very tense situations where there’s conflict. And I think in the police force, there are a lot of the older sergeants and officers who have some amazing skills and you learn a lot in terms of being able to calm situations and read situations really well.”

Since then, he has grown his HR career, working first at Sydney Water and then moving to Sanitarium in 2009. He has helped the firm win multiple accolades including the Best Learning & Development Program at last Friday’s awards.

When describing his personal approach to leadership, Hartnett said he was ultimately very collaborative. To make the most of his team and help them succeed, he let them make their own decisions and take the lead.

He credited his nomination and the outcomes that had been achieved to his team’s dedication, their desire to make a difference and their willingness to try different things.

“It’s very much a team effort,” he said.

The entry deadline is approaching for the 2017 Australian HR Awards.

The full list of categories and details on how to enter are available at Nominations close Friday 12 May.


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