A continued challenge among HR organizations is the business’ perception that HR provides limited value, and is driven based on transactions. These perceptions have resulted in HR having a minimal voice among executives or an absence from the proverbial table. (According to a recent study conducted by Oxford Economics, HR is only consulted about business planning 26% of the time.) In truth, HR is a cost center and by default an expense to the business that is primarily driven by soft return, and it has a difficult time proving its strategic value and substantiating hard costs savings/benefits. The key question is: do you want to stay this way?
When we look at the persona of an average C-Suite member, their primary focus is ensuring the organization meets its financial goals – whether
through sales, increased widget production, services provided, etc. Although talent typically is called out as a primary driver, most often this priority is
pushed down to the line managers or the burden be place on HR.
C-Suite members want to see and discuss financial progress and frankly are not concerned with time-to-fill, cost-per-hire, how many employees were written up last month, what the benefit enrollment count is, or what new recruitment marketing material is being used. However, in many cases this is in fact the agenda that HR is trying to drive.
So you may be asking: how do I transform my discussion? I have outlined four steps to help you move the needle and get back on the
1. Establish credibility
o It is critical that HR learns and understands the business and has the acumen to participate in conversations. Spending time learning the business will allow you to expose critical (HR or non-HR) gaps and bring actionable solutions.
2. Focus on business outcomes
o For Example: If the organization is investing in a new product and has a goal to generate $100m in revenue, your goal should focus on hiring the right talent to develop, produce, market, and sell this product to achieve this goal.
o Most often you will have 15-20 minutes on the agenda, so use the K.I.S.S philosophy: Keep It Short and Simple. Make sure your talking points and data are relevant and easy to consume.
4. Be an advisor
o Executives are relying on HR to give the straightforward counsel in regards to their people. You are there because you are the expert, so take the opportunity to demonstrate your value.
Before you walk into your next meeting with business executives, ask yourself these questions:
1. Will my points be focused on business or business outcomes?
2. Is the data and/or information relevant and consumable?
3. Do you have a pulse on the organization to add value to the conversation?
It is time you take your place at the table and be recognized as a contributor for driving the success of the organization, and it
is time you are viewed as a partner amongst your business peers and colleagues. As 2015 approaches, there is no better time than now to start making a
For additional reading on HR’s contribution and gaining a seat at the table, take a look at Oxford Economics research study based on the
Leadership Cliff findings, using this link: http://www.successfactors.com/en_us/lp/oxford-economics-workforce-hub-social.html?source=social-addis-HR-blog-leadership-four_steps_csuite_agenda&campaigncode=CRM-XJ14-HCM-1DG_W2SMDH