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Step up and show them what you can do!

hr best practices hr compliance hr department hr essentials hr leadership hr management Aug 16, 2021

HR is continuing to make inroads in the leadership arena, but work is still needed. Survey after survey states that HR and people management is a critical function of organizations. Boards are focusing on HR skills and holding CEO’s accountable for increased alignment and visibility with their HR functions. CFO’s have long been connected to HR but today the role of CHRO (Chief Human Resource Officer) is seen in many organizations. Technology and globalizing is removing many competitive barriers – and human capital continues to differentiate the best businesses today.

HR professionals need to take the initiative to step up and assume responsibility for acting like a leader.  Take on the leadership role that is appropriate in your organization, don’t wait for someone to hand it to you. At the same time, the leadership team needs to acknowledge that human capital is a critical component of their business success and stop excluding HR professionals from critical business conversations and initiatives. HR people can only support corporate growth and change if they understand the underlying issues that created the initiatives at the outset. Reading a memo about the strategic plan is not going to allow your HR team to be aligned with the strategic decisions – they need to be in the meetings to hear the passion and priorities as they are selected.

Stop talking about the company picnic and how difficult open enrollment is. That’s part of the job and you’ve got to get it done every year! Instead, go to your leadership team with ideas that will impact the business! HR needs to be talking to their leadership teams about trends in workplace effectiveness, ways community activism can support corporate goals, organizational design changes that will impact the bottom line. As a member of the leadership team, HR should focus on change management and communicating the vision to the entire employee population in a way that will get all employees on board.

Having a long range vision of the future is a critical component of leadership. It’s not enough for HR to address situations as they arise. We have to know where the intersection of business trends and our organization are, and then plan to attack opportunities head on. Knowing what threats are on the horizon are equally critical as we develop strategic HR plans for the future.  Look into the future of your organization and industry, find the places where HR can add value and be proactive in making those recommendations to your leadership team.

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