What are some tactics I can use to show the Executive Suite how HR impacts and contributes to the bottom line?
Getting the respect from the C-suite that HR is a value added partner won’t happen overnight; it takes time, patience, and lots of work. There are some key competencies that you need to develop and demonstrate to gain respect from the leadership team – business knowledge, credibility, strategic planning, and metrics.
For executive management to respect HR, they need to see that you really understand all aspects of the business such as the organization’s products and/or services, competitors, customers, financials, and the strategic goals and objectives. Take time to learn about each of these areas so you can communicate accurately inside and outside the organization. Keep in mind, these things change and you’ll need to make sure you are staying up to date on business developments inside your organization and within the industry.
Understanding the business overall helps, but this needs to be coupled with establishing credibility in the organization as well. You will need to:
- Be responsive (answer your phone and return calls in a timely manner)
- Keep commitments (show up and be on time to meetings)
- Share insights on issues being discussed (even if your view is different)
- Demonstrate the value of human resources activities (we can be a cost saver too)
- Interface with management whenever possible (build those personal relationships)
- Be ethical!
For the HR impact to be aligned with the company goals HR also needs to set strategic goals that are directly tied to the business. To do this, you need to use the organization’s strategies and develop a list of the human resources strategies that would support each one. For every activity that human resources performs, you should ask, “Which business strategy does this support?” If you can’t answer the question, ask yourself “Why not?” or “Are we missing a business strategy/goal?” If your organization doesn’t have a strategic plan, HR can take the lead by developing one for HR.
The HR impact on the bottom-line is about metrics…HR needs to be able to measure activities and show cost savings and benefits to the organization. Numbers speak very loudly to management and being able to share HR’s numbers will speak volumes. Some examples: How much is the new program saving you on turnover or absenteeism? What is a lack of training costing the company?
Lastly, we recommend that you take additional steps to ensure that you are positioning yourself to be viewed as a strategic partner. Some ways to do this may include:
- Getting more involved (participating on employee task teams)
- Participating in the organization’s strategic planning session (invite yourself or offer input)
- Walking the talk (be a company champion and lead by example)
- Volunteering to lead a company wide activity (not just the company picnic)
As with any strategy, careful planning and thought need to go into each of these activities. You’ll need to create a plan outlining what you need to do, how you are going to do it, and when it will be accomplished. Putting the plan to paper will help you stay on target and meet your goals. Don’t give up…it can take a lot of time and patience, but eventually the executive team is going to see the HR impact and the value brought to the bottom-line.
In summary, a HR Zone article notes: When you strip everything back, it is fair to say that a business is only really as good as the people working within it. Without people, you simply don’t have a company (in fact, the literal definition of a company is ‘a group of people’), and it is HR that is responsible for those people – attracting them, developing them, and strategically organizing them in a way that enables the business to perform at its best.
HR Strategy involves thinking ahead to the future and strategizing to meet goals and objectives. It also entails working cohesively with the corporate strategy. strategic HR inc. knows how integral human resources is to the success of an organization and can assist you with HR strategy needs. Visit our HR Strategy page to learn more about how we can help you create your strategy and align your HR needs with the corporate strategy.