What it really means to be a strategic HR leader.
HR leaders who want a seat at the executive "strategy planning" table need to become Human Resources critical thinkers who align their people plans (HR strategy) with the strategic goals and profitability of the company. (Look at any HR discussion forum, and you’ll find some version of this question: How can HR get a “seat at the table” and become a strategic business partner?) But most HR leaders find themselves occupied in a problem-solving role as employee reactionaries; "we need a new hire"... "we need disciplinary help" "We have a problem employee"... "We need our managers to get training on the new compliance laws." Far too often, people-pleasing HR leaders fail to cultivate the mindset necessary for creating strategy that adds value to the overall organizational success. This not only stems from traditional HR expectations which focus on people, compliance, and problems but also from HR leaders not managing their own strategic value and intentionally building their department and initiatives on a profitability mindset. Companies that want to ensure future success will look to HR to furnish better succession plans, more effective methods of retaining employees, programs to improve employee engagement, and refined performance management and training processes. (If they don’t find what they need from HR, they will reduce budgets, outsource, and shift responsibilities to other service departments.) HR departments won’t see improved budgets or more power and responsibilities until there’s a shift in HR mindset and a focus on HR Strategy that aligns with business needs.
This relaxed chat addresses how HR leaders can earn that seat at the table by focusing on profitability, innovation, and the growth of the company.