Wake Up HR! Think Business Growth

Stop being one of those Human Resources Leaders who lives in a constant state of fear that your budget will be cut. If you form strategic partnerships with business line leaders to support business growth and innovation, instead of getting your budget cut, you will get additional funding.

Think beyond the initiatives you’ve done for years, and even beyond what you’ve been asked to do. Dream bigger, prioritize well, and apply the following three tips for being seen as a more strategic business partner who gets more funding to drive greater employee growth and customer innovations.

Hire the right people for the future

While most HR teams treat recruiting as a responsive job function, it is critical to your reputation as a strategic leader that you see it as a proactive one. Instead of merely taking orders when someone wants to fill a position, work with business line leaders to evaluate their long-term business goals and help them evaluate how that may affect staffing in the coming months or years.

Many business line leaders wait to request recruiting services until they need someone today, and then get frustrated when it takes you six to twelve months to find the right person. They may be so impatient that they hire the wrong person quickly and you end up having to turn that role over again shortly thereafter. Quarterly talent planning discussions with your business line leaders enables you to look ahead to who you should start recruiting now. This eases the strain on your recruiting team, keeps departments from being overwhelmed when there is a gap in staffing, and gives them the ability to continue functioning at their optimum capacity.

These quarterly discussions should also evaluate whether or not the people currently on their team will meet their needs for the next year or two. The result of that conversation may drive you to look for different people or consider the type of development existing team members need to provide a higher level of performance.

Develop the right people for the future

Do not wait until something has gone wrong or someone has panicked to plan your training and development. People outside HR rarely understand how long it takes to implement training.  Most people outside HR think you can magically buy and deliver outsourced training in about a week and that internally developed training takes way too long. Then when you describe the timeline to budget for it, select a vendor (or staff internally), customize the training, and ensure all the participants have enough notice to clear their calendars, again, they get frustrated with you and your strategic brand suffers.

This is another reason to have a quarterly talent planning discussion with business line leaders.  Understand what challenges they are facing today and what goals they have for the future so you can start interviewing vendors or developing training before it reaches “fire drill” urgency.

The reputation of your Human Resources team suffers when you wait for someone to request training. Often the perception of the requester is that you took too long to provide it. Have these conversations early and often so that when a team needs training, you have it ready to go. Furthermore, if you haven’t thought ahead to the soft skills leaders need as they climb up the ranks, start looking at that now.  They need certain experiences and training to grow into management and a whole additional set of experiences and development to become executives.

In the weeks preceding employee development events, make certain that all communications and invitations clearly state the purpose of the event. Participants and their managers must understand the business value of the event and how it will ultimately make their jobs faster and easier. Mindset is everything: if the value is not clearly articulated, people will either not come at all or will decide to not pay attention before they even enter the room. If you do a good job of articulating the value, they will learn more, the business will perform better, and you will be seen as a hero.

Engage your people for the future

Sometimes the phrase employee engagement sounds a little too squishy to executives who are not in HR. It is your job to make certain that every functional business leader understands the part that employee engagement plays in customer engagement. If you do this well, everyone in your company will be willing to invest time and budget into optimizing the engagement of their team.

There are a myriad of employee engagement tactics out there and I find that customizing the solutions to your organization, state of business, and market needs is essential.  You can contact us at WeCare@ThrivatizePartners.com to see how we can help you design the right solutions for your team.

In the meantime, I’m going to give you an example that everyone should implement:

If you ensure that every employee in your company understands the long-term mission and vision of the company, as well as its one to five-year strategic goals, everyone will perform better. Understanding how their work contributes to something bigger is very motivating. Knowing the organization’s strategic goals will help employees prioritize their tasks and align their goals to optimize business success. While some companies are guilty of never providing this information, others provide it at onboarding and forget to revisit it year over year.  Individual goals change as quickly as company goals. Be sure your employees know where they stand and where you want them to go. This will optimize their performance and increase your brand as a strategic partner.

Speak with the leaders across all functions

Speaking with business line leaders about how your team makes their team more successful will help you secure HR funding, develop employees, and improve your reputation as a strategic business leader. This is not something that happens overnight, nor is it as simple as just telling them. You must first adjust your mindset and verbiage to help them realize how your initiatives drive their success.

Every industry, company, and leader is different. Schedule an HR Executive Strategy Session with me to discuss your unique opportunities and challenges so you can get the time, budget, and respect that you deserve.

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