Our job as HR leaders to become more business relevant is to have a business focused driven mindset. As an HR consultant, I often see how our colleagues are focused mistakenly on finding the next “silver bullet” on new HR tendencies, rather than answering “What is the most pressing problem in our company that we need to address”.
Throughout my career I’ve heard so many times “CEO’s do not care about HR”, and to some extent that may be partially true; CEOs and business leaders care about companies functioning as a whole. Today, more than ever, these positions hold major pressure (from the market and boards) on delivering results and what they don’t care about are all the “basics of HR” (unless we don’t do them well). Don’t get me wrong, CEOs do care about people; however CEOs expect from CHROs to help them deliver their numbers whilst being aligned with business agenda. If you are a HR leader and understand this, you will have a seat on the big boys table.
In HR, in order to do our job properly, we need to help leaders hit their numbers and drive business strategy around people. Unfortunately the majority of HR shines away from the numbers.
HR role in 2020: Understand the numbers and avoid solutions looking for problems to the business.
Let’s take an example that Strategic Force Analytics published last year on Employee Engagement; Using people analytics, this consultant firm researched to understand if employee engagement was a leading or a lagging indicator in a paper store. Results indicated that in fact it was a leading indicator because the starting point was “How do we improve performance in our stores“ and not just “employee engagement”.
Does this mean that all HR professionals should now run and implement an employee engagement strategy? No, absolutely not; unless we see a business opportunity that needs to be addressed and if employee engagement is that tool; then go for it otherwise stick to the business strategy and build your people strategy around it.
Nowadays the challenge for HR is to prepare their organizations for a more ambiguous world, re-skilling and learning how to address the future is definitely part of most (if not all) CEOs’ agenda.
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Leopoldo Torres is an experienced, bilingual (English and Spanish) global consultant & NLP coach specialized in organizational culture transformation. He creates generative partnerships with individuals and organizations to define what success looks like – whether that is developing executives and high-potentials, driving team performance or designing and delivering leadership development programs.