Leadership and HR

I had a great human resources mentor. She taught me how to work with leadership, even if leadership didn’t want to work with me.

When I start a new job, I always communicate with my new boss they will always get the truth from me whether they like it or not. Whether it is good news or bad. I will speak truth to power every time so don’t shoot the messenger. I try not to say no all the time. I would rather say, “here’s how” instead.

Howdy, Partner!

I appreciate leaders that invite me to the executive strategy meetings. Any growth they want for the organization most likely includes new employees or positions which I have experience in. Making me a partner in growing the company will help get you to the finish line.

Instead of having me clean up your mess, let me help you build. As the saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once” If you let me and my team in, you’ll save on buying more lumber.

New HR Directors should meet with each of the department heads when they join a company. Sit down for a few hours and find out what their needs are. Let them provide you with feedback of what has worked for them with the last HR team and what didn’t. Give them the opportunity to show you their style, then you can give them a synopsis of yours. This will begin the building of the trust between you. During this initial meeting you may find things that you can fix immediately. Repeat this process with each of the department leaders and you will have started down the path of excellent communication and a trusting partnership with each of them.

Don’t Go Changin’

I never want to walk into a new situation and immediately start changing everything. However, if warranted, a quick fix here and there to maintain order is appropriate. I like to see what each month brings in the cycle of this new organization and take notes. That way when it comes around again, I have new ideas to try or keep things the status quo. Sometimes it is better to leave well enough alone and build on what is already there. I am a fixer by nature, so I tend to be a bit controlling and want to change everything. I have learned over the years to sit back and watch the processes first while asking lots of questions as to why we do it this way. It makes for a much better transition if I do decide to change something down the road.

Look in the Mirror

I always try to look in the proverbial mirror as well. Am I portraying myself as the leader I want to be or am I being a dictator, passive-aggressive, or a controlling jerk? Let’s hope it’s the former not the latter. I analyze everything before sending out to the world. I want to be sure that there are zero to minimal trickle-down effects of my decisions. You can’t please everyone all the time but if decision you are making are well thought out ahead of time, you have a better chance at succeeding.

Company Leaders Partnering with HR…It’s About Damn Time.

Partners in Strategic Planning

The most important issue I see now when companies are looking for an HR leader is the ability to be a strategic partner to the executives. We are already strategic by nature so put us at the table and let us help you move the company forward.

How do you feel when you have to wait for something you really, really want? A great culture; engaged, motivated, and enthusiastic employees; and exponential organizational growth.

Who is Responsible?

This type of growth is not just the responsibility of the HR team but a business partnership between the C-Suite, HR Leaders, and Department Heads.

Today I’d like to talk to you about First, the need for HR leaders to be at “the table” alongside the C-Suite during strategic planning, Second, the roles and responsibilities of each team member, and Finally, how the organization and employees benefit from this strategic business partnership.


Start-up businesses along with small to mid-size companies need to be fresh and innovative to attract and retain the type of employees that will propel your organization forward to reach the goals you have set. The problem is that most leadership teams only engage their HR leaders when they have hit a snag or need to clean up a mess that has been made.

Human Resource professionals are more than just “benefit enrollers” and “overhead”. The Director and the other team members in human resources are the strategic partners and revenue generators you are looking for. We already think strategically. We are already processing each decision we make to see the trickle-down effects. We do this when writing policies and procedures; visualizing new benefit options; brainstorming recruiting and retention programs; and creating training, development, and succession plans. We hire the employees that are producing or providing the services that create revenue to propel your organization to reach its strategic goals.

This is Important

Human Resource strategic partnership is very important. Do you have a five to ten-year strategic plan for your company? What better way to get moving toward the goals of those plans with the subject matter experts that can help establish the necessary programs and team members to get you there.

  • HR Leaders are tuned into Federal, State, and Local laws that can and will affect your organization.
  • HR Leaders can realistically assist in the budgeting for people, processes and programs. This is especially helpful in a brand new organization as well as businesses that are not so new but need a collective refresh. If the organization wants significant growth, the investment towards technological advances to keep up with that growth will need to be factored in the beginning of the process so the company doesn’t outgrow the technology they currently have. HR will facilitate the needs as the expansion happens with the technology that adapts and upgrades in tandem with the organization.
  • HR Leaders bring to the table, metrics on time-to-hire, cost of recruiting, and turnover to name a few.
  • HR Leaders provide professional development for all employees and leadership training for supervisors, managers, and executives as a tool for retention.

Now Do You See It?

I’m sure you can now see the need for this strategic business partnership with human resources. You might be asking yourself, how can I make sure my HR team can get us to the strategic finish line? Let me tell you.

Best Practices

Here are some best practices for partnering with HR Leadership:

  • Communicate with your executive team about the goals and expansion you are looking for and the type of culture it will take to get you there.
  • Solidify HR as a member of your regular executive strategy meetings.
  • Give HR leadership the resources they will need to build a team to support the success of the organization.
  • Brainstorm ideas of culture, benefits, total rewards packages, and trust that your HR leader knows what they are doing. This is why you hired them in the first place.

Budget resources tactically with the anticipation and expectation that pre-planning and extensive research will catapult your strategy into reality.

It’s Not Rocket Science

You can see that it isn’t difficult to partner with your HR leadership. Let’s look at what may happen if you choose to bring HR into your strategic planning sessions and what may happen if you choose not to.

  • If you do invite your HR leaders to be strategic partners, your organization will be the beneficiary. The culture, processes, policies, and procedures will create the momentum to compliment and expedite the forward progress you are planning on.
  • The problem you face when you don’t have this type of partnership is the lack of additional resources and innovation needed at the forefront of your planning to be the type of organization that stands out and leads the pack rather than be lost in the masses.

Your Most Important Decision

Adding HR leaders to your strategic team will contribute to the success of your company and is the most important decision you will make.

Imagine the workload you might face had you not made this decision to include the HR team in your strategic planning. Think of the satisfaction and benefits this alliance can have for your organization.

Remember that HR leaders are strategic by nature. Your organization should benefit from the innovative leadership created by this new and everlasting partnership.