Despite the various topics I speak about, I’ve recently had many requests for me to speak on ‘Bridging The Gap’ – helping HR professionals understand CEO’s and vice versa. I believe it’s been such a popular topic, because it hit’s home. It’s a challenge that many HR’s are facing and they can overcome it by a paradigm shift and how they view their job. If you view your job as just filling positions, processing on-boarding paperwork, and filing complaints – then your CEO will view it the same way. But if you pry your way into being part the company vision and strategy – then your value will be hard to be ignored. For example, just being a ‘bean counter’ as an accountant will keep that perception about yourself – you count the money. Why offer you a raise when you do the same thing every year? But if you assist with financial projections, then you’re playing more of a finance role and helping the company to grow. ‘Playing small’ as an HR professional will only get you so far and keep the industry perception hanging over you (you just manage employee paperwork). But by proving your strategic value to the company, your CEO will recognize this. As you focus on the day to day work of being in the trenches, make sure you don’t lose site of what’s truly important to the company
Focus On The Long Term
Do you want your company to exist in 100 years? I realize this can be a silly question in the digital age, as companies can rise and fall within months, but many companies have achieved this. Ford, Coca Cola, Levi Jeans – what have they done that other companies haven’t? How does hiring and company culture affect this? Well if you want your company to succeed long term, then you might focus on loyalty with job prospects as opposed to talent alone. Of course talent will help the company advance, but loyalty will lower your turnover rate and help keep department stability. Companies with a high turnover rate often have low morale and don’t foster a positive company culture. Focusing on long term goals can help you know what kind of candidates to look for.
Focus On Overall Goals Of Organization
Is your company taking on venture capital and swinging for the fences? Is your company losing revenue and trying to minimize losses this year? Understanding these different scenarios will help you in your hiring and HR management approach. You need to ensure you have the right personnel for the scenarios. You also need to help keep salary ranges and employee benefits in check. Sure this may be more the accountants job to look at the numbers, but know (or should know) the pulse of the employees and know how changes should be implemented. Change your game-plan as the company game-plan changes.
If you think how your CEO thinks, then you won’t play small. You’ll understand how vital your role is and that you CAN affect the direction of the company. After all, a company is only as good as it’s people are.