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Human Resources

[Infographic] HR Leaders: Secure Your Seat at the Leadership Table with These 10 Strategies

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It’s no secret human resources has become increasingly important to business strategy over the last few years. If your organization has been reluctant to allow the HR team to take a seat at the leadership table, you can win them over with these 10 strategies.

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1. Know the Overall Business Goals

As an HR leader, you may be aware of HR’s specific goals, but you should also understand how your goals and initiatives support the larger vision of the business. You should also be ready to comment on how the initiatives of other departments tie into those goals.

2. Showcase Your Business Acumen

Take the opportunity to show just how well you understand your organization and your industry by thinking and acting like a leader. Learn your business inside out. It will give you valuable insight and make your suggestions more impactful.

3. Plan Ahead for Your Meetings

If you’ve been invited to sit at the leadership table, you need to make the most of this opportunity. Do so by planning ahead for meetings. You’ll need to demonstrate why a certain process or system needs to change. Then you’ll illustrate how HR initiatives can solve these issues.

4. Play the Numbers Game

Whether it’s statistics or dollar signs, numbers mean more to your executive team than the most persuasive and heartfelt speech. Knowing the numbers makes your case more convincing.

Show the executives how much turnover costs the organization on a per employee and annual cost. Model how much you could save by implementing a new HR initiative.

5. Plan for Both the Short and Long Term

HR needs to focus on the here and now to realize immediate improvements, but you should also be planning for the future. How will what you do today help build the business of the future? A strategy that works in both short- and long-term forecasting is more relevant and impactful than a quick fix or one that only pays dividends in the unspecified future.

6. Build Fellowship and Strengthen Relationships

Who are the stakeholders and decision makers in your organization? Identify them, and then get to know them. By taking the time to build rapport with them, you could be making some valuable allies at the leadership table.

7. Expand Your Scope

You’re an HR professional first and foremost. When you focus only on HR, however, others at the table may feel you lack a “big picture” vision. Some department managers or VPs may feel you’re ignoring other areas of the business.

Expand your scope. Volunteer for taskforces, events, and meetings that allow you to mix and mingle. Looking beyond HR will show upper management just how broad your vision can be.

8. Learn the Lingo

Each specialization has a different language. When you first arrive at the leadership table, you might feel overwhelmed by C-Suite jargon and terminology. Don’t be intimidated. Instead, brush up on the language. By communicating with other leaders in your organization in their language, you’ll demonstrate your leadership skills.

9. Make the Shift from Tactics to Strategy

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for the HR professional is moving from tactical thinking to strategic thinking. Focus on working on the business, not in the business. Tactics are what you execute, and they add up to a strategy. Strategy forms the overall plan.

10. Turn a Profit in HR

HR is often seen as less of a revenue centre and more of a costly department. You can turn that around, shifting HR into a profit centre for the business. How do new HR initiatives improve the bottom line?

By using these 10 strategies, you can secure your place at the leadership table, allowing you to make HR a strategic leadership centre in your organization.



Kaneez Jaffer

Kaneez Jaffer

Kaneez is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with an advanced knowledge of human resources and organizational structure and design. She has extensive experience with HRIS systems and understands the need to move HR from a transactional model to a transformational one. She has worked in the investment banking, insurance, and legal industries, as well as with large not-for-profit centres helping to simplify and streamline their internal systems. Kaneez is an expert in building relationships and affecting change in a positive and productive way. She acts as the key HR business partner at Apri Insurance Services Inc, managing the implementation of JungoHR, while providing expert advice and counsel on a range of HR matters. Kaneez holds a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management as well as a Certificate in HR Law for HR Professionals from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada.