Increasing the Credibility of the HR Function

Document created by 1049487 on Sep 2, 2015
Version 1Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

Tom_Sheehan_news.jpgNearly all HR professionals want to be viewed as a welcomed and trusted advisor to their key business partners. The phrase ‘having a seat at the table’ truly captures the essence of that desire. However, there is often one thing holding the HR leader back…that is credibility.


In order to truly be valued, HR professionals must be able to analyze data and speak the language of their key stakeholders. In truth, HR professionals should be viewed as functional experts and partners to the business units, much the same way that corporate finance is viewed. However, HR professionals typically have big gaps in business analytics, business planning, project management, and customer relationship management.


Improved analytical skills would allow HR professionals to be better at predicting future workforce requirements, tracking performance outcomes, and calculating the return on investment of HR projects or initiatives.


Obtaining the knowledge of business is only part of the equation.  Equally important is that HR has to regularly demonstrate to business leaders that they are on the team and truly has the best of interests of the business at heart.  Too many times HR is only seen as the "employee advocate" or the "corporate police force."   In fact, I hear many HR leaders describe the role of HR to sit in between management and the employees, almost admitting they aren't really part of the management team, relegating itself to some sort of ombudsmen role.  To be effective HR has to be an active player on the senior management team, helping the company maximize the talent aspect, while also minimizing legitimate risks. 


Another area in which HR professionals frequently struggle is identifying and prioritizing which projects to push forward to the organization. Generally, HR teams are conducting too many initiatives, often with mediocre results. Conducting too many projects dilutes the effectiveness of each initiative, and wastes valuable resources.  HR professionals and their teams would benefit greatly from ‘Doing less, better.’


When deciding which projects (or initiatives) are top priorities, answer these three questions:


  1. To what extent does this HR project (or initiative) further the key business strategies that have been laid out for the organization?
  2. If we decide to move forward with this project, what project (or initiative) must be bumped or moved down the priorities list?
  3. Can I articulate a true return on investment that can be validated by an independent financial analyst within the organization?


Bottom line, we hear from many HR professionals that their leadership team just doesn't support "HR Stuff."  Some places may be a lost cause, however most are not, and what's typically missing is confidence in either the HR leader or the HR solution.  What's not missing is a desperate need for an active HR presence to help attract and retain the kind of talent necessary to propel their company forward. 


Reach out to me at Tom Sheehan if you would like guidance on increasing your HR department's credibility and effectiveness. 

Recent News Articles


Fixing a Broken Performance Management System - Part I


Increasing the Credibility of the HR Function


eHarmony Poised to Enter Recruiting Market


Workers' Compensation Benefit Increase for 2016


FEDERAL CONTRACTOR ALERT: OFCCP Assistance Tools, Paid Leave, Pay Transparency, Equal Pay Report


Continuous Conversations Drive Effective Performance Management


CAI Partner N.A.M. Files Comments on Fair and Safe Workplaces Rule


September is Performance Management month: First Up - Giving Performance Feedback


CAI Survey Finds Top Performers Getting a Bigger Slice of Salary Budgets


How To Keep Experienced Employees From Jumping Ship


Drug Testing Can Greatly Reduce Your Workers' Compensation Costs


The Journey from Zero to Sixty Employees: Phase III…Delegate or Die


NLRB Rules That Northwestern University Football Players Can't Unionize


Get Your HR Recertification Credits Here


The NLRB Reverses Its Position on Joint-Employment Status


Improve Your Impact: Get Comfortable With Compensation Discussions


Motivation Requires Action To Become Reality


Making It A Great Day Every Day


Tips for Reducing Your Unemployment Costs


Welcome New Association Members - July


The Journey from Zero to Sixty Employees: Phase II


Ten facets of Potential


Federal Contractor Misclassified 151 Employees as Independent Contractors


How to Keep Your Employees Excited About Coming to Work


Non-Compete Agreements Require Expertise in Drafting


Just Released and Twice Its Size – Results of 2015 NC Wage & Salary Survey