Many HR practitioners, who find themselves working in small- to medium-sized companies, share a common frustration. They complain that their time is spent playing interference between faulty management practices and disgruntled or entitled employees, or pitching in and helping with superfluous administrative and office management functions — neither which drive the employment brand or foster employee engagement.
Research indicates that over 60% of HR people in small- to mid-sized business surveyed report that they spend at least 45% of their time playing the role of clean-up crew rather than contributing to long-term, proactive, and strategic, initiatives that forward sustainability and momentum in their organization.
The following is a best practice approach to self-discovery, and an action plan to take HR from Tactical-and-Good to Strategic-and-Great. These 5 easy steps are just the beginning of demonstrating your value as a long-term organizational contributor.
STEP #1. It all starts with alignment.
What is the overarching purpose of the HR role and, specifically, how does HR enable company success? When the business leaders and HR come to agreement on this important question, it paves the way for the role to make a real difference in how people impact organizational success.
STEP #2. Create a matrix of how time is spent in what aspects of HR.
What percentage of the month, week, or day, is spent in which area of focus?
How much time is spent in crisis mode?
What percentage in Administrative Land, and how much in Talent Management?
Organizational Development and Design?
Integrating people into the organization, or proactively teaching and coaching managers?
STEP #3. Weigh out the cost of outsourcing versus handling those non-strategic functions inside.
Really look at the opportunity cost of holding on to those functions that do not make or break the business. Is the right solution to hire a junior or administrative level person to administer those administrative processes? Or is it to outsource anything that can be outsourced: payroll, benefits, compensation, benefits, FMLA, etc.?
Delegate those tasks that detract from focus on building the organization with the best and creating a winning employment brand and culture.
STEP #4. Self-evaluate your HR leadership ability.
Do you have the skills, beliefs, or talents, required to operate at a strategic level?
What strengths do you possess that empower you?
What gaps are present in your mindset, attitudes, beliefs and competencies that are likely to become barriers to your strategic level of success?
Tell the truth to yourself about what personal and professional development you need, and then dig further and ask yourself if you are actually willing to do the work to be the person that is needed for the organization to excel in the people category.
STEP #5. Build a game plan.
Create a 5-year vision for how HR will elevate and accelerate the organization in achieving their goals.
Identify the top organizational goals and determine what is needed from HR to enable those goals to come to fruition.
Get executive buy-in early about your vision and the big work that needs to be done to get you there.
Once you clarify you are on the right track, make certain you address the gaps needing to be filled through identifying the immediate gains required to move forward. Once that is complete, build out your 1-, 2-, and 3-year plans.
In conclusion, transforming how your HR team operates takes courage and commitment. Courage because evaluating what works and does not work, and then stepping into the commitment of changing — it takes healthy self-esteem, role confidence, and persuasion skills.
Applying these 5 easy steps is just the beginning of demonstrating your value as a strategic HR, long-term organizational contributor. Once you identify the weaknesses and remove the constraints, it is up to you to stay the course and make it happen!
About the Author: Magi Graziano, as seen on NBC, is the CEO of Conscious Hiring® and Development, a speaker, employee recruitment and engagement expert, and author of The Wealth of Talent. She has more than 20 years of experience as a top producer in the Recruitment and Search industry. For more information, please visit www.KeenAlignment.com.