Undoubtedly, a company’s most valuable asset is its people. From the CEO to the customer-facing employee, people are the engine that drives an organization’s success.
The HR team plays a vital role in managing this asset in various ways. One could argue that the most critical role of HR is to ensure employees receive the support they need to reach their full potential and maximize their contribution to the organization’s success. HR can accomplish this by arming executive leaders with the information and insights required to make critical business decisions. After all, aligning your business goals with a strong people strategy is crucial to your success.
Before examining what information HR can arm leadership with, let’s dive into the strategic programs under the HR umbrella.
Strategic HR functions
So many functions lie under the HR umbrella. The following initiatives require a solid strategy to ensure alignment with the company culture, mission, and goals.
1) Recruitment and retention
First, recruitment starts with identifying what talent and skills will help meet the company’s goals. Then, HR must design a recruitment and retention strategy program that enables the company to attract and retain people with those skills and experiences.
2) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
HR will set the tone for DEI. In fact, these efforts begin with recruitment. Then the theme carries through as HR enforces and encourages behaviors that exemplify company values. HR should know the competitive advantage that a diverse workforce can offer.
3) Onboarding and training programs
A great onboarding program will set a new employee up for success at your company. New employee training and upskilling are essential for employee productivity and employee retention. Seasoned employees will also value robust training programs and ongoing education.
4) Belonging programs
An extension of the DEI initiative, belonging takes it a step further to ensure employees feel they belong. HR can create programs and coach leaders and managers to adopt behaviors that promote belonging in addition to their DEI efforts.
5) Employee engagement
The HR team plays an integral part in gauging, maintaining, and increasing employee engagement. Employees’ feelings toward their leader, work, salary and benefits, culture, and workplace environment all play a critical part in their engagement.
As you can see, HR has quite a few strategic initiatives under their care.
Why is it important that HR have a seat at the leadership table?
Insights, data, and information naturally gathered by HR through employee interactions are critical to the leadership team. HR has a front-row seat to the impact company initiatives and policies have on employees. As a result, no one is as familiar with the employee-related issues of the company as HR. For this reason, HR executives should recognize the value of their contribution to senior leadership.
What information should HR be providing the leadership team?
HR must provide as much information as possible on the organization’s pulse. The CEO and the executive team need to understand how business goals and decisions affect employees, culture, and work environment.
More specifically, HR can supply information on:
- The talent landscape vs. anticipated needs
- Executive, manager, and employee performance
- Training and coaching needs
- Diversity of workforce
- Employee satisfaction
- Employee turnover analysis
- Federal and state employment law updates
- Number of hires and terminations
- Employee engagement
HR leaders need to demonstrate their value by actively supporting the executive leadership team. This means providing all the information they need to understand how their decisions affect employees and ensure HR practices align with company goals. Leadership can identify areas for improvement and better align company goals with employee talents.