Issue: How to make senior execs view you as a bottom-line contributor, not a "necessary evil" in your organization.
Benefit: Gain respect and build evidence for your next pay-raise negotiation.
Action: Transform your role with concrete actions that add value to the organization.
HR professionals need to constantly look at how they're adding value to the organization. That's different than adding value to your position or your department. You'll earn the greatest respect and re-wards by bringing bottom-line solutions to the table.
Margaret Morford, president of theHRedge, Inc. consulting firm, offers these respect-earning strategies:
1. Keep a talent "hit list" ... and work it. Keep in touch with your star employees who've left the organization. Contact them every four months in search of boomerangs.
Example: An HR manager who lost a key employee kept the stock symbol of that company on his Web stock-checker list. When the HR manager saw the stock tank, he called the ex-employee, asking "Want to come back now?"
2. Bring in retirees to train and mentor current staff. Explain to your retirees that you've brought them back to teach, not to DO. Be clear about the goals. ("After three months, employees should be able to do the following four things...")
3. Listen to's needs ... and respond. Example: When a marketing manager said she felt understaffed, the HR director located university marketing students who needed a special project for course credit. The students helped fill the marketing manager's needs, and it generated hiring leads. The top brass appreciated keeping labor costs down.
4. Set up a skills-tracking program. The goal: Help you promote aggressively from within. It can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet that lists everyone's skills. That way, when a director says "I need someone with a certain skill," you can check the list immediately.
5. Establish a mentoring program. But don't try to mentor everyone. Make mentoring a privilege. Choose the five best managers, then find ways to pair them up with the five employees who have the greatest potential but a few rough edges.
6. Save jobs and money. If your company needs to lay off employees, go to your state or local labor department and tell them your plans. You may instead be able to earn some grant money for retraining those employees for other jobs.
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