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You have heard all the general advice and theories about getting “a seat at the table.” But what does it take to jump the fence from your administrative role and be seen as a true leader in the company?

The HR Specialistnewsletter posed the following question to three of the leading HR thought leaders in America today: “What makes an HR professional an indispensable leader in an organization?”

Their answers pointed to the following 5 actions:

1. They think strategically. Administrative skills are easy to outsource. Strategic talent is not.

You probably spend your day juggling personnel problems. Putting out legal brush fires. Wearing lots of different hats. You’re working hard, and you may think you’re making yourself indispensable. But, in fact, you’re making yourself a better candidate for outsourcing. 2. They track the right numbers. A recent article in The HR Specialist newsletter revealed that while most HR managers keep track of such “transactional” data as turnover and absenteeism, these are not the statistics that executives find most interesting, useful or valuable.

“If your organization is expanding into a new region, you don’t simply follow orders to hire more people," says Kim Ruyle, VP of product development at Korn Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting. Instead you say, ‘This is what it takes to get the right people and this is where we will fail if we don’t.’”

3. They know the financial relationship between HR and the bottom line. “They ‘dollarize’ their thinking and speech,” says top HR consultant John Sullivan, head of Dr. John Sullivan & Associates in Pacifica, Calif.

“They don’t say to management, ‘The turnover rate is 20%.’ They say something like, ‘Turnover costs were $20 million last year and our profit was $10 million.’”

4. They get managers on their side. Let’s face it, most managers regard Human Resources as an annoyance or, worse yet, as an obstacle to getting things done.

True HR leaders are “credible activists,” says Dave Ulrich, co-founder of the RBL Group, a Utah-based HR consulting firm, and author of The Leadership Code. Real HR leaders build relationships of trust.

Tip: Distribute the monthly "Memos to Managers" in The HR Specialist to help train your supervisors and staff.

5. They are not problem solvers. Sure, CEOs like employees who solve problems. But there’s one kind of employee they like even better. They like the employee who never brings them problems in the first place! They like the ones who bring them opportunities, ideas and innovations, instead.

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