7 things your CEO wont tell you about HR, but wishes you knew
You dont have to dumb down your language, but at least connect with employees and C-suite execs using more plain-speak. For instance, dont say value-added, Segal advises. We have our own language, but when were in the boardroom, we need to tone it down a bit. Segal also says to avoid using proactive, synergy and outside-the-box. Rather, just put the box away. We do much better at the table when we use plain speak.
We all remember the Thanksgiving when we move from the kids table to the adult table. Segal says that when pros ask to be at the big meeting, theyre implying that their current position is at the kids table. Rather than asking, he says, demonstrate why you should be there and ask when the meeting starts. There are times when you have to make the choice between the discomfort of being excluded or the discomfort of not being wanted, but still going in the room. He suggests raising the topic by saying, I saw this meeting; its a critical issue and Id like to be there. What time does it begin? Its hard for someone to say no to that.
You went to school for human resources management, not banking. Why should you know banking if youre not a banker? In every organization whether banking or any other industry if you dont understand the services your company offers, then the advice you give will be seen as generic. Whats right for a population of 20-somethings at a tech firm might not be right for a service-focused workforce dominated by employees over 50. You need to make sure you understand the details, understand what it means if theyre outside sales and who youre competitors are, Segal says.
Finding the right talent isnt just a problem for you; its an issue that reaches all the way to the C-suite. Segal advises demonstrating your understanding of talent management through a formalized mentoring program. gap. He suggests trying to retain people by infusing mentoring programs into meetings and to tell the executives that there is a business case for such a program: retaining top people.
Recognition and tradition are the vitamins employees need every day, Segal says, adding that HR/benefits practitioners ignore the importance of rewards and recognition at their own peril. If someone doesnt want to be with you, you dont want to hold them and find yourself with an exodus of individuals at the end of the year. Rather than chaining them, [ask yourself], How can we entice them to be here?
When you use this phrase, you reduce your position to a manual reader, Segal says. He also advises pros to be careful not to lock yourself into doing something that isnt the best thing or is unrealistic to deliver, such as posting all vacant jobs, investigation timelines or progressive discipline. There are policies, and then there are procedures, he notes. Separate the two. They should be drafted as values and sometimes absolutes like zero tolerance for violence.
Senior management most likely doesnt want to hear the nitty-gritty details of a problem. The response youll most likely get is, Make it go away. But Segal says, if you offer too little information, [leaders will say], Why didnt you tell me? You cant win. The trick is to figure out what your boss absolutely needs to know and what he/she doesnt. Too much information is as bad as no information, he says. He suggests that when faced with a problem, send your boss the issue at hand and a few statements that he/she can respond to with either true or false. You want to make it so easy that they look at you as low maintenance."
HR/benefits professionals play an important role in an organization, but a common complaint is that when it comes to being involved in C-suite-level decisionmaking, theyre commonly left out of the mix. According to Jonathan A. Segal, partner and managing principal at Duane Morris LLP, sometimes pros shouldnt be asking to be at the table, but instead asking when the table is meeting and showing up. Segal offers a few tips that he says CEOs dont tell HR/benefits pros, but wishes they knew nonetheless. These seven strategies might help smooth communication and strengthen partnerships between you and executives.