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What Your Company Needs From its Human Resources Leader

Depending on the size of your organization and the expertise on your team, you may have a variety of responsibilities that fall on your plate each day. Several years ago, the primary role of the HR leader was to act as a “personnel” manager by making sure employees were familiar with company policies and making sure those policies were being followed.

Of course we all know that the role of the HR leader has broadened over the years to include responsibilities such as payroll processing, benefit administration, and recruiting. However, more recently, the role of an HR leader has grown to be included in more C-Suite conversations. CEO’s are leaning more and more on their HR leaders to provide them with insight into ways that they can bring positive cultural change to their organization. Although CEO’s are quick to say that “their employees” play a vital role in organizational success, it is generally the HR leader who has their hand on the pulse of what works well at the company and in what areas there is room for improvement.

HR leaders need to not just meet the demands of their executive management team, but contribute with a more consultative approach where they are able to bring ideas to the C-Suite that will challenge the organization to change and improve. Depending on the culture that a CEO creates within the organization, this can be a challenge. I have worked with companies whose CEO has a constant “open door” policy and encourages all employees to bring ideas and constructive criticism to them on a regular basis. An organization with such an executive leader will likely lend itself to change from the HR leader much more easily than the one who has strong, unwavering opinions on how the business should be run.  In either case, it is important for an HR leader who is trying to have his/her voice heard by executive management to take an approach where they are constantly putting the wellbeing of the organization first, followed by presenting ideas that solve issues.

Most executive leaders have little time to talk about the details of problems within the organization. Instead, they want to quickly understand the issue, but move on to a conversation about how to address the situation most efficiently and effectively. In order to create an environment where your Executive Leader is willing to open up to this type of dialogue, an HR leader has to be able to describe to their CEO that they understand their priorities and they are capable of providing steps and solutions that will bring the organization closer to meeting their goals.

The organizational culture is changing more to allow “bottom up” leadership rather than the traditional “top down” leadership. There is now more than ever opportunity for HR leaders to have a greater impact in the success of their organization, and it is really quite simple to do. HR leaders must be in sync with their employees’ perspectives and create a dynamic with their executive management team that allows them to present those perspectives, along with well thought-out and practical solutions.

If you would like to learn more about the subject above, please contact Jonathan Rivera at 301.838.3024 or email at jrivera@insassoc.com

Information about the Author:  Jon has been helping clients find tailored solutions to their employee benefit needs since 1999.  He spent six years at Aetna, Inc. in various capacities, including Account Manager for Key Accounts and Sales Manager for MD/VA/DC.  In 2005, Jon transitioned into the world of consulting by joining Kelly Benefit Strategies where he spent nine years managing existing accounts as well as developing new business.  Jon joined IA in December 2014, and as part of the team he is responsible for new business development and has already been a great contributor to the growth of the organization.  Jon studied International Business at the University of Maryland and lives in Urbana, MD with his wife and three kids where he has an active role in their little league baseball program.

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