NEXT STEPS TOWARD
Here are some tips for how HR leaders can enhance their abilities as
• Ensure that HR is well-represented in your company’s strategic planning process.
• Step up to greater accountability by providing business leaders
with the support and tools they need to bolster engagement and
employees’ sense of purpose and growth.
• Ensure that you’re building stronger predictive capabilities on your
• Consider rotating respected line leaders within and out of the HR
• Deploy smart technologies to enable leadership effectiveness while
freeing up HR professionals’ time to concentrate on the more-val-ue-added tasks their businesses require.
but their view of themselves has improved in recent years—more than it has
among top company leaders. He wonders
whether that professed improvement is
“HR can get defensive and say they
don’t get a seat at the table, but I would
ask them two things: When and how do
you get involved in the strategic plan-
ning process, and how do you compare
to other functional areas in regard to
leading digitally and leveraging predic-
tive analytics, which are both critical and
If HR isn’t included in the strategic
planning process until after business de-
cisions have been made, then top man-
agement is saying it doesn’t think HR has
the capability to participate, Wellins says.
“While I think some senior HR exec-
“Tell stories to the C-suite about how
utives are creating real insights around
talent requirements versus future busi-
ness strategies, many do not,” he says.
“There’s a di;erence between being an
HR partner and [being] an anticipator,
which has much greater value to the
CEO. As an anticipator, HR goes to the
C-suite and explains the strategic ben-
e;ts behind their decisions.”
On the other hand, if you are embrac-
ing data analytics, hiring data scientists
and otherwise taking a lead in anticipat-
ing the company’s future needs, yet still
aren’t getting recognition from the top,
then you may need to do a better job of
tooting HR’s horn.
those higher-level analytics your depart-
ment has embraced have changed your
business planning,” Wellins suggests.
BECOMING MORE STRATEGIC
So what does it mean to manage employees strategically using data, digitalization
Imagine Alexa-style digital assistants
serving as virtual coaches to answer bene;ts, retirement and paid-time-o; que-ries. Or chatbot-enabled resolution for
common employee questions. Perhaps
cloud-based services for employees and
managers that HR once delivered in
person. And leveraging data analytics
to project future talent needs.
Executives don’t want to risk putting
the wrong person in a position simply
because they seemed right during the
interview, Sinar says. Instead, they’re
looking to HR to provide data that
will help predict a person’s likelihood
of succeeding in a job.
Another approach is to start testing
new technologies and ideas within HR,
and then share those results to demonstrate that you’re willing to take business risks.
“Become an effective adopter by
“CEOs need to ask themselves, ‘Am I
watching the trends and being open
to test-drive new technologies, includ-
ing AI [arti;cial intelligence] and ma-
chine learning, which show some real
promise for HR data processing and
analysis,” says Sharlyn Lauby, SHRM-
SCP, president of the ITM Group Inc.
in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and author
of The Recruiter’s Handbook (SHRM,
2018). “I don’t think it’s about trying
to convince the CEO to view HR dif-
ferently,” she says. “In my experience,
HR needs to deliver. And when they
do, then the C-suite will view them
Of course, not all CEOs are as ;exi-
ble and enlightened as HR might like
them to be.
being transparent with HR?’ If a CEO
doesn’t believe that HR is thinking
strategically but doesn’t provide an op-