May 16, 2019

Building Support for HR Initiatives

One of the most common challenges Senior Human Resource Leaders face is building financial support and getting buy-in from their peers for their budget and initiatives.

When working with clients to build support, Performex follows a series of practical steps. They include the following:

1. Set the stage for the HR function to visibly provide strategic value to the company.

To have strategic value you need to have the leadership perspective to contribute on the executive team. This requires fully comprehending the company’s business plan and its vision for the future.

Determine the implications of the plan for the current staff and establish the competencies your talent will need in the future. Understand which functions are critical and what their success factors are. Create for yourself a comprehensive understanding of how talent impacts the business, operations, income streams and other elements of strategy.

Think and sound like a CEO by becoming fluent at articulating the strategy and linking the people-factors to the success of the plan.

2. Help the CEO, and then the rest of the senior leadership team, understand how the Human Resources function can deliver a substantial positive impact on organizational performance.

Choose an initiative where you can show immediate contribution to the bottom line results of the company. Exceptional leaders execute flawlessly and deliver top results. High impact leadership development program can quickly demonstrate your team’s contributions and effectiveness.

Begin by completing data to link superior leadership and engagement to business outcomes. There's a considerable amount of this data online. Another great resource is “The ROI of Superior Managerial and Leadership Development” by Performex LLC. Click here for a copy. 

Build support behind the scenes for your initiative before you present your proposal to the board or senior leadership team. Conduct informational interviews first with your CEO and then with your peers. Use open-ended questions about what would happen to the company or unit performance if the number of outstanding employees doubled.

Collect their stories and testimonials about the managers who influenced them most, shaped their careers, and grew their skills. Then follow up with questions about what those managers did to encourage growth. The leaders will likely mention the developmental skills and behaviors their mentors had such as coaching, trust, delegation, and setting high standards.

As you pique interest in creating a better, more skilled workforce, be bold, take a stand, and go on record for supporting leadership development as a tangible way to improve business results and increase the performance and skills of employees.

Ask your senior leaders for their support ahead of time and in private—don’t wait until the critical go/no-go decision for your budget or proposal.

3. After you have gained support, prepare the proposal. Include data and anecdotal evidence that supports the initiative. 

Review the proposal ahead of time with the peers you interviewed informally. Ask for their input and support.

Educate your leadership team on key attributes of a successful leadership development. Focus on key principles, the difference between training and development, knowledge and behavior change and what will or will not shift actual on-the-job behavior.

Conduct a session with senior leaders to identify the obstacles to the initiative’s success. Then, shift the focus of the discussion to creating an action plan to eliminate those obstacles.

4. Select a high impact and high return leadership development program to demonstrate what’s possible with the right tools.

For over 40 years the Summit Leadership Excellence Program has continued to be the gold standard for delivering real growth to its participants and clients. We are proud that our contributions have helped hundreds of HR professionals get a seat at the table.

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