December 2, 2021

Remarkable Mate

Remarkable business & finance

Four Reasons HR Deserves A Seat At The Table

Ruchi Kulhari is a senior VP, Human Resources, at CoForge. She has over 20 years of expertise in HR strategy, implementation and metrics.

Many C-suite executives don’t quite understand the value that human resources professionals bring to their companies. And if your value isn’t expressly communicated, it can be next to impossible to earn the seat of power and influence you deserve. 

In my 20 years as a human resources professional, I’ve seen firsthand how hard it is to become an influential member of an organization’s leadership team if those around you don’t truly know your worth to the company. To get the seat at the table that you deserve, you’re going to have to show the people in charge the real value that HR brings to the table. Here are my suggestions to make sure your value is seen and appreciated by upper management.

1. HR creates synergy between employees, the company and customers. HR creates a powerful line of sight between the business’s strategies and the actual performance of the workers who are bringing that strategy to fruition. Acts and policies of the human resources department help the firm deliver products and services to customers and returns to shareholders by hiring the right people, nurturing their growth at the company, and keeping forward momentum and enthusiasm up among the staff. Great work starts with talented, happy employees, and it is HR’s job to hire those people and retain them long-term. When a company is running smoothly and bringing in revenue, HR has succeeded. 

2. HR helps companies earn recognition. Industry awards and recognition are all tied to the performance of the firm. And the performance of the firm is directly tied to the way people are hired into the firm and enabled and empowered once they get there. That is the job of HR. Human resources helps apply and control the company culture, makes sure employees have the skills they need to succeed, and enacts other policies that support employees as they grow. Well-supported, passionate employees do better work, and that is showcased in the awards they earn for their companies. 

3. HR can truly support executives’ objectives. An HR leader can be an executive’s strategic partner by influencing employees into fulfilling the executive’s objectives. HR leaders are in a unique position to steer the behavior of employees and company leaders so that they are more innovative, more productive, etc. The sure shot way of exhibiting this value is that the results are objective and measurable. The proof is in the outcome of the business. Low employee turnover, high productivity, industry-disrupting innovation and business growth can all be traced back, in part, to the HR department. 

4. HR can be pro-people and pro-business. It’s a never-ending debate. Should HR professionals be more “pro-people” or “pro-business?” If you can be both, that’s a huge advantage to your company. 

A premium, top-tier HR professional who knows both employment laws and HR functions — and has background or experience in the industry in which the business operates — is the Golden Goose. On the other hand, someone who got into HR because they “love people” but don’t relate to the business of the firm may struggle in their position. The same can be said of a business leader who takes on an HR role but doesn’t really have the passion for people.

If you can come to the table with both sets of skills, or undergo training and find mentors who help shore up your weak spots on one side or the other, you can truly be a tremendous asset to both the company you’re working for, its leaders and its employees.

You Can Earn A Seat At The Table 

When you, as an HR leader, can cogently discuss the firm’s business, possess familiarity with technology related to the firm’s industry, and understand the regulatory and compliance issues surrounding the firm, you bring significant value to your higher-ups and become a true strategic partner to your chief executives. Don’t stop working to earn your seat at the table. Once you get there, you’ll be able to bring incredible benefits to your company. 

Forbes Human Resources Council is an invitation-only organization for HR executives across all industries. Do I qualify?