I bet most of you on seeing that title, thought of HR as the extinct T-Rex vs. the aggressive, carnivorous beast of action T-Rex! Although there are definitely both kinds of HR out there (sorry to say), I like to think of HR as the always hungry on the move HR T-Rex. So how does HR behave or become the T-Rex of the company, never sleeping, an always hunting carnivore?
1. First become more than HR (traditional HR any way).
For HR to become one of the key alpha’s around the boardroom table, it’s important that it focuses on a lot more than just payroll, policy and hiring. The new HR T-Rex must be a business person first and foremost. Understand how your business produces widgets, at what cost, who your competitors are, what the companies challenges are, etc…, Without this knowledge and how your organization and your skills can support the business opportunities and challenges, you will remain outside the key decision-making circles and be seen simply as a necessary evil and or cost.
2. Be aggressive and take and make some room when necessary.
I am not saying to become a bully or to fight every action and or decision to the bitter end. If you do, you will become extinct, nothing more than a footnote on the company’s payroll records. What I am suggesting is that when you have the right information, understand the business challenges clearly you must take a reasonable and clear stance. Be assertive and make your case to your colleagues or to the key executives, leverage legislation, policies, etc, but also tie in the business gain and or loss. Stick to your guns, even though you will have non-supporters. Showing backbone and sticking to your guns will create respect and serve you moving forward.
3. Hunt for prey.
Prey in this case is opportunity. Opportunity for you and HR to help the business be more competitive, to take on more market share. You can do this by ensuring HR is at the key business tables, so that you can support, lead or provide advice to key business initiatives. HR and you as a business person can do so much more than you think you are capable. By developing credibility, you will be invited to participate where no HR has ever or not often been. Make a difference, step out of your comfort zone.
4. Increase your hunting grounds.
Go beyond the traditional HR networking or professional groups, reach out into the business community by joining chambers of commerce, industry boards, social media groups. By leveraging out your knowledge and network, you will be able to learn new perspectives and bring fresh ideas to support your company’s business growth.
5. Stay hungry
Remember you’re only as good as what you have accomplished today. So it’s important to keep working at becoming a better business person all the time. Sure, be the best at all the HR programs that you put in place but remember that the highest returns are where HR programs that solve business problems reside. Be seen as a business person first and an HR professional second.
So are you ready to be a T-Rex? Your next meal is waiting just around the corner.
Share your thoughts with me.