We ARE business leaders who happen to work in HR,” wrote Enrique Rubio, one of the top 100 Global HR influencers, this November.  These are my starting thoughts of consideration for any HR leader who wants to make the HR function more business-centric, have a decisive impact on business, strategy, decisions, gain more trust, credibility and influence in executive management.

Q & A session for HR Leaders

The world’s top executives see human capital as the biggest challenge. The success of enterprises depends on the success of their employees, which is largely determined by the company’s culture, leadership maturity and style, and human strategy. Paradoxically, there is the least strategic and practical experience with human capital at top level of investors and decision-makers. This is an important argument in favor of involving HR leaders in executive management.

Have you ever found it challenging to get access to the top management, gain credibility and prestige at the top level?

Nowadays, shareholders and executive management are putting increased pressure on HR leaders by expecting them to undertake responsibility for increasing the company’s business performance and demonstrating a return on HR activities.

Have you ever found it challenging to demonstrate the direct impact of HR activities on business results?

HR leaders can stand their ground professionally even in an increasingly complex environment and under complicated conditions, but they face fundamental shortcomings in the field of business (e.g. up-to-date knowledge of the market and competitors, financial knowledge). Despite the positive changes and results, the business acceptance of HR is still not quite common in many places.

What business issues concern you the most? In your opinion, what business needs are created by the opportunities and problems arising due to the changed economic environment? Have you ever experienced negative judgments, criticisms, or rejections from the business side?

HR leaders are responsible for one of the most important renewable business capitals, people. It is not the business but the employees who work in the business that produce value. As the importance of business value creation grows, so does the value creation role of employees.

How do your company’s employees perform and how does this affect business profitability? What effective support does your HR team provide to increase performance?

HR leaders are witnessing a new era of work and are playing a key role in shaping its framework, by laying the foundations for the future of the business and preparing employees for the next decade.

What is the difference between yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s business realities? What is your business and human vision for the future? How do you prepare your company for the future? 

According to top executives, the majority of HR leaders still define themselves as professional leaders – this is reflected in their mindset, perspective, investment proposals, priorities – and therefore they do not perceive how HR is connected to business and how it can add business value.

How your HR team can contribute to break down silos and bureaucracy, establish and maintain strong collaboration with each function at every level to achieve success in CX? Have you ever experienced that your HR initiatives were not supported by executive management?

As soon as professional leaders reach top executive level, functional skills are overtaken by leadership skills and the confident knowledge of business fundamentals. The HR leaders of the future are primarily business leaders and secondarily experts in the field of HR. The traditional HR career path will change. The path to the HR business leader position leads through other professional areas of business.

How do you rate your own leadership skills and readiness for HR business leadership? What are your skills gaps?

HR leaders are aware it needs to change and have a clear mandate for change from the top management, but they are struggling with the execution.

How will you overcome obstacles and close your gaps? How will you rise to your new challenges? 

It’s time for HR leaders to rethink their business roles. With yesterday’s knowledge and methods, they will not be able to solve tomorrow’s challenges and problems. Their current role requires a new approach, knowledge, different business solutions and a new leadership style. It’s not just about the future of the HR function, it’s also about the future of the business.

What have you done in recent years to improve your business and professional knowledge and skills? What will be the business impact of not addressing your skills gaps?

HR Leaders in the business life

I have been working with HR professionals and HR leaders for years, inspiring them to become business leaders by shifting and cultivating their business approach and improving their leadership skills. During the mentoring of HR leaders, I myself gained broad knowledge and learned useful lessons in recent years.

The most important expectations of top executives towards HR leaders are an up-to-date, in-depth knowledge of the market and the business, the ability to express HR efforts in direct and tangible business results, and the existence of leadership skills. An HR leader becomes a business leader if he/she is able to think strategically, anticipate changes, take risks and make decisions prudently, communicate and influence effectively, interact and cooperate regularly with internal/external stakeholders, have an extensive business network, and at the same time act proactively and credibly. 

I am strongly committed to share my practical experience with all those who, as the next stage in their career development, seek to deepen their leadership credibility, consolidate their business influence, be on par with top executives, and make the HR function business-centric.

I recommend the program to current and future HR Leaders

The appreciation and business acceptance of HR leaders by top executives depends on

  • how they think,
  • how they act,
  • and how they take responsibility for business performance and value creation.

The HR Business Leader Mentoring and Workshop program is built on this model, with the help of which I want to inspire and support you as you become an HR business leader. This online program is unique, interactive and practice-oriented, connecting the business challenges of the future with the opportunities inherent in human capital, and discusses such challenges in context. The program introduces you to all the leadership qualities that are a prerequisite for becoming a strategic business leader.  

Do you feel the wind of change, too? If you want to demonstrate through your own transformation that HR is a vital, strategic, and determinant force in your organization, if you want to consolidate your leadership credibility and business influence, join the program!

Click here to see the details: https://hrlead.at/workshop/strategies-for-moving-from-hr-leader-to-business-leader/

Think of yourself! Come and let’s build your business and professional future together! I’m honored by your interest.