Best Practices in HR

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Lori Kleiman
  October 18, 2018

How to Establish Your Role as an Effective and Successful HR Leader

Being a strategic Executive who is action-oriented and technologically savvy is our mantra. That can feel like a phrase that is easier to say than to embrace and bring into your daily practice. But it doesn’t have to be.

The issue with many human resource professionals is that we can get bogged down in meeting the needs of others and don’t take the time to focus on the key drivers of our professional careers. To become a successful HR Leader, however, you must learn to find the time to focus on your personal goals and move into the role of ‘leader’ versus ‘doer.’

Looking to establish your role as an effective and successful #HR leader? Here are the strategic steps you must take.

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There are a number of traits that successful HR leaders and managers possess. Let’s take a look at specific traits and actions you should be taking to establish yourself in the HR leadership role.

Become Part of the Overall Company Conversation

To move into a more successful HR leadership role, you must become part of the overall conversation in the company. If you are part of those talks today, you know the value you add. If not, find ways to get invitations, even to participate in a single topic that you know of critical importance to leadership and employees. HR people must understand the business in which they operate if they are to be productive in supporting leadership conversations.

Learn to Sell

Successful HR Leader

There are two critical characteristics that are often overlooked when it comes to HR people: the ability to pursue and the ability to influence. Great HR people have to sell. They may be selling a new HR initiative to leadership, or helping leadership sell a change to the employee population. 

Effective and successful HR leaders know which employees they can tap into for change management initiatives, as well as those that may need some one-on-one convincing. Ultimately, driving change from the senior levels of leadership throughout the organization falls to HR.

Focus on Solution Based & Value Driven Initiatives

When we say action-oriented it is important that human resources are not seen as the administrative department that completes tasks. This is something we discussed in our article, What is HR? Rather, you want HR to be seen as the area that understands all the components of the business and drives programs and processes that will solve problems and meet the demands of the organizational goals. See your action steps as focusing on those HR initiatives that are solution based and value driven.

Human Resources will always be the function of a company that people rely on when issues arise. Many HR professionals are attracted to the field because they can engage in business while still addressing and celebrating the people-focused components that are often the main assets of today’s operations.

HR leaders are typically very good coaches, listening to the needs of the others and helping them develop solutions that create win-win opportunities. Beyond this, however, they need to ensure that they are trustworthy and keep confidences.

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An effective and successful HR leader will be one that can walk with the executives, and make entry-level employees feel valued. They spend their day walking the fine line of compliance and moving business operations forward.  While a great HR professional will have customer service top of mind at all times, to become an effective HR leader, they must also be able to set aside the desires of a customer group for the overall good of the organization.


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