Strategic HR Weekly "Sales" Tip #47
Clarity in messaging...
Sometimes we're so close to what we're doing, we can't see the forest through the trees.
Why the cliche? 'Cause I'm guilty as charged. Some readers may have caught that I'm pursuing investment money to take the $trategic HR Management $olutions software to the next level. (Yeah, a bit like the shark-tank thing.) One of the feedback items I got from round #1 is that "the evaluators didn't understand the strategic HR plan design process that your approach/software created and/or supported" . Ouch. I sure thought I was clear as a bell. But if you're going to become the best of the best, you have to be coachable. So I'm adjusting my pitch.
For those of you trying to communicate the same thing to your "clients", my list below is what I'm going to use in round #2 tomorrow. When you sit down to address strategic HR planning, either in your C-suite, or in the C-suite of a prospective client company, start out by showing/telling them the process you'd like to lead them through. It helps the mind grab what's going to happen, which then makes it happening happen more smoothly, 'cause they'll know what to expect.
(The bulleted outline expansions below are only listed for your benefit. If you're showing the process to your C-suite, just show the 11 point plan.)
- Explain WHY you're there
Identify potential problems to fix (pain) or opportunities to improve (gain) at the Strategic HR business level
- Start with the highest WHY - the P&L
- Teach / show HR's connections (most CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, COOs have never seen this before)
- Show / prove to stakeholders you know HOW to accomplish any shown HR strategy or tactic, knowing WHICH granular tasks, products and services may impact it
Monetize the potential impact of fixing the problems or improving initiatives
- Discuss each HR Strategy, in terms of how well it's supporting the P&L
- If you're not sure where to start, start with the ones that may be the biggest current financial drain
Agree on WHICH initiatives to fix (pain) or improve (gain)
- Money is what causes the C-suite to take action - making more, saving more, keeping more
- Here is (strategic) HR's #1 challenge: some HR initiatives are extremely hard or impossible to monetize (ie, avoiding fines and lawsuit expense in a business that has not incurred any fines and lawsuits; or improving employee productivity in a knowledge based job/position). In instances like those, you'll need to try to get stakeholder buy-in that any improvement is prudent and will help, even if it's not readily quantifiable.
Do an HR effort "gap analysis" - which of 197 HR "things" are being done now, and which NOT being done? (This simply documents the 'status quo' HR effort. This is NOT an HR Audit!)
If not already done in #4, agree on initiatives to potential problems (pain) or opportunities to improve (gain), based on the gap analysis
Choose NEW tasks products services (NOT being done now) to fix or improve the agreed upon targeted initiatives
- If it's already known that the company is probably not doing enough to fix or improve the tentative initiatives, agreement can be secured at this step. If that effort level is unknown, skip this step and go to step 5.
Create an ROI analysis using step #3 and #7
Create a Before / After HR Effort Scorecard to ensure stakeholder buy-in
- Estimate the Time and Money investment to implement planned deliverables
- If needed, improve the execution of current HR tasks, products, services
Choose appropriate metrics to track as the plan is executed
- This will visually "show" where the plan is intended to take the company
Execute the plan; track results; adjust as necessary based on results