Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Harsh Reality of Politics & HR

There is a sinister being floating around the HR profession. It permeates all aspects of leadership, and often has deadly consequences for the brave HR pro who doesn't understand it.


Not Savvy? You Have No Chance
But first, let's discuss the critical skill of having organizational savvy. The workplace, and specifically HR's role to play in it, is a path fraught with peril. Competing executive team interests, fear of change, and the intimidating effect modern business and social tools have on old-school leaders are significant political landmines. 

Add to that the demands of an ever changing and contemporary candidate pool puts tremendous pressure on those leaders who want to move away from traditional approaches (read here outdated and horribly ineffective), and move to something that aligns with how our digital world actually works (read here, it's 2017.)

For the highly motivated leader who lacks the organizational savvy to understand that simply putting forward good ideas is not even remotely close enough to a real strategy, the missteps can derail one's credibility in a matter of meetings.

"Because organizational savvy entails "high-integrity" political skills, retaining a moral compass is the cornerstone component. Savvy individuals use ethical means to achieve what's good for their organizations. They advance their careers and maintain high moral standards."

Good Ideas and Getting Results
One of the questions I'm asked constantly is how I was able to move forward with an aggressive employer brand strategy (social media, blogging, podcast, etc...) while working in an industry that is conservative, and candidly, one that rarely understands how contemporary talent acquisition work gets done.

It was not as complicated as one might think. The biggest issues that had to be overcome did include internal politics; but fear and lack of insight from the other executives were the real barriers. It was all about me and my approach. I had to be savvy.

First, I stopped using HR jargon. No one cares about it except HR people. It doesn't drive business results or help the bottom line. 

Second, I used the business language of the industry, because that is what matters. Period.

Third, I linked my contemporary approaches that were clearly necessary, to the strategic plan of my organization. Your HR plan doesn't mean a thing if it is not linked to the organization. (see HR jargon reference)

End result? Success across the board: employee engagement, recruiting, employer brand, and job satisfaction for the team.

How About You
Are you still using HR lingo and wondering why everyone is not excited about your every word? No one cares. Do you understand the political landscape of your company? Really? How? Step out of your HR shell, embrace the industry you are in, and watch your influence and success grow.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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