4 Steps for HR Professionals to Secure a Seat at the Table

Human Resources professionals are integral leaders in today’s workplace. While all HR roles are vital to the company, not all of them ensure a “seat at the table.”

What is a “seat at the table?”

Simply – being a recognized member of the executive team. Human Resources professionals can earn this position by adding value in the following areas:

  • Being a people expert
  • Acting as a “culture keeper” – walk the talk
  • Managing people changes
  • Positioned as a confidant to the CEO or a resource for senior management

How do you get there?

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1) Demonstrated expertise

Any human resource executive will know it takes more than just HR knowledge to earn credibility in the workplace. They have to truly understand the drivers of the business, know the language, the numbers, profit drivers, and be able to articulate those points at any given time.

A well-rounded HR executive will be able to speak on an educated basis on company matters than extend beyond personnel management.

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2) Build ironclad relationships

You must put the “human” in human resources. Since human resource executives are typically exposed to many sensitive issues, a track record of honesty, integrity, and trust is not only expected – it is required.

Employees across the company must be able to trust you to use the information you gather in the right way. A breach of trust is the single quickest way to lose buy-in across the board, as it creates a negative connotation for the function and department in general, resulting in hesitation from personnel in the future.

Living by these standards results in support and participation across the organization. Establish an unwavering standard of honesty and integrity, as you will live or die by these standards. Showing that you can finesse decisions and create solutions for complex issues will build rapport across the board.

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3) Be a champion of quality

Be unwilling to waiver from your standards, and remain firm, but fair. Exhibiting a standard of excellence at all times builds trust among employees, especially when you are willing to upgrade or replace subpar performances when needed. It’s not always fun, but it’s always worth it.

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4) Use your voice

A voice is a status that is earned. If you do these first three things well, you gain influence. When you have influence, you can use that to improve the organization.

With this responsibility, use your personal influence, along with the reporting structure, to create leverage and represent the voice(s) of the organization during critical decision making times.

Combining these four tips can help you establish HR executive presence both inside and outside of the senior management team. Implement this roadmap one step at a time and watch the profile of your HR department improve!