HR leaders are very aware of the importance of being strategic and influencing top management on people issues. Kenexa, a firm of business psychologists, has provided support to a wide variety of HR functions when implementing process and structural changes across an organization. However, based on observation, successful HR practitioners seem to truly market the HR function so that senior management realizes the full impact of what they do. Rather than just working harder, complying with unreasonable requests and focusing on delivering operational changes, particular actions are needed that will get the attention of the CEO and top management team.
When HR says that it wants to be strategic, it needs to realize this means impacting how the CEO is measured and what he or she cares about most. Impressing the CEO is clearly strategic because nearly everything he or she does is strategically driven and focused. However, getting the CEO’s attention, impressing him or her, and then influencing his or her way of thinking is not easy—especially if you come from a function that is often incorrectly considered an administrative or overhead function.