Having spent most of my HR career as an HR Department of One (#HRDOO), I am always happy to have an opportunity to chat with Lori Kleiman. This time, we talked about her upcoming sessions at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19). Lori will be looking at how an overall corporate budget is impacted by the HR function - and why HR's participation at a senior level is essential. She will be showing some tools to present topics to executives concisely, in a way to gain approval and move the business forward. Lori will also be talking about how to connect with the employee population, but ensure that your role as a business leader remains in tact.
What is the best way for an HR Department of One (#HRDOO) to initiate projects and determine priorities with our executive leadership team?
The first step is to ensure that the project solves an issue in the business or meets the goals of the business. When approaching leadership with a new idea, connect it to their goals - not yours! If the issue is compliance-based, show the penalty of not complying, and explain the risk in not fully complying. Understand there may be degrees of project implementation and be prepared to hear their concerns and adjust to meet their requests while still moving forward with best practices.
Do you have any tips or tricks on how an HRDOO can develop resources to help get the job done efficiently and also importantly, economically. The reality is that HRDOO have small budgets and cannot always get to everything... Do you recommend outsourcing?
We all outsource, more then we might think. All administrative tasks should be outsourced to the extent possible. Budgets can be opened up when we show leaders the value we can provide by focusing on recruiting top talent that is a culture fit, assisting managers with creating clear measurable performance expectations and managing compliance so we don’t have unexpected action against the company. Don’t think you have to reinvent the wheel with each new initiative. Rely on other HR Departments of One for the initial work, and then customize for your organization. I can promise you - someone has done it before!
How does the HRDOO balance the role of being effective at managing risk for the organization—without being the person who always says “no" (a.k.a. the "NO Police") What can we do about this?
You’ve got to understand your CEO’s risk-reward tolerance. We all have one, and that will set the stage for how often and emphatically you say no. Before saying no consider, all the alternatives and the significance to the business if a manager does not move forward. Discuss the risk and reward of each decision, and at the end of the day let the business decide.
HRDOO are often perceived as more transactional than strategic... How can we get involved to position ourselves within the larger context of our organization?
In the right business, the HRDOO is the most critical and strategic leader. The community has to advocate for themselves and step up and be seen. Insist on the use of technology for administrative tasks, and use that extra time to connect with all areas of the business. Understand how every department supports the ultimate goal of success, and provide the tools they need before they even ask. Don’t wait to be invited - stand up and make it clear that you are leading the organization.
Hope to see other HRDOO's at this session, Wednesday, June 26 at 11:30 a.m. for a look at why our participation at a senior level is essential and how to connect with the employee population, but ensure that our role as a business leader remains in tact.
HRDOO's will also enjoy Lori's other #SHRM19 sessions
Solo HR practitioners (HRDOO's) should also know about SHRM's new resource center designed to support HR professionals in small businesses by providing tools and guidance for our most challenging problems. Additionally, SHRM will soon be offering an HR Department of One Specialty Credential, visit the SHRM website for the latest updates on the specialty Department of One credential.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Lori Kleiman is an accomplished businessperson, entrepreneur, and leader. In her most recent corporate role, Ms. Kleiman orchestrated a group of 18 HR consultants nationally. She brought cutting edge HR techniques to the group and fostered a practical sense of HR to small businesses. She built an HR consulting practice that included six consultants supporting business of all sizes. She then sold that business to Arthur J Gallagher. Lori has conducted seminars to business people and HR professionals sharing best practices and new initiatives to bring to small businesses throughout the United States. With a Master of Human Resources and the highest level of certification available in HR, a SPHR and SHRM-SCP designations, and as a member of the National Speakers Association, Lori has the depth of knowledge needed to provide her clients with the foundation of traditional study and real-world solutions to drive immediate action.
To read part two of this interview here.