Ep 170 – Becoming a More Strategic HR Leader and Business Partner

becoming a more strategic hr leader and business partner

Too often by others outside of human resources, HR is seen as order takers who fill requisitions, calculate compensation tables, and run surveys. To win over internal and external clients, HR professionals need to provide solutions to their problems in terms to which they can relate. Asking (and answering) questions concerning four problematic areas will help managers and executives appreciate the value you bring. These are a few of the things we’re going to be talking about today. But first, I want to say a special thank you to our podcast sponsor, ClearCompany.

Episode 170: Becoming a More Strategic HR Leader and Business Partner with Ed Muzio (@edmuzio)

Today, I’m joined by Ed Muzio. Ed is CEO of Group Harmonics and an award-winning three-time author. An expert in the scientific study of measuring and modifying human behavior, he is a sought-after consultant to business and industry worldwide and a popular media source. His new book is Iterate: Run a Fast, Flexible, Focused Management Team.

Ed has one foot in processes and engineering and the other foot in leadership and his work with HR teams. He brings great perspective and insights into helping bridge the gap between the executive team and human resources. Ed says that HR needs to think about its role in terms of inputs and outputs versus HR terminology. He thinks this is the best starting point to bridging the gap between the business and human resources.

Bridging that gap starts with communicating using terms and metrics that business leaders can understand, focusing on the impact a change or program will provide the business. This means limiting terms like turnover, cost per hire, or HR to staff ratio. While I’m a proponent of educating leaders on HR terms, they will forever be a foreign concept to many of our leaders. By communicating them in a way that puts HR into their context, we can better support them and help move forward with programs that we know will truly benefit the organization.

How to Organize Your Meetings for Maximum Productivity

Ed also shares that you can learn a lot about a team by the amount of time they spend in meetings and forward thinking versus looking at past performance and history. He shares insights on how to effectively run a meeting and the balance between strategy, driving decision making, and discussing reporting. I love how he pushes us to think about not only the meetings we are in for our clients in HR but also in the meetings we are leading as workplace leaders. His process is described more in his book Iterate and the consulting work he does with HR and leadership teams.

Ed’s interview provides a lot of actionable information that helps HR focus on providing output and finding ways to define the value of what an HR department does and how it supports the larger organization. It’s more than metrics and an analytics dashboard. I like how he reminds us to be future focused. I think it’s really easy to think about where we’ve come from instead of looking at forecasts and trends to help anticipate the type of results we have to get in the future. This is something that everyone in HR can benefit from regardless of the size of your team or your organization.

Connect with Ed Muzio.

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*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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