As we all know, the world is changing at super-speeds: technology is becoming more and more advanced, nature seems to become more extreme, and we as human beings react differently to the ever changing environment. These are all signs telling us that the HR profession is becoming more and more pivotal to the business in the years to come.
HR has not always been given the recognition that it deserves as the the foundational backbone of the company. Even the transactional work of keeping payroll processes smooth, ensuring companies adhere to labor law regulations, and having recruitment practices seamlessly integrated (to name a few) are incredibly important and are often taken for granted by the business.
When we look more strategically, HR professionals are proving the profession to be an integrated part of the company business. Business leaders are starting to wake up and smell the coffee – some of them now understand that HR is an instrumental part of leading and driving the organization towards high quality business outcomes.
Even with HR teams that have been given a pathway to bring strategic value to the business, often they are influencing business leaders by subtly steering them as they come up with their idea or solution. In fact, in some situations HR leaders have been constantly impacting and influencing business and organizational decisions and directions, but often under the radar. I sometimes call us the ‘Hidden Influencers.’ Well, it’s time for a change. HR professionals must step into the spotlight.
There have been and always will be highly respected idols, role models, or as we call them today: influencers. Influencers have the characteristics, fame attributes, or other x-factors that drive appealing interest, sought after lifestyles, or stories that impact a broad group of followers. It is not a new phenomenon, but it has increased like an avalanche over the past few years.
Just like an Instagram influencer, or celebrity of today, HR must learn to embrace the centre stage. Our businesses need us.
Any company in any industry will continue facing competition in all aspects, e.g. competition of business output and success, competition of talent, competition of the best company culture, competition of awareness, and so on. In the light of this competitive landscape, it’s important not to lose sight of your company’s business strategies, your company values, or your company’s long term vision. This is where our businesses need us.
Now is the time to really showcase the X-factor of your company, to role model your values, and position a lifestyle of choice. As HR leaders, we must take the Influencer torch even more visibly, together with our front-facing founders and other business leaders. By integrating our values and purposes into tangible lifestyle moments, emphasizing ourselves in the light of our company and for our people, while filtering it through the rich media- and influencer landscape, we will continue to add value to the business by being leaders, role models and influencers.
There is no recipe or one-size-fits-all approach to making this transition into the spotlight. But I do know that it’s important to be genuine, to really believe in what you say and do, and to articulate true value and curiosity. As HR Professionals, utilize your network, your business relationships and the insights you have. Focus on sharing, impacting and influencing. Being generous with your time, ideas and intent, will not only impact your organization or network, it will have scalable impact and effect to any industry. As we identify, and courageously influence our stakeholders, into new known or unknown avenues, we will continue to position, recognize and acknowledge greatness and most certainly uniqueness, today and tomorrow – for the benefit of your people, organization and business.
Be bold and have the courage to step into the role of a visible and impactful influencer. It is likely to be uncomfortable at first, but it will make a huge difference in the long run. Personally, I have played the Hidden Influencer role for many years, and maybe it’s time for me to step into a new and more inspirational role for myself, my colleagues, and for my organization.