5 ways to improve your relationship with HR

5 ways to improve your relationship with HR

A true HR partner doesn’t just post your job listings, manage basic hiring and ensure compliance

Talent recruitment and development are more critical than they have ever been before and one key to success is making sure you have a strong relationship with your organisation’s HR staff.

A true HR partner doesn’t just post your job listings, manage basic hiring and ensure compliance – they facilitate workforce planning to ensure IT has the talent needed to support the business.

As a CIO, you want to benefit from a HR specialist’s specific aptitude for managing talent, building a strong team culture, and training for the future. This partner will also be active in driving the organisation’s digital transformation by helping build a more change-savvy and innovate culture across the entire organisation.

Just as we are driving our organisations up the IT maturity curve, HR finds themselves in a transformation journey of their own. In his report, HR Technology Disruption for 2018: Productivity, Design, and Intelligence Reign’, Deloitte Josh Bersin says there are 4 levels of maturity in HR.

  • Level 1: Reactive and procedural (43 per cent of organisations)
  • Level 2: Functional and fragmented (23 per cent)
  • Level 3: Cultivating and empowering (22 per cent)
  • Level 4: Pioneering and personalised (12 per cent)

So, this leaves us with the challenge – only one-third of HR departments are operating at that partner level and we need that strong partnership to drive our IT organisation’s transformational journey to become true strategic partners and innovative anticipators, what is the best way for us to move forward?

Here are 5 pointers from CIOs that have a built this successful alliance.

1. Be a stand out

Top HR leaders want to work there the action is, they want to partner with the stand outs who are driving the progression of the organisation. We need to position ourselves to HR based on the strategic value that IT is delivering to the company and how HR can play a critical role is positioning our company as industry leaders and innovators.

2. Invest in the relationship

HR leaders don’t have a background in IT and most often don’t understand its nuances. They see us as different. Be a teacher, invite them in. HR professionals often feel like an island, make them like the important part of your organisational family that they are.

3. Engage in all phases of strategy

To support your IT strategy, HR needs to understand it! They need a deep understanding and the ability to translate it into a workforce strategy that provides the right culture, best talent, continuous learning and internal mobility.

4. Recruit, grow and maintain

Be a talent magnet. Always be seeking to recruit the best talent and not just in IT but also in your HR partners and the rest of the organisation. No matter the reporting structure, you need to support, grow and reward HR leaders as if they are critical member of your team. They are.

5. Build a great workforce strategy

Talent continues to be the CIO’s number one obstacle to achieving their objectives, according to Gartner. CIOs must partner with HR to think holistically about talent and deliver a differentiating workforce strategy.

We must know, grow, engage, and retain our current talent while becoming more attractive to new talent. We must ensure we have the skills and capabilities required to achieve our current and future strategies.

Lou Markstrom is the co-author of Unleashing the Power of IT: Bringing People, Business, and Technology Together, published by Wiley as part of its CIO series. Over the past 25 years, he has worked with over 35,000 people to create high performance organisations, teams and individuals.

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