Magi Graziano

Make the Shift From Tactical to Strategic And Maximize Your HR Leadership Effectiveness

By Magi Graziano

Magi GrazianoMany HR practitioners who find them selves working in small to medium sized companies share a common frustration. They complain that their time is spent playing interference between faulty management practices and disgruntled or entitled employees or pitching in and helping with superfluous administrative and office management functions; neither which drive the employment brand or foster employee engagement.

Research indicates that over 60 percent of HR people in small to mid-sized business surveyed report that they spend at least 45 percent of their time playing the role of clean up crew rather than contributing to long term, proactive and strategic initiatives that forward sustainability and momentum in their organization.

The following is a best practice approach to self-discovery and an action plan to take HR from tactical and good to Strategic and great. The five easy steps are just the beginning of demonstrating your value as a long term organizational contributor.

1) At all starts with alignment. What is the overarching purpose of the HR role and specifically how does HR enable company success. When the business leaders and HR come to agreement on this important question it paves the way for the role to make a real difference in how people impact organizational success.

2) Create a matrix of how time is spent in what aspects HR. What percentage of the month, week or day is spent in in which are of focus. How much time is spent crisis mode, what percentage in Administrivia land, and how much in Talent Management; Recruitment, Succession Planning, Organizational Development and Design, Integrating people into the organization, or Proactively teaching and coaching managers. Evaluate what works and does not work and then step into the commitment of changing. Click To Tweet

3) Weigh out the cost of outsourcing versus handling those non-strategic functions inside. Really look at the opportunity cost of holding on to those functions that do not make or break the business. Is the right solution to hire a junior or administrative level person to administer those administrative processes or is it to outsource anything that can be outsourced; payroll, benefits, compensation, benefits, FMLA, etc. Delegate those tasks that detract from focus on building the organization with the best and creating a winning employment brand and culture.

4) Self-evaluate your HR leadership ability. Do you have the skills, beliefs, talents required to operate at a strategic level. What strengths do you possess that empower you? What gaps are present in your mindset, attitudes, beliefs and competencies that are likely to become barriers to your strategic level success? Tell the truth to yourself about what personal and professional development you need and then dig further and ask yourself if you are actually willing to do the work to be the person that is needed for the organization to excel in the people category.

5) Build a game plan. Create a five-year vision for how HR will elevate and accelerate the organization in achieving their goals. Identify the top organizational goals and determine what is needed from HR to enable those goals to come to fruition. Get Executive buy in early about your vision and the big work that needs to be done to get you there. Once you clarify you are on the right track, make certain you address the gaps needing to be filled through identifying the immediate gains required to move forward. Once that is complete build out your 1, 2, and 3-year plan.

In conclusion, transforming how your HR team operates takes courage and commitment. Courage because evaluating what works and does not work and then stepping into the commitment of changing it takes healthy self-esteem, role confidence and persuasion skills. Applying these five easy steps is just the beginning of demonstrating your value as a strategic HR, long-term organizational contributor. Once you identify the weaknesses and remove the constraints, it is up to you to stay the course and make it happen!

Magi Graziano, as seen on NBC, is the CEO of Conscious Hiring® and Development, a speaker, employee recruitment and engagement expert and author of The Wealth of Talent. Through her expansive knowledge and captivating presentations, Magi provide her customers with actionable, practical ideas to maximize their effectiveness and ability to create high-performing teams. With more than twenty years’ experience as a top producer in the Recruitment and Search industry, she empowers and enables leaders to bring transformational thinking to the day-to-day operation. For more information on Magi please visit