Double your influence and defend your budget with an HR program promotional plan. HR departments often don’t rank their self-promotion skills as particularly high.
Yet in today’s work environment, making sure your successes — ranging from HR programs to other initiatives — are known can be a crucial part of getting the resources you need.
It’s not uncommon for several sectors of an organization to be vying with the company’s HR department for portions of a tight budget. Fifty-five percent of chief HR officers said their budget either decreased or stayed the same from 2013 to 2014, according to a recent survey from international senior executive event host the Consero Group.
As a result, you need leadership to understand what efforts you’re making to improve both the overall organization and the bottom line.
Promoting HR programs can also help in other areas, including recruiting and employee retention — if candidates and current employees are informed about what you’re doing.
A recent survey from international career community site Glassdoor, for example, found that two-thirds of respondents viewed diversity as an important factor when assessing job offers. It’s reasonable to assume diversity may be important to current employees, as well. However, Glassdoor’s research found that only a third of workers knew their company had a diversity initiative.
Promoting HR programs may not feel like your first nature; but you can’t assume the majority of people in a busy organization are aware of all your department is doing.
How can you share HR’s program successes without sounding like you’re bragging?
Use the following tips to publicize your HR department’s efforts — a move that, if executed correctly, should pay off in the long run.
Be able to prove your worth: Software-based tracking and analytics tools can help you measure some aspects of HR programs’ ROI, such as cost per hire; implementing other solutions to track time spent on specific initiatives can also help. If your organization isn’t up for investing in additional tech tools, consider running some numbers the old-fashioned way—tallying money you’ve saved the company, for example, through a specific cost-cutting effort.
Provide regular updates: When it comes to promotion, communication, along with frequency, is key. There is a delicate balance to be struck; send too many notifications about HR programs and other initiatives, and you risk employees tuning you out. Send too few, and it may imply to leadership and staff that the HR department has only completed a small amount of spread-out projects. Consider conveying updates in a company e-newsletter or other regular publication, in addition to other ways, such as through email blasts, break area bulletin board posts and via supervisors or committee heads who can share the news verbally to small groups of employees.
Share successes externally: Employees are only one of the audiences your HR department should be addressing. To reach potential job candidates and top talent in the field, who may be influenced to apply or accept a position, based on your organization’s inventive programs, amenities or other offerings, you need to promote your HR programs through widely distributed press releases, blog posts and other outlets. Eighty percent of companies, for example have published their diversity statement on their website and in corporate informational documents, according to Diversity Best Practices’ recent assessment.
Be confident, but not cocky: When conveying positive program news, focus on your team’s overall contributions, instead of your own individual efforts. Leaders with high levels of narcissism — who also showed high levels of humility — were regarded as more effective leaders in the workplace, according to a recent study from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. Studies, including research from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, have indicated the same holds true for women in the workplace. Women who are confident and assertive, but vary the degree in regard to circumstances, receive more promotions than other women or men, according to Stanford’s study.
Strong promotional abilities aren’t the only proficiency HR department professionals need to master to successfully navigate the changing job market.
HR leaders will also need to possess a thorough understanding of their organization’s talent pipelining needs, how to manage communication throughout the organization, assess HR programs designed to increase diversity — and more.
For additional ways you can prepare now, find out what top 4 skills HR leaders will need in the next decade.