Webinar Series: Bridging the Gap Between HR and the CEO

by Ryan Kohler

Because our free, educational webinars are such a big hit for HR Professionals who are SPHR, PHR, and GPHR certified; I’ve decided to begin a weekly series completely dedicated to our topics. What I’m hoping to provide is an outline of the presentation, and most importantly; why I feel the information is beneficial. I’m also a firm believer in the effectiveness of repetition so it’s my hope that you can review the information in the post and then I can elaborate and provide “real-life” examples of what I had previously outlined. We’ve gotten around 20 or so general and strategic topics HRCI approved thus far so these posts should keep me busy for the next few months.

Today’s focus is a strategic webinar that I’ll be presenting tomorrow, 8/15 at 1 PM MST called Bridging the Gap – How to Think Like a CEO . This particular topic is near and dear to my heart because it was the first strategic session we got HRCI approved and I actually just shared it a local HRACU SHRM meeting last week.

I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone involved in the HR community that there’s often a disconnect between how HR perceives a company versus how the CEO and higher level executives view things. I also know based on conversations I have with my clients on a regular basis that it’s frustrating to not be included in strategic decisions that have a substantial effect on an organization. I’ve also personally witnessed this issue from both angles since I was an employee long before I started my own company; thus I trust that what I have to share will be valuable.

Like most issues involving two or more individuals, the problem often begins with communication. Both of you are waiting on the other party to change, or to make the first move. It’s always a “if my boss paid me more, I’d work harder” or “if the employee showed initiative, I would happily give them a raise.” I’m here to tell you: that on both sides of the equation – it starts with initiative on the employee’s part. You want to prove your worth, build trust, and make it nearly impossible to not be recognized.

There are a few different ways to do this, but one of the key methods to accomplish is to “speak” in their language. You want to have a firm enough grasp on the overall mission of your company in order to tie what you need (both as an individual and within your department) to the needs of the company by pitching to their pain points and their goals. You also want to convert your data to their data. For instance, if you’re wanting to increase your recruiting budget so you can find higher quality hires that equal less turnover; you want to use numbers/costs to support you. You”ll want to detail how much you lose when there is turnover (this includes recruiting beforehand, job ad advertisement, the pre-employment process, training, lost revenue as a direct result of poor performance, etc). As long as you’re specific, and break it down into cost terms and how that affects overall budget/company’s bottom line, you’re golden. I guarantee that someone who spearheads funding/budgeting (CEO, CFO) will appreciate you converting the data into terms that they understand. You’re also far more likely to accomplish a win/win situation if you bridge the communication gap between you by approaching it strategically as opposed to requesting more money with zero fundamental basis. You’re also going to look like a rockstar to your boss and everyone else involved for having the “edge” and thinking practically in business terms.

I delve quite a bit deeper in my webinar so if I’ve piqued your interest, then feel free to register here. And don’t forget, we have a variety of other topics to choose from that range from every hiring struggle you can imagine through more complex and strategic topics like understanding business metrics.


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