What Managers Need to Know When You Request Personnel or Equipment

Occasionally, I come across articles written by others that are too good not to share. Here is one such article. Enjoy.

It really used to frustrate me when I knew I needed people or equipment to get a job done. Whether I was asking as a Director of HR or a Director of Quality, I could often run into the same brick walls when my requests would be flat-out rejected or fell into that “I’ll get to it later…” bin.

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Here is a little research to help with making a proposal to your boss.

1. Top Managers want specific information before making decisions. They don’t care that a new computer system will make life easier for you or your staff, they want to know the return on investment (ROI) and the effect of staffing.

2. Top managers are usually needing ideas and any competitive information. “HR needs to bring ideas to the table, and don’t just limit yourself to HR stuff.” Know the business. What will enhance all aspects of the business?

3. Top managers often don’t understand what you do, and don’t care. Most top managers wonder if HR people understand the business side. Brush up on your business acumen. Leave the HR “speak” at the door and “stay focused on what may be keeping the CEO up at night.”

4. Remember, Top managers think of you as a cost center. Never lose sight that salaries and benefits are the biggest expense of a business. Be able to articulate what you do as it relates to the bottom line, not how happy it makes the employees.”

5. Top managers want to know what is going on in the business, but hey don’t have enough time. Help them stay connected. Give them insights into major life changes of employees, i.e., marriages, births, divorces, etc. Bring them important conflicts that could affect the company – important stuff, not gossip.

6. They may not tell you who is on their “A” team or which employees they’re watching more closely. That’s why it’s important for you to simply be a useful, honest source of information on employees and execs. Don’t try to interpret which employees the CEO is high or low on currently.

7. They want you to make decisions. Be willing to step up and have the courage to make tough decisions. Instead of just explaining a problem to the CEO, help them by telling them that “this is what I think is the right answer.”

8. They don’t feel they should have to give performance reviews. Pick your battles. Recognize that all talent is not equal and that the CEO, in some respects, is right. But, continue to encourage the “big boss” to give feedback.

9. They love and hate the board. Understand that before the board meeting, the CEO needs a laser focus on that meeting and will push everything else aside. Make sure all information you provide for the meeting is accurate so “your work doesn’t become the source of criticism of the CEO.”

10. They won’t tell you what’s going on at home – or when they’re planning to leave. And often new CEOs like to bring in their own HR person. Since you probably won’t know their plans, be sure you have your own plan. So, network!

Originally published in “The HR Specialist” in their February 2019 under the title “What CEO’ s Are Really Looking for When You Request Personnel or Equipment” written by Sue Meisinger, consultant and former CEO of SHRM. Reprinted with permission.