ali khan
Ali Khan
Published On
February 19, 2024
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Tired of feeling left out of executive meetings? Do this.

Hello beautiful HR Teams.

Remember that time you were joining your company?

Rushing through your second round of interviews. Meeting your executive team, seeing their warm smiles and more importantly… their vision.

They dangled their company values in front of you. Carefully explaining the picturesque Google-like culture they wanted to create.

Fast forward a couple of months. HR leaders have their faces planted deep in their hands, furiously thinking:

“What happened to that vision?”

“Why aren’t they taking my opinion seriously?”

“Why are other departments’ budgets prioritized over mine?”

“Was hiring an HR leader simply ticking off a checklist?”

Don’t worry. You’re not the only one thinking this. Just about every other HR team member thinks this. Fortunately, with a few simple tweaks, you can become your exec team's trusted advisor, get more of a seat “at the table”, and inspire real meaningful change across the organization.

All you have to do is learn to speak leadership's language. Data. ROI. Impact.

And here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Leaning to speak data - the language of leadership.

You have to remember, that executives are busy people.  

They have hundreds of messages flying into and out of their emails, Slack / Microsoft Teams workspace.

They have the pressure of the board breathing down their neck, demanding they desperately squeeze more $$$ from the company.

Understandably they become obsessed with quarterly targets, data, graphs, and hard facts. With little time for anything else.

If you want to stand a chance of breaking this glass wall between you and the executive team, you need to lean into their interests. Learn to talk revenue, ROI, and data.

To explain this we’ll explain a scenario:

Your CEO is planning to make change X in the product team. She is expecting some pushback but believes it will be for the greater good.

  1. HR Leader 1 - Gary, is a People Leader who gives his opinion without insights or data
  2. HR Leader 2 - Stacy, is a people leader who gives her opinion with insights and data

In this situation, Stacy can have more influence on the conversation. She quantifies the team's emotions into an engagement score:

a) Carefully tracks how their engagement has been declining over the past 6 months.

b) Compare their engagement score to other departments

c) Highlight trending themes, and common pain points

d) Link these pain points to impact on the bottom line AKA $$$ AKA what execs really care about.

With this information, Stacy can catch the executive team's attention, raise eyebrows, and become a trusted advisor and asset to the executive team.

Whereas Gary simply brings his opinion, refers to a couple of conversations he’s had with the team, and tries to share some data but struggles to get buy-in into his ideas.

Put simply…

If you want your opinion to carry more weight, you need to have done your homework by quantifying your team's emotions and building one cohesive story on what they’re experiencing.

P.S. A couple of years ago this would have been impossible, but in today's world of AI, you can build an ongoing Culture score tracker for every department and have up-to-date summaries of their most common challenges. Check out engagement tools like Wrenly if you would find this helpful.

Step 2: Get the data & become a trusted advisor

Ok. Now what? How do we get hold of this employee engagement data?

It’s not that difficult.

Start by launching an employee Health Score Survey. It’s 12 questions focusing on:

  1. Basic Needs
  2. Individual contribution
  3. Teamwork
  4. Growth

After the survey, you can analyze all the feedback, understand your NPS scores, read all the comments, and summarize them.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to wave goodbye to your weekends and want to save time you can use an AI engagement platform to piece together the data for you, build trending themes, and build a health score for every department.

Here’s a snapshot of what this could look like:

If you’re looking to build an in-depth engagement report (shown above) you can send a health score survey and use AI to build a custom culture evaluation report by clicking here(oh and it’s totally free, on the house.)

Step 3: Measure the impact of your suggestions (and show them off!)

You put forward a plan. It was heard and quickly put into action.

This is your time to shine.

Measure the impact. Show how it was perceived. Use it to share jaw-dropping insights at your next meeting.

Why it’s important to measure the impact of your suggestions?

You can use this information to impress execs in your next meeting.

Here’s how you’ll know you’re doing it right.

You’ll slowly start to see heads nodding in agreement.

That’s the first sign that you’re starting to build trust. Talk their language and slowly become their trusted advisor.

how do I measure the impact of my ideas and suggestions”

It’s easier than it sounds. Send a quick check-in 3-question survey.

Tailor some of those questions to your idea.

Assess how content your team is with problem X.

Calculate the average score, read the comments, and understand the employee voice (Or use AI to do this for you).

Finally, after you implement your changes ask the same questions.

Run through the data and compare your results.

Assess how the employee voice and average score have changed.

Most importantly, show how this influences the company's bottom line (e.g. retention rates, recruitment fees, productivity, etc)

Here’s what the late and great Maya Angelou said:

Maya Angelou “If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going”

If you can become the expert on where your culture is today.

You can start to guide leadership on where they should go.

Earning the right to become a trusted company advisor.

Send leadership a question or feedback anonymously!
We'll email them the message below.
You can read their response and reply back on your private page:

More Articles From Ali Khan

Ali is a co-founder of Wrenly known for his innovative thinking and exceptional drive to create value for every Wrenly customer. His dedication, mentorship, and leadership skills have not only shaped various careers but have also made him an invaluable asset to the Wrenly team.

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Here’s how you can get employee engagement insights, on autopilot:

🔍  Check out this sample report (built with AI) to see how people team leaders are automating their insights. 🔍

💪 Request a free culture evaluation report (consultants usually charge $20-30K for this but we’re doing it for $0). Use it to build your company health score, and understand your culture's strengths, weaknesses and how this influences your bottom line…

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