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Over the past several weeks, I’ve been chatting with leaders in HR across various industries about employee engagement and HR metrics. And while there have been a few consistent themes across the board which I’ll be releasing in an upcoming white paper, one that has surprised me the most was something we weren’t looking for: the trouble HR leadership is having getting other leaders “on board.”

Back in the day, when HR was prominently “Personnel” and wasn’t tasked with leading initiatives, we weren’t doing much asking – we were following directions. But as HR continues to take a more strategic lead, we need to get the rest of the company on board with the changes, activities and projects we’re working on.

And it’s not working out so well for many HR organizations.

In fact, I’d say we’re pretty much failing. Not for every project, not at every company, and not every time. But we’re still constantly fighting the uphill battle to “convince” our peers to buy-in to what we’re selling.

And holy cow batman, we are terrible sales people.

Why aren’t people getting on the bus we’re driving? Or conversely, why does the organization always listen to Finance without question, and we’re still begging and pleading for an audience and then compliance?

It’s because we suck as a function at communicating our value and worth.

We do. Maybe you have moments of outstanding delivery – we all do.

Perhaps your “change management” strategy feels significant (or it’s in name only).

But how are you actually communicating strategically to your leaders about the work you’re doing and why?

That’s one of the biggest elements missing time after time. You have all of the communication channels in the world (email, Yammer, Lync, all hands, blogs, communities, etc.) – but you aren’t treating the sales or marketing part of HR with any respect.

Yep, HR needs qualified “sales and marketing” people to create actual change. You can’t simply say we’re doing X project, get on board. We have to sell it to the organization until they are on the bus. Then we can simply ask.

But we’re not in the ask phase yet.

We’re stuck in the sales and marketing phase. And since hardly anyone is actually doing something in this phase, we’ve been stuck here for ages.

But as the demographic makeup of our workforce and HR teams continue to change, we need to change with it. Maybe you’ve stumbled across a few millennials’ frustrations in this topic – especially when they’ve been tasking with “rolling out” a new project with just an email or phone call.

Look around you. Is there anything in your world that you haven’t been sold or marketed to? We have ads on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. Businesses are growing their audience footprint with giveaways, trial periods, white papers, demos, social media advertising, and so on.

In other words, we get on board with new things due to their sales and marketing efforts.

So isn’t it time HR follows suit?

Stay tuned: we’ll be reviewing how HR can step up their sales and marketing game. Click here to be notified first.