People Strategy

Cracking the Code: How to Get Executive Buy-In For People Programs

May 21, 2024
May 21, 2024
Halah Flynn
Lattice Team

The CEO-CPO relationship is indispensable in guiding organizational strategy. Together, both executives must stay aligned on how to keep their company and their people successful. 

On stage at the 2024 Transform Conference in Las Vegas, Lattice CEO Sarah Franklin and CPO Cara Brennan Allamano shed light on the actions people teams must take in order to build trust, secure buy-in for people programs, and harness HR analytics for better business decisions. 

1. Show Up with Data

Business leaders outside the people team might be skeptical of HR’s impact. But quantifiable metrics and analytics provide evidence to support HR’s proposals and demonstrate the potential impact on the organization. 

"It is humanly impossible not to have your own formed opinions of what you think is happening, but data can be the equalizer," Franklin said. HR leaders can use data to prove the value of their programs and connect the dots between trends like employee performance, turnover, and engagement – all of which connect to the business’ bottom line. 


2. Align with Strategy

Just like any operational project, HR initiatives must be clearly linked to broader organizational goals and strategies. 

"Make sure that what we're doing now plans into our one-year, three-year, five-year strategy [...] for our people strategy,” Franklin said. Demonstrating how your HR programs contribute to business objectives increases their perceived value.

In fact, Lattice’s 2024 State of People Strategy Report found that 82% of high-performing HR teams are confident in demonstrating a link between HR programs and business outcomes, compared to only 40% of low-performing HR teams. 

When business leaders see HR programs as valuable to their own goals, they’re more likely to help champion the implementation of those initiatives, like getting their teams to 100% completion rates for performance reviews, filling out engagement surveys, or training managers to have more transparent conversations about compensation. 

3. Offer a Point of View

While CEOs, CFOs, and COOs will have strong ideas about how the business should run, HR can provide insights based on their experience and expertise.

“Many of us have been doing the work of building entire tech stacks within your companies for the past 10 years,” Allamano said. “We built expertise in this area.” 

As new technology and workforce trends like AI emerge, Allamano said that CPOs are “the people who are at the leading edge of AI because it is a mix of workforce, employee experience, and tooling.” 

Whenever HR has a seat at the executive table, they can proactively advocate for the employee voice and better business outcomes by reminding leaders that when people thrive, business thrives. Being outspoken about these values can build credibility and trust with executive leadership, facilitating buy-in for HR programs.

4. Tell the Whole Story

It’s one thing to say engagement is down. But taking it a step further to highlight the specific needs of top performers, skills gaps in your most essential teams, or exit interview data that’s affecting attrition can help executives fully understand the value of people analytics. 

But make sure you’re telling the whole story. 

“People will tell you what you want to hear,” Franklin said. “They won't tell you things that you don't like or that you don't want, but a lot of times those are the things that you need to hear.” 

Make sure to share successes and challenges to help executives understand the full picture of how the business is running. It takes courage to deliver hard news, but HR pros are particularly adept at communicating with care and clarity. Plus, it builds credibility and trust, which go a long way in high-stakes decisions. 


Rely on Analytics You Can Trust, From Lattice

By nurturing trust, embracing evolution, and prioritizing people, executives and people leaders can steer their companies toward lasting success. But a trustworthy tech stack can help you get there faster. With the right tools in place, you can leverage data and insights that help you craft a convincing business case based on trustworthy analytics.

Lattice’s newly enhanced Analytics Explorer gives people leaders the insights they need to make better decisions to benefit the entire organization. Request a demo to learn more about how Lattice Analytics can take your people programs to the next level.

✨Need help knowing which metrics to track? Download our free HR metrics cheat sheet for definitions, industry standards, and more.✨

✨Want to make your story look presentable? Download our free, customizable slide deck for all the HR metrics you’ve been gathering.✨