I have been invited to meet with the board of directors in my company. They want me to address them on critical HR issues and the future outlook for HR in organisation. What and what should be included in my address?
We can only suggest a format and not the content. To begin with, look for the Minutes of the Meeting from the last meeting. It will give you an idea of what was discussed and how the discussions are structured. Look for the old presentation decks in your archive to understand the format for the presentation.
If you have been invited to speak, you must be an expert at your role and department. Use that operational knowledge to frame your speech.
Avoid making broad and open statement and keep data, close to you. Such as don’t say we hired a lot of people last month, but mentioned the hiring numbers and distribution of the talent.
Take top 3 challenges and prepare a 20000 feet view to it. Such as if attrition is your problem, prepare a MECE [Mutually exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive] Report and present it. Suggest solution and look for validation before presenting them.
If your team needs funds for the activities, prepare a detailed report on how those funds will add on to the Firm’s revenue.
If your Board have not been happy with any area, prepare in details. Right from ground zero to the 20000 feet view! Such as the board is not happy with the salary increments. They feel that the compensation was already above the market pay and the existing talent-base doesn’t deserve the hike. Prepare in details about the market correction and the challenges, such as a new employer in the market and is ready to pay more. Pick more data on the threats that you may face.
Before talking about future, make sure the board is with you in the current times. You may want to set up an Internal University, but Board finds it ahead of time. Hence avoid making claims about the future, but speak strictly based on the forecast that your reports will make.
At the most you may share few relevant market trends, but that’s entirely for the education purpose and set the frame for the next meeting.
Above all, work very closely on your presentation with the Head of your firm. Look for a mentor or a coach within the firm, who presents to the board regularly. During the meeting, try and listen very deeply. Often, even through criticism, the board members can end up offering insights that are extremely helpful for development.
Hope this helps. Please consider sharing the feedback that you may receive from the board and the experience. Looking forward to hear from you!