Negotiation Skills: An HR Executive’s Greatest Ally

Negotiation Skills: An HR Executive’s Greatest Ally

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you’ve likely noticed a recurring theme. Many are focused on what managers can do to improve their negotiation skills or how a sales team can boost its customer or vendor relationships with stronger negotiating strategies.

There’s another key player within any organization who can and should leverage the power of negotiation – the HR executive. Today’s HR executive faces challenges that are very different from those in the past. Today, unhappy customers air their grievances on social media. Disgruntled employees leverage stricter discrimination laws. The #MeToo movement has put an even greater pressure on HR executives. Prospective employees demand higher salaries and better benefits. Company loyalty (going both ways) has dwindled, fostering more contention between management and employees. Organizations more frequently tighten their belts, leading to increased layoffs and pay cuts. Customers expect vendors to deliver goods expediently and at a lower cost.

A more tenuous and demanding role

The above scenarios put increasing demands on HR executives – to smooth the waters, mitigate lawsuits, more effectively negotiate salaries and benefits, and address a whole host of other issues. Though most HR activities aren’t so dramatic, effective negotiating skills still provide major benefits.

It’s an essential skill today’s HR executives need to hone. They often serve as a crucial mediator between board of directors and management, headquarters and branch offices, supervisors and employees, and the organization and other players such as vendors, partners, and stakehol