CHROs: Are You Sitting at the Conference Table or the Kid’s Table?
While everyone recognizes the need for a solid HR department headed up by a reliable CHRO, they can often get left out of the broader strategic company loop. As a CHRO, it’s important to make room for yourself at the conference table so you’re not only always aware of business decisions and strategies, but can contribute to them as well. In other words, what can you do to ensure that you’re not only advocating for yourself and your department, but demonstrating value and providing insights for the company as a whole?
What Makes a Good CHRO?
According to Forbes, one of the top strategic priorities for CHROs in 2019 is demanding a seat at the C-suite table. A CHRO should be leading their company into the future.
The role of a CHRO, like all business roles, is adapting to fit in with the current business economy. At its heart, the CHRO position is a link between the company’s executive team and its human assets. Some of the responsibilities of a CHRO in today’s world are the ability to align organizational strategy with succession planning, handle talent management and performance, plan and possibly facilitate training and development as well as keep track of compensation. Additionally, some of the desired skills you should have as a CHRO are:
· Talent acquisition
· Compensation and procurement costs
· Financial planning and forecasting
· Learning and development
· Benefits administration
· Compliance and legal knowledge
These are similar to the skills utilized with more entry-level HR positions, but much more specialized. As a CHRO, you will spend more time on the front lines with executive leadership and less time interacting with employees.
You should be no less valuable to employees as you will be advocating for them regularly. Showing your skills and finesse in more of the executive level aspects of CHRO will help you to get, and keep, your seat at the conference table.
How Do You Prove Your Worth as a CHRO?
Sometimes you have to prove why your company needs a CHRO. As well as why that CHRO should not be cast aside to the kid’s table, but included in critical company discussions. To be a valuable CHRO in current times you must think beyond the traditional HR model.
Make sure executives know that you understand how human capital can benefit the business by exhibiting your ability to create, read, and translate a P&L (Profit and Loss statement). While the people aspects of HR, such as engagement, retention, satisfaction etc are important, the current CHRO role should focus on bottoms lines strategic drivers of company success. You have to be able to relate to people and talent to ultimate corporate success.
Demonstrate your ability to be a reliable and trustworthy leader. You should be considered a mentor and confidante by your peers at the executive level. Other execs will need to rely on you for guidance and reinforcement of company culture. They need to trust both your dedicated to employees and the company. This may sometimes mean talking about some hard situations, helping employees to see the value of change they may not agree with and bringing people on board for new ideas.
Driving change will become a core part of your influence with front line employees. You will often be the one relied on to communicate upcoming changes to the general staff. You must be motivated to help others see the potential rewards and benefits of change. Take charge of communication plans and be ready for potential resistance with facts and enthusiasm.
Another proficiency you should showcase is the ability to accurately use data. HR analytics can help a company to make informed decisions in relation to hiring and managing. Proving your ability to gather, understand, present and make decisions off of this data will go a long way to earning yourself a seat at the table.
Judy partners with executives and leadership teams to engage and inspire employees in a way that delivers sustainable strategic results. She brings deep expertise and creative ideas to solve organizational effectiveness issues and closely collaborates in a way that builds internal capabilities. Judy has spent over 25 years consulting in a variety of industries, bringing her expertise in behavior to a wide range of organizational issues including organizational behavior change, leadership, change management, culture and engagement.