The strategy and guidance provided by a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) is crucial to the success of any business. CHROs focus on many key aspects of the company including talent, development, diagnosing problems, performance management, and culture.
Companies have different names for the CHRO position. Some other titles include:
Chief People/Personnel Officer
Executive/Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Regardless of title, these professionals have a wealth of human capital management expertize. Along with human resources functions, they often also serve as advisors to other executives at the company. Many CHROs sit on the company’s board of directors.
Chief Human Resources Officers must have technical proficiency and strong business fundamentals. They must also be able to effectively motivate and manage a multi-generational workforce, which requires flexibility and empathy.
According to research from Cornell University, 64 percent of CHROs at Fortune 200 companies have at least one graduate degree. Of these, 20 percent have an MBA outside of a human resources-related emphasis. In addition, more than 18 percent have law and/or Ph.D. credentials.
It has been said that businesses don’t create value but people do. Finding the best talent is a must for your company. Successful CHROs are able to create effective strategies for both defining role requirements and determining how to assess when applicants will be a good fit. An employee who isn’t suited to their role can drain the company’s resources and create problems for their peers.
The effective CHRO is also able to optimize employees’ value. Impactful human resources leaders place a priority on finding the right balance between personal and professional development for their team members. The best CHROs recognize hidden talent and revise employee duties to maximize their productivity. They may also move them to new positions altogether. Knowing when and how to effectively reassign both people and capital improves a company’s finances.
The CHRO should stay informed of competitors’ activities in order to predict changes that could impact the company. By gathering intelligence about competitors through online research and in-person interactions, the CHRO can make business decisions that will directly influence the company’s finances.
While the CEO and CFO work together to achieve financial goals for the company, the CHRO is key in helping diagnose why the company might not be meeting its goals. The CHRO looks beyond obvious external factors for missed targets. Leading CHROs are skilled at finding the human element of disfunction and developing strategies to course correct. Getting to the root of the problem is a proven methodology to developing and implementing long-term solutions.
The CHRO evaluates how leaders react to setbacks such as a bad economy or poor employee performance. Leaders can either proactively address challenges or be scared into inaction. The best CHROs learn about leaders in times of trouble and know how to make the distinction between one mistake and a larger role misalignment issue.
The CHRO and CFO should work together to determine what is expected from each position and the best metrics to measure performance. The expectations will be unique for each position and will be re-evaluated when necessary. Using performance metrics will ensure employees are paid in accordance with the amount of value they bring to the company and that they knew what is needed to meet their goals.
Along with helping individual leaders, the CHRO is in charge of ensuring the company is culturally aligned with the organization’s mission and vision. They are at the front line of diagnosing problems in the social structure of the organization as a whole and identifying when inefficient systems are causing unnecessary friction. The CHRO works with the CEO to resolve problems caused by a fractured company culture.
To create a cohesive company culture, the CHRO asks employees about the differences between their current and desired company culture. The CHRO then makes suggestions and implements policies to strengthen the company culture while keeping in alignment with the organizational goals and strategy. For example, if employees complain about weak and disjointed leadership, the CHRO will work to define a clear leader for all projects and initiatives. When company culture is strong, companies are more efficient and profitable.
Every Company Can Benefit from a CHRO
CHROs are increasingly involved in the strategic planning of companies. They improve business outcomes through an effective human resources management strategy.
While having a CHRO on the team is important, it can be difficult for smaller businesses to bring on this dedicated leader as they may not be able to shoulder the financial requirements associated with hiring this level of professional. Fortunately, there are other resources and options.
Equal Parts features an integrative HR model that allows us to serve as your company’s CHRO. This model provides you access to this key resource while saving you time, money, and energy. Reach out today to discover how our wealth of professional knowledge and expertise can help your company reach the goals you’ve set.