The role of CHROs has changed significantly over the last decade; Moving from an administrators’ role to becoming a strategic business partner, their role has undergone a massive transformation.
How does the CHRO make a difference?
Businesses today are moving at a speed faster than ever imagined. This mandates CHROs and HR leaders to make a greater impact than ever by accelerating the change for companies. Equipped with the skills of Chief Talent Officer, Culture and Employee Policy Officers, and more, a CHRO can accelerate change or slow it down. New age leaders are expected to accelerate the change.
How a CHRO can help accelerate change is determined through a mix of factors. A few factors like the company culture they have shaped, the processes they have set up to develop the right leaders, the employee policies they have framed, and the tone of communication they have set up through their own behavior. However, a key aspect of the CHRO’s role that is often underappreciated is their role as an Ambassador for the CEO.
However, don’t think of CHRO as a diplomat, instead think of her as a person who represents a brand, company, or even a special activity.
What does it mean for a CHRO to be an effective ambassador?
The following activities can make CHROs an effective ambassador.
- Engage and coach leaders: Stakeholders who cast a large impact on the workforce and influence the behavior of other employees, should be trained to supplement the CEO by getting them focused on top strategic priorities.
- Align key managers: Create a cohort of key managers who are tasked to drive outcomes and align them with the strategic goals of the organization.
- Address managers: Directly address managers who are at risk of poor performance or retention risk.
- Organize working groups: Gather groups to seek ideas and create buy-ins for changes the organization has underway. Further, negotiate between working groups and management to align on a realistic action plan.
- Demonstrate a passion for the company’s values: HR leadership should lead by example and show company values in their acts while disseminating the idea of the platform the company has created for employees to show their skills and be able to make a positive contribution to the world.
What makes a CHRO an effective Ambassador?
Gather deep knowledge of the business. Lack of understanding of the business hampers a leaders’ credibility in the eyes of managers. Overarching understanding of the business allows human resources leaders to engage credibly with managers and build expectations of them.
Build a close working relationship with the CEO. It’s important to build a mutual comfort level between the CEO and you, to have the confidence that CHROs can represent the company on strategically critical and sensitive matters. It is critical to building trust among employees that they can talk confidentially with an HR leader and have faith that they are looking out for them.
Another aspect of being an Ambassador is to avoid inauthentic selling of the changes the company has planned. HR leaders need to be open and candor to engage with managers and convey the changes the company is seeking to implement. This will allow leaders and managers to negotiate to achieve what’s possible.
Leaders need to understand that change is the only constant. Leaders need to make management team understand and anticipate the dynamics and figure out the sources of resistance to the changes. They work with the management team to address the resistance in a way that creates real-buy in.
Lastly, to be an ambassador, CHRO should have the ability to balance the needs of various stakeholders and avoid the perception that HR is a mechanism to execute management’s vision and plans at any cost.