“In the past, at big company moments, it was often the CEO and CFO breaking the news to employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders. A distinctive feature of the coronavirus pandemic has been to elevate the role of the CHRO, who is often visibly helping CEOs manage the present and lead their companies into the future.”

Arianna Huffington in How CHROs Have Met the Moment

As a C-level employee, the CHRO is an essential member of the management team, leading critical elements of its success, such as talent management, succession planning, and company culture. A new CHRO has the power and influence to drive change and make a meaningful impact at their new place of work, especially in areas that may not have been prioritized before.

Let’s look at five ways new CHROs can make an impact at work. 

1. Managing new models of work in the modern workplace

The modern workplace looks different than it did in the past. Many employees are not ready or prepared to return to working full-time in the office as they did before the pandemic. There’s also the matter of recruitment—how should candidates be interviewed—via conference call or in-person? Will the company recruit employees who live far from the office or in a different country, requiring 100% remote work? And, what is the best way to onboard and integrate new employees that are working remotely? Company policy regarding all of these modern-day questions comes under the domain of the CHRO and dedicated HR team. 

The CHRO also plays an essential role in recharging employee engagement and productivity within this new model of work. Research from McKinsey shows that companies, where HR facilitates a positive employee experience, are 1.3 times more likely to report organizational success. This need has grown throughout the pandemic as companies work to support their employees and boost team morale. 

2. Addressing diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace

While the last few years have seen increased awareness and policy regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion at work, various movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo have drawn even more attention to the cause, making it a top priority for CHROs in 2021.

Focusing on DE&I helps to build workplaces that represent the world in which we live. Research has also shown that companies with diverse teams outperform those without, reaching a higher level of business performance and increased profits. A new CHRO can help facilitate an active DE&I strategy at the company, ensuring diversity in hiring and helping to create an inclusive culture.

If there isn’t already one in place, a new CHRO can also play an essential role in creating a code of conduct that details the company’s mission and values and outlines acceptable employee behaviors and norms. The company’s stance on DE&I should also be included in this important document.

3. Using and understanding people data

People analytics is a buzzword in the HR field, but while three in four companies believe that using people analytics is important, only 15% believe that their HR teams are strong in the area. 

People analytics enables companies to better understand their business and their people. It also allows an understanding of why certain parts of a business aren’t running as well as they could be. Data provides the answers to how companies can be better managed and help leaders to make better decisions. 

Many HR teams lack the skills and resources to fully utilize their people data. Therefore, a new CHRO should prioritize hiring skilled employees to fill this role. A company’s strength is its people, and those that take people analytics seriously will have stronger, more diverse workforces with higher retention and lower turnover rates. 

4. Implementing learning and development programs

Offering employees learning and development opportunities is vital to business growth and success, positively impacting employee engagement and performance and helping to mold future leaders. However, while many companies go to great lengths to hire and onboard suitable and qualified employees, it often stops there, with little effort to nurture and develop them. 

As many companies have moved to remote working, offering employee training programs has become even more challenging, but the need for employees to upskill is now greater than ever. A new CHRO can lead the effort, identifying current and future skills gaps among employees, assessing team needs, and helping to create a strategic learning and development plan for the employees in the organization. This also includes adapting any existing in-house training resources for a remote environment. 

5. Choosing a modern HRIS

For companies that aren’t yet using an HRIS, or aren’t satisfied with the one they currently have, a new CHRO is likely to be the decision-maker leading the process for choosing and implementing a new one. There are many platforms to choose from, giving the CHRO food for thought. 

A modern HR platform such as Bob helps HR leaders to streamline all aspects of human resource management, from recruitment, onboarding, performance, and compensation management, to building culture, inspiring collaboration, and championing DE&I in the workplace. 

Bob also provides HR with insightful people analytics based on KPIs such as employee turnover, retention, attrition, and metrics on gender, ethnicity, and age. Bob’s data is easy to understand and use, and HR can simply export graphs to include in reports and present at management meetings. Bob also integrates with popular payroll and learning and development platforms, providing a centralized system for all HR-related tasks and programs.  

In today’s modern workplace, an HRIS helps HR leaders seamlessly manage their employees, including in-house, remote, and hybrid workers, and helps create a sense of belonging to the company. 

CHROs making an impact

The CHRO has joined the forces of the C-suite, tasked with managing and leading the company’s employees to success. In the new world of work, this role is needed more than ever before and can have a far-reaching and even groundbreaking impact on its employees for years to come.

Ruth Stern

From Ruth Stern

Ruth is a content manager at Hibob. When she isn't working, she spends her free time planting flowers in her garden and playing the piano.