CHROs (Chief Human Resource Officers) have a significant impact on the overall morale and success of the organization. HR can be a valuable strategic asset for businesses by reducing costs in several ways. These include automating routine processes, hiring and keeping high-performing employees, providing training and mentorship opportunities, and facilitating talent mobility. Consolidating these activities is a crucial step in maximizing efficiency and effectiveness within an organization.
Creating a strategic HR agenda
80% of board directors believe that HR is set to become even more strategic in the coming years. Change is inevitable in any business – but it is especially crucial for HR departments to stay ahead of the curve.
In 2023, operational excellence will be a vital metric for measuring success. The rapidly changing business landscape necessitates CHROs to redesign organizational structures and management policies.
An effective HR agenda should focus on identifying and implementing procedures and methods that improve organizational performance and productivity. This is not about crafting an HR strategy from scratch, but rather applying the right processes and procedures at the right time, prioritizing building analytical resources, and utilising modern digital tools.
Six facets CHROs need to focus on to maximise organizational output
Mental health and employee well-being
The numbers do not lie – stress levels are high and mental health is suffering. A recent survey found 78% of employees reported always feeling stressed out. This is a fundamental problem that needs to be addressed by companies, especially those in charge of HR. Employees need to be able to take regular breaks and disconnect from work so they do not experience burnout.
Organizations that support employee well-being and mental health through benefits such as meditation and fitness apps, job sharing, flexible working policies, and other amenities show their employees that they care about their overall wellbeing. This not only makes employees feel good about themselves, but also leads to increased productivity and engagement.
Organizations that proactively encourage rest among their employees are predicted to observe a significant increase in productivity. A recent survey found that when employees are allowed to take proactive rest, their performance improves by 26%, thus, maintaining their emotional resilience and performance. Happy employees are productive employees, so it is important that CHROs do everything they can to foster a positive work environment.
Digital transformation is the ideal way to change incumbent HR systems. CHROs should use technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual assistants, augmented reality, and virtual reality to improve the life of the average employee in the organization.
HR digitization is crucial for businesses because it not only solves business problems but also changes the way employees view the organization. If employees do not feel like there’s room for growth in the company, they will look for opportunities elsewhere.
Technology can also help mitigate the risk of employee burnout by automating certain tasks. CHROs should regularly ask their teams whether their list of HR priorities more closely resembles a grocery list than a set of critical workstreams. If the answer is yes, this could be a warning sign that burnout is on the horizon or that the HR function has lost sight of the business’s key objectives.
Cultural disconnects between employee engagement and organizational goals can create significant challenges for businesses during digital transformation. According to a recent study, only 16% of business leaders said that their organizational culture currently its digital transformation goals. This disconnect can lead to several problems, including a lack of alignment between employees and an organization’s vision.
Fostering a culture of cross-functional collaboration is crucial for empowering teams to work more efficiently and at a larger scale. Furthermore, a deeper understanding of employee needs and objectives can help to ensure that the metrics and incentives are aligned with the goal of generating digital revenue.
When prioritizing as a CHRO, it is important to not only consider the employees, but also to focus on developing leaders. It is crucial to plan for the future of the organization, so that even if a leader is absent, there will not be detrimental consequences.
Leadership in today’s business landscape is complex. With globalization, there are more stakeholders to consult, teams are often dispersed geographically, and job roles frequently change. Therefore, CHROs must find leaders who are adaptable and have a diverse set of skills to ensure business success.
CHROs must evaluate all existing succession planning systems and processes to identify anything that could be impeding the progress of the organization. This includes assessing whether the structure is too rigid, which could discourage equal opportunity for talented candidates.
To identify good leaders, CHROs can also create more networking opportunities that expose talented individuals to other members in the organization. Those with a wide range of skills and experience should be able to talk to senior leaders and get ideas on how they can grow and advance in the organization.
Flexible working structures
It is important that CHROs understand what it means to be a future-oriented company. This includes understanding the unique needs and expectations of employees in different roles and being flexible in how they support their employees.
As the expectations of organisations continue to rise, CHROs must implement new strategies to keep up. This includes adopting hybrid work models, which will be especially important in a post-pandemic world. With these changes, CHROs can better manage their workforce and ensure that they are meeting the needs of the organisation.
The HR department has a key role to play in developing a hybrid work culture within an organization. One of the first steps they can take is to create job descriptions that support hybrid working arrangements.
For example, job descriptions should be flexible and allow for some work to be done remotely. In addition, they should develop policies and procedures that support hybrid working arrangements. For instance, there should be clear guidelines about how employees can request a hybrid working arrangement and what the approval process looks like.
CHROs also need to provide training for managers on how to effectively manage a team that includes both remote and on-site workers. By taking these steps, the HR department can help to create a successful hybrid work culture within an organization.
Given the rapid and often unpredictable nature of external change, it is imperative that organizations put an emphasis on renovating and refining their culture. Achieving this balance is essential to successful execution of strategy and building a workforce that is resilient and skilled for the future.
It is important for CHROs to always keep their employees at the top of their mind. They need to build strong, empathetic relationships with their employees. These relationships should be more than just transactional – employees’ needs and demands should be heard and valued regularly.
CHROs play a significant role in ensuring that employees feel heard. They are the ones require who approach business leaders and stakeholders of an organization for their approval to create policies around this.
There is also a clear correlation between culture health and financial performance. Organizations that prioritize culture health see increases in productivity, less attrition, and more attraction of top talent. In other words, culture health is crucial to success.
Developing human capital strategies and investing in lifelong learning
The concern about finding and retaining skilled talent for the future continues to challenge employers worldwide, with 64% of CHROs saying it is a top concern for their organization. This reality poses the greatest potential to disrupt organizations in 2023.
There will be a continued focus on human capital measurement and governance from the main stakeholders in the coming years. Organizations will be more focused on environmental, societal, and governance issues, which will be linked to business goals.
Focusing on human capital measurement and valuation will drive better outcomes from operational and financial activities. CHRO priorities will focus on transparency and disclosure, which will also be a competitive differentiator for organizations.
In a down economy, some organizations may slow or stop hiring; however, high-performance organizations never do. This is because work has been forever altered and employee expectations have also changed.
As a result, CHROs aim to ensure that their organizations’ employee value proposition (EVP) resonates strongly. They achieve this by reinforcing the policies, programs, and interactions that shape employee experience.
Organizations prioritizing developing a learning culture will also have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining the best talent. A learning culture also positively impacts individual and business performance. Some approaches that are gaining popularity include internal talent marketplaces, redesigned career paths, and of course, upskilling and reskilling.
Some CHROs who want to stay ahead of the curve increasingly turn to “quiet hiring” to acquire new skills and capabilities without adding to their full-time employee headcount. This may involve reassigning existing employees to higher-priority tasks that require additional training or offering career development opportunities that help employees meet their professional goals while also benefiting the organization.
As economies change, CHROs must stay at the forefront of the business landscape. To truly future-proof an organization, facilitating pathways for employee and business growth is crucial. By identifying and prioritizing key facets of an organization’s agenda, HR leaders can spend more time crafting and executing strategies for progress.
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