What CEOs Really Want From HR Departments

What CEOs Really Want From HR Departments

When there comes an opportunity to make a headline sound like a cheesy 90s magazine, it must not be passed. So, we present to you… the 6 things that CEOs actually want from CHROs and HR departments, and how they might go about having these conversations.

1. Allocating resources to maintain business strategy

After the CEO, the CHRO is the person most familiar with the company strategy and where the company wants to go. And, like the CEO, the HR department is one of the driving forces in getting the business from point A to B.

It is part of the HR department’s duties to have a thorough understanding of what talent might be needed in each department, and whether there are any new departments needed in the first place. Companies operate on precise balances, and it is the job of HR departments to work with the CEO in ensuring that talent allocation does not result in profit loss, or that resource allocation to departments will not mess with internal communications.

If your CEO is having conversations with you about company strategy and talent allocation, it is your time to shine by drawing upon your analyses and making suggestions!

2. Having a good understanding of company values

Do you know the company mission by heart? Do you simply show up to work every day, or do you truly believe in the value of the business objective? Gaining clarity on the company vision and values is an imperative part of any CHRO’s and HR official’s jobs. HR departments deal with all kinds of company operations, from sourcing talent to dealing with potential conflicts. It is crucial that HR officials conduct their daily tasks by aligning their actions with company values.

You have probably been exposed to the company mission numerous times already. During meetings, pay attention to the core values that managerial staff focus on. These are the ones that HR officials will also have to keep in mind.

3. Attracting the best talent

It is no secret that one of the main jobs of an HR department is to deal with hiring and firing. So, it is crucial to have a good understanding of what makes an employee a great one. Having a good sense of company values will come in handy at this stage, as HR officials will be tasked with internalizing the CEO’s vision and using it to build the best possible team.

Since it is difficult for business managers to be part of all hiring decisions, it is up to the HR department to look for talent and to conduct the hiring process. Signs to look for here is whether the CEO is then happy with the final applicants they are meeting with or the employees that are being hired. If the fit just isn’t there for more than a few of the new hires, it might be time to reevaluate the talent acquisition process.

4. Retaining talent

After the talent is hired, of course, HR departments must then ensure that the talent stays. What in the company structure is especially attractive to current employees? Similarly, what can be changed to maximize talent retention?

If employee turnover is high, this might also be an indication that something is going wrong during the hiring process and that new employees are not necessarily the best fit for the business. If this is the case, you might want to reevaluate whether company culture is being marketed to applicants in the right ways, and whether new hires are truly right for the company vision.

If you find yourself having conversations with the CEO about employee turnover rates, it is time to look at talent acquisition and at company structures.

5. Gather team feedback

Gathering feedback and allowing employees to engage in company development is a crucial way for HR managers to take suggestions on board and present them to the CEO in order to create lasting change. This is a three-step process. First, to gather feedback, HR officials can conduct anonymous surveys or have one-on-one meetings with the team. Then, they can prepare reports on engagement and feedback and highlight the issues that surfaced the most often. And finally, the CHRO and the company management can work on these together, taking into consideration employee suggestions and how any issues can be fixed in line with company values.

Look out for any notes from the CEO asking you about ‘what the team thinks,’ or whether ‘you think this is working.’ These are all cues that suggest you should work on gathering data and identifying problems. Being proactive in driving employee engagement and preemptive in highlighting issues to the managerial department can go miles in building trust.

6. Being an advocate of the company

The managerial team, not the HR department, is often seen as the face of the company. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. HR departments, by ensuring that employees are happy and have a good relationship with the company, are the true builders of a positive outwards image. This can be done by building a familial atmosphere in the workplace, instilling a sense of respect for the company mission and values, and valuing the employees’ work life balance. By engaging with employees and making sure that all of their needs are met, HR managers can play an essential part in building the company image and ‘selling’ it to clients or future applicants.

Management might come to you with concerns about the company image, or in startups CEOs might ask for your ideas on how to build it. Although HR managers should have already been working on employee satisfaction in order to ensure company productivity, it doesn’t hurt to increase efforts in order to help business image as well.