Monday, August 24, 2009

What Does the CEO want from HR Today?

We seem to be hearing signs that our economy may be heading for recovery.  I wonder what our "new normal" will be for businesses in the aftermath of the worst economic situation our country has ever gone through.

I then think about if  the expectations for HR will be different than they are or have been.  Does the CEO need something different from HR?  Over the last month I have spoken to many HR professionals on the topic of HR Metrics that Matter.  I always ask the question, "Which metrics are important to your CEO?"  Last week, one student said, "I think the CEO will have a different mindset for HR post recession."  Of course, that comment sparked a healthy and lively discussion.  I wanted to summarize our thoughts and see if you had any to add or debate:

1) The CEO will expect HR to make sure high performers are taken care of and the non-performers are fixed or fired.  The idea here is that we will still be trying to do more with less and we want to make sure we retain the best of the best while making sure motivation is not sacrificed when poor performers are kept too long.

2) The CEO will expect HR to measure its performance.  All other departments do, so should HR.
3) The CEO wants HR to make sure that the most productive people in the industry are hired and retained.
4) The CEO expects the top level HR person to also be a business person that understands the customer, the competitive landscape and the company's financials.
5) The CEO wants pay for performance and HR must design all systems accordingly.
What do you think your CEO wants from HR.  I would love to hear your comments and observations. 


Allyson Smith said...

This is a good list. I don't think that these are much different than what was expected before (from companies that understand the role of HR) but maybe more focus will be placed on them. In essence, HR will be given a MORE VISIBLE seat at the table as it relates to sustainability strategies.

Andy Spence said...

The CEO expects 'value for money' from HR - even in a recovery situation. How does our "HR cost to serve" for each employee compare with our competitors?

BarbaraAHughes said...

Can I add another? Scenario planner? Growth isn't a strategy without signifcant effort devoted to planning for the desired growth and talent is a -- if not THE -- critical component. Today, a company cannot have one strategy; it needs scenarios that describe Worst, Likely and Best cases. HR needs to be in at the outset of this planning process to define what human capital needs will support the growth targets for different scenarios. Talent is not an infinity pool and HR has to be able to plan for all of the components of selection, development, promotions, training, etc. including the inevitable investments and ROI. If HR comes in at the tail end of strategic planning,the company will be at a significant disadvantage.
If CEO's haven't learned this lesson yet, they will need to learn it soon.

Unknown said...

Barbara thanks very much for your addition. I agree completely, HR must be present in the beginning of the strategic discussion for all the reasons you mentioned. Thanks for your feedback!