The Chief HR Officer: Redefining the Role of Global HR Leaders Libby Sartain, Author & Consultant Laurie Siegel, SVP, Human Resources and Internal Communications, Tyco; Mark Stewart, Ph.D., Consultant, AVEAS
Publishing – Chief HR Officer Book • Written by thought leaders – CHROs, consultants, and academics • Each writing from their passion/interest • Organized around the seven roles
Evolution of the Role • 1980’s – HR Goes Strategic • 1990’s – HR at the Table • 2000’s – Failings Forward • 2010’s – In the Pressure Cooker
Figure 1: Pressures on the CHRO Regulatory Pressure CEO Pressure Chief Human Resource Officer Role Sarbanes-Oxley Risk Management Public Policy Talent/Leadership ELT Dynamics CEO Pay War for Talent Cost Competitiveness Innovation Globalization Executive Succession Governance/Risk Executive Pay Increasing Demands Decreasing Resources Talent Gaps Board Pressure Competitive Pressure HR Function Pressure
Today’s Roles • Strategic Advisor • Talent Strategist/Architect • Counselor/Confidante/Coach • Liaison to the Board • Leader of the Function • Workforce Sensor • External Representative
Conducted four surveys (2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012) of CHROs at Fortune’s largest U.S. companies • 2009 survey focused on CHROs at Fortune 150 companies • 148 invitations • Total N = 56 resulting in a 39% response rate • 2010 survey focused on CHROs at Fortune 200 companies • 191 invitations • Total N = 75 resulting in a 39% response rate • 2011 survey focused on CHROs at Fortune 500 companies • 409 invitations • Total N = 172, resulting in a 42% response rate • 2012 survey focused on CHROs at Fortune 500 companies • 349 invitations • Total N = 143, resulting in a 41% response rate Research Design
The 2012 Cornell/CAHRS Chief HR Officer Survey • 349 Surveys sent out • 143 completed (41 percent response rate) • 82 Men; 61 Women 2012 Thought Leaders Retreat
Strategic Advisor Activities focused on the formulation and implementation of the firm’s strategy Counselor/ Confidante/ Coach Counseling, coaching, resolving interpersonal or political conflicts among executive team members Liaison to the Board Preparation for board meetings, phone calls with board members, attendance at board meetings Talent Architect Building & identifying the human capital critical to the firm Leader of the HR Function Working with HR team members regarding the development, design & delivery of HR services Workforce Sensor Identifying workforce engagement/morale issues or concerns and building employee engagement Representative of the Firm Activities with external stakeholders, such as lobbying, speaking to outside groups, etc.
Talent Architect and Strategic Advisor • Strategic Advisor role consists of all those activities that focus on attempting to influence the strategy of the firm. These activities could be providing human capital information regarding potential business performance issues (e.g., increasing turnover among high potentials), playing devil’s advocate regarding strategies being discussed, or simply providing credible business-based opinions regarding the feasibility or effectiveness of proposed strategic decisions. • Talent Architect focuses primarily on ensuring that the right people are in the right positions at the highest levels of the firm. As opposed to the strategic advisor where the focus is on the nature of the business strategies themselves and the broad organization capability necessary to implement them, the talent architect role aims at ensuring that the right leadership is in place to execute the strategy or initiative. It requires frequent communication and relationship building with the top leaders and intuitive eye for assessing their talent.
Counselor/Confidante/Coach • Counselor/Confidante/Coach role is a multifaceted one that entails dealing with all of the conflicts and challenges that happen when a group of highly ambitious people must work interdependently with one another as in an executive team. It sometimes entails having one-on-one coaching sessions, having individual conversations with executives to surface their issues and concerns, and sometimes being a go-between among feuding executives.
Leader of the HR Function • The Leader of the HR Function role entails ensuring that all the major HR systems, policies, and programs are run efficiently, effectively, and in alignment with the strategic needs of the business. Most leaders execute the major aspects of this role by appointing and managing their direct reports who have responsibility over the major functional areas such as compensation, leadership development, and training.
Measures Demographics Focal Variables Control Variables
Results % Time Spent in Roles
Regression Results CHRO Roles Predicted by Sex in 2009 & 2010 2009 2010
Summary: Consistent and Divergent Results Males 2009 & 2010 Females 2009 & 2010 Strategic Advisor Workforce Sensor Consistent Results Agentic Style Talent Architect Communal Style Counselor / Confidante / Coach Divergent Results Communal Style
Liaison to the Board of Directors • Liaison to the Board role deals with all the activities in which the CHRO must interact directly or indirectly with the Board of Directors such as preparation for the meeting, phone calls with board members, discussions with the board regarding executive pay, etc.
Title 2012 Thought Leaders Retreat
Performance Collaboration/Teamwork Relationships
ELT Strengths and Weaknesses: In the CHRO’s Words * Cooperation/Collaboration/Teamwork Candor/Dialogue/Discussion * Enterprise First Perspective Weaknesses Strengths Aligned w/Strategy/Common Goals Performance/Goal Attainment Focus Lateral Communication Siloes Passive/Aggressive/Immaturity
CHROs on the Executive Team • Some passive aggressive behavior. Would prefer to see more healthy conflict and the ELT to voice their true opinions/objections so we could deal with them head on. • The ELT does not work as a team, more as individuals • This team is new and has too many private agendas. I am concerned that there is an unwillingness to try to work as a team. • Immaturity expressed via poor peer relationships, avoidance and passive aggressive behavior when disagreements arise. • Passive in their interactions. Do not openly challenge each other to drive to better decisions. Operate autonomously - we're a collection of high performing individuals but that doesn't translate into a high performing team. • Sometimes we are trying to be so supportive of each other, we shy away from raising more sensitive issues that we really need to raise or confront. That can then take a bit longer for them to be surfaced and, in turn, resolved. Luckily there aren't many of these ...
CHRO Work on the Team • We're taking baby steps. I've worked with the CEO to articulate a clear set of organizational goals and priorities, to engage the team in their development, to manage time with the team in a way that engages them in group discussion on progress vs. the goals. I've orchestrated a "come to Jesus" meeting of the team -- in which they provided their input on the effectiveness of the team, and together formed a plan for what their top shared priorities were and how they were going to work towards them. We are making progress, but it is very, very slow. • Shuttle diplomacy, though inefficient, is quite effective. Pointing out conflict, and working to surface/reduce/remove it. And ultimately, agitating for/changing out ELT members who are not up to the standards of the firm. • Set the ELT agenda for regular meetings and offsite team sessions. Drive action register focus. Encourage sharing and getting the right people involved in initiatives. Provide ongoing, real time feedback to each ELT member as needed. • Worked very closely with the CEO on defining and communicating operating expectations for the ELT; engaged Gallup to identify strengths and development needs of ELT and facilitated discussions with team; actively coach and offer feedback to ELT on behavior and performance; structure regular (quarterly dialogue) with ELT on effectiveness. • Coach individuals. Conduct interventions and run team sessions.
CEO’s Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses: In The CHRO’s Words ** Encourages Discussion and Listens Builds Team * Drives Results/Accountability Leads Strategy and Vision Weaknesses Strengths Develops/Coaches/Gives Feedback Values Employees/Cares * Lives Values/Honesty/Integrity Confronts/Manages Conflict ***
CHROs on the CEO’s Leadership • Need to move quicker on key decisions • Holding everyone accountable and willing to take action - slow to address issues • At times avoids confronting bad behavior in a key, hi po executive. • Conflict averse and lacks decisiveness; assumes he is always right; poor listener • His strength (relating well to people at all levels of the organization,) occasionally results in his direct report feeling that he goes around them. • Soft in terms of tough decisions needed around people • Would rather avoid confrontation or delivering a difficult message to a direct report. Does not "suffer fools lightly" and it can be obvious. • Putting others first. Prioritizes shareholders and investors, which is positive, but his team and the broader employee base need to be considered more • He is an extreme conflict avoider • Needs to be quicker on senior team transition; not all leaders are equipped to handle current business; needs to address individual performance issues • At times can be argumentative if you don't see his perspective
CHRO Work with the CEO • I provide candid, regular and on-going coaching and feedback. I tell the truth (about organizational issues, people, etc.) as I see it, since I am one of the few people he will always be able to count on to do so. • Act as his confidante. Meet each morning to review issues and act as a sounding board. Have the "Dutch uncle" talks when necessary. Keep him abreast of any issues that may be developing within the staff. Stand between him and teams members when necessary to calm things down. Push personnel changes or corrective actions when he is reluctant to make the moves he knows are correct • He is absolutely revered and respected by the rank and file. As a result people often shield him from bad news. My role has been to keep him grounded, ensure that he is hearing the good the bad the ugly and encouraging him to opening ask the right questions as he visits the facilities. • I tell him things that others are not willing to - because I have no skin in the game in terms of CEO succession.
CHRO Work with CEO (cont’d) • - It's painful, but I am often the only one that can hold the mirror up to him and give him some sense of the impact his personal leadership style has. - I try to constantly remind him of how global we are becoming and help coach him to make sure his "talk track" in the organization match that. - And I listen. Given all the economic pressures, I often just let him vent to me - on how hard his job is, how difficult the board can be, what a complicated team we are to manage, why no one can see what he sees, etc., etc. Lately, I think he just needs a space to vent. • Candid conversations. • Help him understand and clarify what he wants, and why he wants it. Help him understand the needs and behavior of team members. Help him prioritize desired outcomes. Help him communicate in a way that maximizes desired outcomes/ minimize unnecessary conflict or confusion. Provide confidential sounding board. Share ideas of how others have handled similar challenges.
The Four “Knows” of the CHRO • Know the Business • Know How to Lead • Know People • Know Yourself
What’s New and Interesting? • The world is becoming more complex, requiring more complexity in response. • As Talent becomes more critical, the CHRO becomes more important. • The CHRO role increases in importance • CHRO and Board Role