From CHRO to CEO | How People Science is Conquering the Boardroom

How People Science is Conquering the Boardroom

By Simon Daly, Employee Experience Strategist, EMEA

The role of HR has transformed dramatically in a short space of time, gaining new strategic influence and forging surprising new connections in the wider business ecosystem.

The CHRO, along with its sister job titles Chief People Officer and HR Director, is a strategic role, not just a supportive one. The decisions HR leaders make are influencing the core values and priorities of their organizations, making a powerful impact on business outcomes. CHROs aren’t just taking a seat at the table, they’re running the room. There’s now a clear path from CHRO to CEO, particularly in organizations committed to people-first thinking.

Acting at the Speed of Change

Business leaders are under increasing pressure to make decisions fast and adapt to fluid situations. Even now in the wake of covid, the great resignation and economic uncertainty, the requirement to be agile is in overdrive. At speed and under pressure, gut feel and traditional tools are no longer enough. HR leaders need solid information to back up their choices.

Data-backed Decisions

To guide their company’s actions, the CHRO and their team are turning to data to test their assumptions and find new perspectives. The data-backed insights that feed into employee experience strategies are also shedding light on questions around recruitment, succession planning, workplace environments and more.

Listening and experience data help us to see the impact of positive employee experiences, understand how people feel about their work and learn when they can give their best. The best way to do this is with a permanent programme that captures the insights at key points in the employee journey.

Ultimately the internal and external insights dovetail together, showing how engagement, productivity, employee wellbeing and a sense of belonging are correlated with great customer experiences, a strong brand and increased customer loyalty.

Taking Care of People, Not Just Business

While the hybrid work revolution has been a welcome change for many, it’s placed an additional duty on the people function to make sure people can work effectively and happily from home or the office.

Part of the CHRO’s role is to make sure there is support for employees facing these challenges, and that there is an open channel of communication between all employees and the rest of the organisation.

This kind of support is seen and valued outside the company, too.

Taking care of people when times are hard has become a powerful factor in how employers are perceived.

What Makes a Great CHRO?

A great CHRO is both technical and intuitive. They’re committed to using data to make their decisions, and they’re comfortable making those decisions quickly. They’re able to measure the results of their actions and produce tangible figures to show the impact.

They need to be a great communicator. They need to have vision.

Shaping the Workplaces of Tomorrow

CHROs and their teams are leading the way in people-based decision making, taking the sentiment of an entire workforce and using it to help shape a destination workplace. By creating somewhere people want to work, they are propelling a virtuous circle where people are motivated to give their best, which leads to even higher quality talent being attracted to the organisation and contributing to its future. This in turn leads to better products and a better customer experience, and of course more revenue for the business.

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Acting on employee feedback is the number one way to attract, retain and engage top talent, with leaders reporting 3x more revenue per employee and 40% lower turnover. But here’s the catch: only 19% of UK employees say their organisation listens to their opinions. Qualtrics helps brands like Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Barclays to close that experience gap, enabling them to design and improve experiences across the employee lifecycle - from recruitment through to exit.