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  • Writer's pictureMark Hordes

The New Role of the Chief HR Officer

The New Chief Human Resources Role


Mark Hordes

Mark Hordes Management Consultants, LLC

713 416 1781

There are five trends that are shaping the role of a Human Resources officer in a global manufacturing enterprise today.

These include:

· HR is not just a “place” where functional aspects of talent management originate and reside.

· The future role of HR is quickly becoming very much like their CFO counterparts.

· HR must function as a change manager and agent to the entire enterprise.

· The workforce of today will not be the workforce of the future.

The HR Officer must focus his or her efforts not only on the normal HR processes but also must be highly focused on linking HR investments to business results.

They must be operational excellent and customer focused, e.g. (other business units) in order to be a true business partner to the entire global organization.

1. HR is no longer just a place

The drive to standardization is “hitting a wall”- business leaders want new sophisticated and tailored HR programs that are high touch and technology driven and accessible from multiple entry points inside and external to the company and self-service and customized content take the forefront.

Workforce management issues, financially based HR decisions, ROI on training and development, talent supply chain management…are today’s new HR executive skills that must be leveraged.

The new HR Officer must live in a sophisticated and complex knowledge. economy. HR work will no longer be confined to conventional functions.

Activities will overlap with other traditional functions and non-traditional activities. HR responsibility will be truly and jointly shared among HR managers, employees and external vendors.

New competencies will be required to be successful: consultant, business acumen, client focused, tailored programs and services, “outside of the box” thinking”, pro-activity, partnering, focus on effectiveness and impact and becoming enablers and trusted advisors to the entire company will be essential.

Digital technology in particular will be a driver of success.

2. HR Will Follow the Evolutionary Examples of Finance

One only has to look at the CFO role in many companies (shifting rapidly to an AI and Robotic Process Automation -RPA frameworks to manage financial transactions in) to see what is ahead for the CHR Officer. and the HR organization.

Given clear delineation of strategic priorities, the CHR Officer

role will emerge to govern an organization where talent and Human Capital predication and strategic insight provide the highest value to the enterprise.

Functional HR departments will become “Centers of Excellence” where shared services and business partner needs are analyzed and acted upon quickly.

Operational excellence and accountability for quality and efficiency of service delivery will be a priority. In many ways the CHR Officer will be both a COO and a CHRO to the enterprise as metrics are tracked and behavior is based upon the belief that acting like a trusted advisor to the C-suite is highly valued.

3.HR as a Change Agent to the Enterprise.

HR is increasingly involved in major, company-wide change initiatives, often asked to lead these efforts. HR must be able to lead and manage change. They must be willing to walk the talk; must be willing to look at all aspects of change as impact people, technology, process and strategy, and help change it for the better. They must be willing to examine and change systems and challenge the way the company does things. New skills needed to make this a reality include: communicating why change is necessary, adjusting away with reward systems, re-examining structures, shaping corporate culture and championing innovation.

4.Generation”Y” Workforce.

A new type of worker is now emerging. Employee born between 1977 and 2004, have increased from 14 to 21% of the workforce. These employees look for instantaneous feedback and expect to find out how they are performing in real time. They value hard work, are technology savvy, are highly curious and have financial and personal goals that they fully expect to meet.

They also value work-life balance and seek out employment opportunities that will complement their lifestyle while allowing for career development and financial rewards. They also have a mobile outlook and will change jobs frequently.

From their employer they expect to be mentored and given autonomy. They also value diversity, and expect differences to be respected and valued in the work environment.

All of the above means that the CHO of the future needs to be not innovative but keenly aware of the changing needs of the new workforce and creative in establishing programs that meet these on-going and growing needs to be successful in effectively managing talent and retention challenges.

5.HR is an Asset.

If human resources are an asset, workforce strategy is a form of asset management. An enterprise doesn’t just produce products and services; it also produces its workforce. Who your workforce is, is the outcome of a dynamic production process involving recruiting, developing and retention and rewards.

Bottom-line, by understanding and providing the cues for better managing the workforce production process, HR can help ensure that the organization:

-Secures the right workforce to achieve sustainable business goals.

-Manages the workforce to optimize its productivity.

-Effectively anticipates changing business requirements and reorients the workforce processes and strategies to quickly accommodate those changes.

-Is totally accountable for human capital performance in dollar and real time.

As a result, the HR function will emerge as a true BUSINESS PARTNER to the enterprise, whose value is continuously demonstrated and valued by other functional departments in the company.
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