Start Thinking Like a Chief Human Resources Officer with These 5 Critical Questions
Your business might not have a dedicated Human Resources executive, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on the benefits of good HR practices. For retail shops and medical offices alike, shifting your perspective to see your business from a different angle can give you great insight to improving your daily operations and setting a strong foundation for the future.
A Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) ensures that HR is a strategic partner in the company, helping align talent to achieve important business goals. HR leaders in small- and medium-sized businesses can adopt best practices from larger organizations to maximize the impact of HR on achieving the company's objectives. When you’re focusing on building and maintaining the best team for the organization's long-term goals, consider assessing the situation by asking yourself these five questions.
What talent does the company need to achieve growth plans?
A CHRO focuses on aligning talent — from hiring to retention — with a company's most important objectives. For example, if a company plans to accelerate its sales efforts, it's important to build a pipeline of talent with experience and success selling in your field. Defining your plans helps clarify where to invest in your hiring, from developing new sourcing strategies to setting up a more effective applicant tracking system.
Can technology increase team efficiencies?
Human capital management software is increasing teams’ efficiency and helping human resources departments accomplish more with leaner resources. CHROs often look at core processes to determine how the right technological investments can eliminate administrative tasks for their teams, empower their workers to quickly handle routine requests, and roll up reporting and data capture for better management access and compliance reporting. In a doctor's office where paperwork is constantly cutting into valuable patient time, it's always worth looking at ways to streamline workflows and maximize the patient experience from the waiting room to the exam room.
Am I training the next generation of leaders?
Leadership training and succession planning are an important part of growing a business. A CHRO focuses on ensuring that the company has a clear succession plan in place for critical roles, such as the CEO, VP of sales, or operations manager. Thinking about long-term talent solutions (investing in the next generation of leaders, ensuring they're properly trained to take over, making sure you have the right talent on board) can help your small business weather major staffing challenges that come your way.
Am I developing mobile solutions?
Increasingly, companies are embracing new models of work – from employees working remotely to having team members occasionally telecommute. Along with these new work models, it's also important to develop a system that allows your team to access the most critical information necessary to do their jobs from anywhere, whether it's answering emails from a client site or taking care of an urgent problem over the weekend. CHROs are thinking about the different elements of empowering mobile workers and considering not only building a culture that's friendly to employees in different work configurations, but also ensuring that cloud-based versions of key software are available. In a business such as home health care and residential services, this level of mobile self-service is becoming the standard and not the exception.
How am I mitigating risk?
Businesses of every size and profession face a more demanding compliance environment than ever before, and every CHRO has to consider the business' relationship to risk. Based on the federal, state, and local regulations that impact your business, what are your biggest areas of concern? Are you taking the necessary steps to minimize the risk of lawsuits, stay ahead of upcoming regulatory changes, and ensure you'll be able to meet compliance reporting requirements? Consult a knowledgeable HR expert or attorney to identify where to best focus your energies.
Thinking like a CHRO can help ensure you're maximizing the impact HR is having on your business, and transforming your department from an administrative focus to one of executives' most important strategic focuses. From developing better systems to aligning talent efforts with your company's growth goals, focusing on empowering your business through effective HR management can pay dividends for sustainable growth, employee engagement, and more.