Balancing Employer and Employees Demands
CHRO is entrusted with facilitating the growth and transformation of the company with the right governance, strategy and risk management system.
A chief human resource officer (“CHRO”) is entrusted with responsibilities of human resource management, employment policies and practices and overall employment relations. Over the course of time the role of a CHRO has changed dramatically from dealing with human resource and union issues to areas like talent management and striking right balance between employee and employee relations to enhance participative decision making and ensure growth and development of an organization.
CHRO is entrusted with facilitating the growth and transformation of the company with the right governance, strategy and risk management system. He/she represents the CEO and board of directors for articulating the organisation’s vision, direction and policies to its employees. An effective CHRO manages the narrative of the changing policies of the company so as to create a favorable brand for the organization in the talent market. However, while strategizing for the organization, he/she must bear in mind the issues of the employees at a ground level and present them to the management. As he finds a place in the senior level committee of the company and reports directly to the CEO, it is ensured that the various issues of employees such as diversity, pay equity, harassment etc. are promptly brought to the notice of the management. The CHRO has to effectively balance the communications between CEO, Board, shareholders and employees.
CHRO also need to be aware of all labour laws and regulations governing the organization. He also needs to ensure that appropriate grievance redressal mechanism is in place to promptly and effectively resolve any dispute situations. The CHRO also has to establish and implement HR’s plans and strategies that effectively communicate and support the firm's mission and strategic vision. This may help in striking a balance. CHRO is expected to have profound organizational insight coupled with the expertise to deal with each process and element of HR’s numerous functions. While driving the company’s success from a human resource standpoint, management and administrative skills is a key quality of the CHRO to set the agenda and control the outcome. HR’s role is no longer internally confined. By exercising leadership in external forums and being sufficiently connected with internal organizations, they maintain the reputation and credibility of the company.
Additionally, CHRO identifies and resolves conflicts while understanding and managing interdependencies and contradictions in top leadership teams. In order to give productive advice to senior business leaders, CHRO needs to possess certain set of cognitive and behavioral skills such as good leadership and transparent insight into the details and workings of the company. He/ she should understand the work climate and relays the voice of the employee population to the seniors and thus helps in fostering communications throughout the organization. So, the company benefits from the collective wisdom of the people.
Talent has become one of the most important assets of a company. A comprehensive, strategic recruiting and retention plan is a critical part of the CHRO’s role. He/she needs to understand the company’s strategy, build a suitable infrastructure and brand for the organization so as to attract the best talent. HR frames fair, equitable and unbiased policies and processes for employment. The aim is to provide equal opportunity of employment to all irrespective of social and cultural barriers. They strive to hire, mentor, promote, develop and reward the qualified candidates. The procedure formulated for doing so is transparent and eliminates any managerial prejudice, bias or discrimination. Assurance coming from the top level of fair and inclusive recruitment results in higher employee engagement, motivation, job satisfaction, retention and performance. These issues are crucial and have a direct impact on the success of the company as a company is only as good as its workforce. The CHRO should utilize its top tier position to ensure that a sound talent development and recruitment program finds a place at the Board room table.
The role of CHRO has become increasingly significant over the years. His functions are not merely restricted to maintaining a static HR practice but to ensure that human capital meets the long-term goals of the business while ensuring compliance with the requisite statutory framework. Striking a right balance between employer and employee demand can be a grueling task which every CHRO may need to master. Right training, compensation, well framed job responsibilities and well defined vision are key aspects which CHRO needs to keep in mind for nurturing and keeping the employees happy and aligned with overall organization goals.
The article is authored by Anshul Prakash, Partner and Parag Bhide, Principal Associate, Khaitan & Co.