CEO Perspectives: Top-Level Vision And Expectations from HR at a National Level

CHROs are an integral part of an organisation and hence should be given their due importance by the board.


“CEO Perspectives: Top-Level Vision and Expectations from HR at a National Level”, a panel discussion featuring distinguished CEOs took place at BW People’s CEO CHRO Conclave 2023. An apt dialogue on the role of Human Resources (HR) in contemporary organisations took centre stage in the panel discussion. The discussion delved into a wide range of issues from inclusive hiring practices to aligning personal aspirations with corporate objectives and even the integration of employee happiness as a measurable metric for sustainable growth.

Raj Nayak, the Managing Director of House of Cheer Networks Pvt Ltd, emphasised the importance of cultural alignment within an organisation. He noted, "Culture in an organisation is a trickle-down from the management and the leadership. And the belief in an HR is a part of it."

Subramanyam Y., Regional CEO of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Ltd, highlighted the shift in perspective regarding employee costs. He stressed, "The first thing that the CEO has to understand is that it has not to be the People’s cost but it has to be the People’s Profit." This shift, he explained, was crucial in recognising human resources as an investment rather than a fixed cost.

Sunil Goyal, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Sopra Steria India, elucidated on the evolving partnership between CEOs and CHROs. He noted, "Often it is said that the CHRO is the business partner of the CEO. Certainly, there have been discussions that HR should be part of boardroom meetings." This shift in engagement, as he pointed out, reflected the increasing significance of HR in strategic decision-making.

Nayak further elaborated on the intrinsic connection between employee morale and organisational success. He advocated for a more nuanced approach, asserting, "Well-being and happiness of employees is of utmost importance. Using the term Resource for people is like dehumanisation of human beings, there has to be a relationship and the role of HR is to empower people."

In considering the generational shift in priorities, Nayak acknowledged the evolving needs of the workforce. He proposed, "Every person works for 3R: Respect, Recognition and Reward." This perspective, he argued, was crucial in understanding and harnessing the potential of the modern workforce.

Subramanyam Y. delved into the significance of empathy in management, stating, "Empathy and emotion are very important to understand the psyche of an employee. A CEO needs to be empathetic towards the employees in the organisation." He emphasised the value of wisdom from experienced members of the team in nurturing growth.

In the realm of recruitment and cultural alignment, Subramanyam Y. provided valuable insights. He advocated for a thorough assessment of a candidate's intent, dedication, and aspirational outlook.

Goyal highlighted the importance of ability and attitude, particularly for fresh graduates and post-graduates. He stressed that these attributes were pivotal in their hiring considerations.

Turning to the metric of happiness, Raj Nayak questioned its nature and application. He considered, "First of all we need to identify what is happiness. Is it based on something material or something immaterial?"

Subramanyam Y. further noted the subjective nature of happiness and the need for a culture that promotes it.

This panel discussion offered a comprehensive exploration of HR's evolving role in contemporary organisations, shedding light on the multifaceted challenges and opportunities that define this critical function.

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