The world around us is changing very fast. Every day brings in some or the other changes on various fronts - technology, market, economic, social, political, demographic, and regulatory. The disruption is happening all around. In such a scenario, HR function needs to keep constant pace with this change and evolve accordingly in perfect alignment with the business.
HR today has a strong connection with every function in an organization and goes beyond the administrative call of duty, embracing a relationship with each person in an organization. It is that very connection and understanding that requires HR to be more aligned with the business. A philosophical alignment on leadership style between the CEO and the HR affects how the organization leads, manages its people and wins the marketplace.
The future evolution of HR will be mainly governed by globalization, rapidly changing technology, changing consumer behavior, evolving brands/markets, startupfication, all-encompassing AI and IoT. The future of work would surely be quite different and so will be the future face of HR. I can’t precisely decipher how HR of 2025 will look like but I can surely depict the broad contours of it. The future of HR will be an amalgamation between business – technology – NextGen – sensors – devices - robots.
While the relationship between CEOs and CFOs started getting focused long back and there are legendary relationship duos between these two, the management gurus started focusing on the golden triad of CEOs, CFOs, and CHROs in successful organizations. However, the bonding between CEO and CHRO has come into sharp focus in the last decade and this duo has really turned around companies and has been responsible for some stupendous success stories in many organizations.
It is time wherein the CEOs and CHROs will need to partner together on developing a strategy that will help the organization and its leaders manage the changing business dynamics. These business trends will soon disrupt the working environment, making the connection between CEOs and HR leaders more important than ever before. CEOs are now becoming people champions and before anyone one else counters HR in an organization, it is the CEO who runs in with his own set of queries like - how does automation affect my existing workforce? What can we do to help employees drive further career enhancement? How effective are our organizational learning systems to retrain employees and build critical competencies that are now too expensive to buy?
In response to this, CHROs mostly agree that HR needs more investment, with people capabilities taking priority. CHROs will have to radically change how HR services are delivered to different segments of the workforce to better navigate changes caused by the VUCA world.
CEOs today want their HR to perform like the CEO of an HR solutions company, enabling human capital solutions for their company. They do not want their HR to only administer programs & processes, they rather want them to create impact and a return on the money invested in the company’s talent systems. With this orientation, CHROs needs to have a point of view for both the present and the future course of action. Just as CHROs should be proactive in calling out and mitigating dysfunction within the executive team, they should do so about all talent systems with an eye on business strategy execution.
The connection between today's CEO & CHRO is a typical relationship between a coach and a captain in sporting arena and the game of cricket is a perfect example for this. While the captain has to front end and delivers in the field, it’s the coach that contributes to the strategy and instills the passion and ownership in the players. It is time wherein CEOs and CHROs need to take this partnership one step further.