Understanding the Role of a CHRO in the 21st Century

HR Executives are seeing a huge change in the part they play in each company. The Chief Human Resources Officer, or CHRO, is a position that is rapidly redefining itself. Just as the Chief Financial Officer is responsible for more than accounting, but financial planning, strategic marketing and overall guidance, the role of the CHRO is expanding as well.

There are some CEOs who might say their CHROs are busy in administrative tasks and don’t play an active role in leadership. By forging a stronger bond between the top executives of the company, each plays a vital part in building a strong future for the business. It is important, if a CHRO is going to be successful, that they understand the facets of the business. An HR officer should be included in various meetings to get an overall idea of how each sector functions or even come with experience from outside the human resources department.

Today’s CHRO realizes the impact he or she has on the company and has the ability to make a difference.


The CEO of each business frequently considers the CFO one’s “right hand” in business dealings since success in the business world is often measured in profits. It is time for the Chief Human Resources Officers to be seen as an equally strategic partner. Top executive positions are not passive positions. In order to create an equalized, three-person system at the top of each company it is important to be an active member. CHROs are in charge of more than simply benefits and compensation but managing the company’s human capital.

It is important that all parts of the executive team recognize each member and the importance of their roles. We could say that this is for the CEO to define, yet it is as important that the CHRO be ready and willing to equally participate in the institution.


It is important that a CHRO executive understand the importance of identifying trouble areas and creating viable solutions to handle them. By taking a thorough look at the business and how it runs, the Human Resources team anticipates future success or failures. In recognizing these opportunities a CHRO takes action. Many times this takes place from the first moment an employee comes on the scene. It is up to the CHRO to use one’s experience and intuition to properly asses each applicant to ensure each is the perfect fit for the position. Consider all applicants’ skill sets and talents. How well will they fit within the company, if they are suitable to the position, and how can they develop in the future? It is also the duty of the CHRO to constantly manage the progress of each employee to ensure he or she is continuously learning and improving according to company standards and ideals. A successful CHRO must be able to constantly manage a changing environment.

Data and analytics are also playing an important role in business world success. While analyzing data alone won’t give any answers, it can be valuable. It is key for a manager or executive team leader to understand how to use analytics as an outside observation of business progress and a tool for continued improvement. Using a combination of data and personal insight can help identify areas of strength and weakness among departments or even on an individual level.


Through regular meetings with the top-executive team, the CEO, CFO and CHRO need to equally participate in the development of the business. Each branch is responsible for one’s respective department but together they are responsible for the continuous evolution as a whole. By combining services and centers of excellence across the board each will play their part in a successful outcome.

Now is also the time for the Chief Human Resource Officers to step up and take their claim on the executive team. Develop new, solid ideas and maybe even plans for restructure. Today’s successful CHRO focuses on what matter and makes deliberate choices to drive the company forward.

This is also the time to truly integrate HR technology resources to redefine expectations and motivation in the workplace. Technology in the HR world is adding great value to organizations through performance and workforce analytics, training opportunities, cloud capabilities and even peer coaching.

Companies often feel the need to create their own distinct culture but in today’s global human resource market it is also important to recognize the value diversity brings into the workplace. It’s time for Human Resource Officers to step forward and make some big moves. Finding the right talent for your company and leading it into a bright future is a serious strategic function. The CHRO of the 21st century is seated right next to the CEO driving the company into the future. 

5 Things Inexperienced Leaders Get Wrong - And How to Fix Them

If you're like most people, you've had a job in which your superior wasn't exactly the right fit for his/her leadership role. As frustrating and irritating as these experiences are, the benefit you can reap is knowledge and insight into what makes a leader effective no matter their area of expertise. Here are just a few of the many things that inexperienced leaders often get wrong and how you can better position yourself for success when you find yourself in a similar situation:

One-Size Fits All

No business, person, or strategy is exactly alike. A good leader recognizes that while similarities in circumstances will always arise, no two situations deserve an identical response. Effective leaders are fluid, responsive, and understand the importance of contextual leadership. Ken Blanchard is the master of Situational Leadership; for more reading go here .

Lack of Accountability

This extends to every aspect of a business, including the accountability a leader has to their team. No one is going to trust and follow the lead of an individual who doesn't have their back in the face of adversity. Good leaders hold others accountable for their mistakes, acknowledge their own faults when guilty, and never take credit for the successes of their team.

Inconsistent Vision

"Vision" is a term most often used to describe why an organization exists; it’s a singular, concise idea for the future. So it’s important to maintain a straightforward, consistent plan. However, a great leader also recognizes that visions are shaped by those who influence it.  Don't be afraid to make a course correction when a viable opportunity arises - just make sure you communicate the "why" to your team.

Disconnected from Day-to-Day

An aloof boss is an ineffective boss. No one on a team is going to relate to a CEO that takes his own elevator or barricades her office door every day. If you're not connected with the day-to-day lives of your employees, you're not nurturing an environment of growth and community in the workplace and your talented employees will begin to look elsewhere.  Walk the shop floor, see how things are going, ask how people are doing, and show them you understand.

Slow to Deal with Good or Bad Performance

Effective leaders deal an even hand when it comes time for criticism and acknowledgment. Documenting both poor and positive performance then speaking about both to employees will help them understand their areas of strength and weakness.  Celebrating employees' accomplishments when they go above and beyond is equally as important in order to promote growth, success, and personal investment in the future of the organization.  If you’d like to read more on improving your performance management tactics read how Adobe’s new practice is taking hold and shifting the minds of other organizations like Deloitte and General Electric.

Above all, an effective leader knows that they're never done learning; they believe in personal growth and development, and are humble enough to change their behavior in service of serving others and their organization. That's why the team at GumballEnterprises offers leadership coaching, facilitation, and leadership consultingrom a unique, diverse, and global perspective. They want to help you grow. If you're ready to improve your role as a leader in your own organization, let's have a conversation. Give us a call today at 206.931.1865 to find out more.



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