6 insights and key learnings from a recent summit of 50 CHRO’s

  1. Every individual in your company now plays a bigger, strategic role. Salespeople, support staff, engineers and administration are all in critical positions – so their level of engagement, retention, and alignment are critical. Despite an uptick in employee engagement around the world, these individuals are stressed out, working extra hours, and often quite confused by the number of messages, projects, and communications coming at them. They need a “process shredder” to make their work simpler. Companies that can create such focus and productivity outperform their peers.
  2. Culture is more important than ever. Culture must be clearly defined, differentiated (don’t just copy someone else’s website), and executed. When the culture is clear and both reward systems and management behavior is aligned, people know what to do. It creates clarity. You as a CHRO have to make culture explicit: find out what it is, verbalize it, and institutionalize it.
  3. What makes people happy. It includes values like awe, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, gratitude, generosity, humility and social connection. The Greater Good Science Center calls this PERK: Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness and they have many studies that show “happiness” correlates to performance. Be kind, compassionate, and generous” may be one of the most powerful performance-enhancing tools you have.
  4. Inclusion, diversity, and fairness are topics. Example of many companies have radically different values, and how important it is to understand the culture as you decide how to fit in. Apple thrives as a deep functional organization where people thrive through specialization; at Goldman you are expected to be open and transparent and share information. Being “diverse” and “inclusive” varies widely from place to place. You are to consider each and every individual in your company should have the ability to “be themselves,” and this simple thought is core to D&I.
  5. Agility and flexibility are top priorities everywhere but adjusting is harder than you think. “Change management” is now dead, we’re dealing with “steady change enablement,” and we have to find ways to protect and support people as our companies change. (Twenty years ago the typical large company did a reorganization every 7 years: today it is done every 7 months).
  6. Data is your friend and must be at your core. Data can show us when teams may fail, how different teams operate in different ways, and how you can understand why people may feel left out or doesn’t fit into your culture. Statistically people are more likely to leave over time, so you can actually find “culture fit” and “culture add” people with data-driven conversations, language, and dialogue.

Read more outcome from the summit here: Josh Bersin – CHRO Summit – new-role-chro-making-work-more-human October 2019

Conclusively human capital and human attributes are becoming more and more vital and important to address in an era where technologies are boosting change and disruption at a high pace. Technologies will continue to emerge and increasingly impact the workforce, our individual and organizational foundation. It is therefore important to focus on improving both talent acquisition and organizational development (stage of strength) to meet such dynamic changes.

What we have seen with HR tools and processes in the past will likely be disrupted fast with new demands and technologies emerging. However, fortunately new HR technologies are already offered to the market today to support and meet such new requirements e.g. automated screening tools with emphasis on personality, values and culture preferences, video interviewing, chat bots etc. helping HR to take a new approach with improved results and saving time in the same loop.

Sophisticated HR technology with a human touch is becoming essential in the new era supporting HR.


Learning and insights from CHRO summit