What do CEO’s want from HR?

On this week’s Survive HR podcast, Kelly and I sat down and spoke with  two CEOs regarding their opinions about what traits great HR professionals possess. 

To Listen to the full podcast, click below:

The major criticism of our CEOs is the same as that of the CFO, lack of business knowledge.  I sense a theme here, don’t you?  Two of the most important corporate positions, that probably have significant influence on your career progression, think you need more business acumen.  Every HR professional that cares about being their best must determine how to acquire business/financial acumen. One easy way to grow your knowledge of the business is to ask those in the various business roles you interact with about their areas.  Specifically, what are their most pressing business challenges, what they envision for their areas going forward, what the competition is doing differently, how they are impacted by other functions in the organization, both positively or negatively, etc., etc..  I’ve actually asked these types of questions throughout my career and found every single person not only willing to share their knowledge, but happy to do so.  It also helped forge relationships and trust that I was truly their business partner. You can also take courses to help improve your business acumen, or read books on business like “Finance for Dummies”. 

Our CEOs appreciated the HR knowledge and interpersonal skills most HR professions brought to the table.  They also appreciated HR professionals that are not afraid to push back when they believe the organization, or the CEO, is making a bad HR related decision.  Both recognized that pushing back takes strength and confidence that many lack. HR is arguably the most important function within organizations, and truly makes a difference in how profitable, how sustainable and how well regarded the organization is, long term.  That being said, be proud of the role you play, the difference you make and continuously make efforts to improve your skill set, including your business acumen.

As always, Kelly and I appreciate you listening to our podcast and reading our blog.  You are the reason we do what we do.  If you ever need help, we are available for coaching, consulting, training and speaking engagements.  All the best!