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HR Leaders are the New Chief Impact Officers…Say What?

Updated: Jun 18

A man and woman in a suit - HR Analytics

In the past ten years, HR has been going through a sea-change. It’s been rapidly moving from an administrative function to the Chief Strategist and manager of the organization's biggest asset–its people. In a knowledge economy, talent acquisition and retention become paramount. It’s not a stretch to refer to the CHRO as the CIO, no, not the chief information officer, but rather the Chief Impact Officer. See Exhibit 1.


Exhibit 1

CHRO can now be referred to as the CIO, or the Chief Impact Officer.

Bringing the right mix of talent into the organization, growing them to their greatest potential, and keeping them rewarded, healthy, and happy is a full time job and then some. We’ve spoken to 100’s of CHRO, CEOs, Talent and Compensation leaders and learned precisely what workforce tools they need to help them run their people operation successfully. They need: insights, predictability, and to see their workforce intersectionally, because, only then, can they truly understand who and what is being impacted by the culture and circumstances that go beyond the control of the average employee.


We built PARiTA for the modern HR department–the place that promotes the right workforce activities in the organization. First, we recognize that HR alone cannot get the results that the organization needs. HR’s key partners in carrying out their strategy are the division and department heads who actually manage the workforce day in and day out. A workforce analytics tool has to not only help the CHRO create and oversee their People Strategy and Agenda each year, but it also has to work for people managers up and down the organization. We created a workforce insights tool that tells all leaders where they are, where they’re going, and if they don’t like the trajectory, what to do about it.


So, how did we get here? 

 

It’s happening right before our eyes. The evolution of the CHRO role from compliance to strategy, from insight to impact. If you peel away the last decade you can begin to see this transformation and how it occurred. From its origins as compliance cop, benefits provider, payroll administrator, and training officer–several things happened in a sequence that no one could have predicted: the world was rapidly developing into a knowledge economy–placing employees at the very center of the Universe for the first time. In 2017, the MeToo movement awakened women’s outrage about harassment and discrimination. Then in 2018, George Floyd was killed and employees of color were understandably stricken by the injustices they continued to suffer both in and outside of work. That tragedy was quickly followed by the Covid pandemic that struck between 2019 and 2022. Those forces arrived almost on top of each other, and they changed everything. The loyalty contract between employee and employer was broken. And the CHRO has been at the center of it all. S/he suddenly had to become more aware of employees’ feelings, mental and physical health, their work-life balance and general overall needs to be happy, productive employees while at work. 


People were leaving to just stay home, or start their own business, or go to a better landing spot that was more flexible. They discovered that life was too short and they wanted more. Employers discovered that they had to bend, be more flexible, or at least show compassion and caring for the wellbeing of their employees through the benefits they gave them and programs that sprung up to support them. This shift in focus has led to the transformation of CHROs from administrators to Impact Officers, playing a vital role in shaping the workforce and driving organizational success.


It’s no wonder that CEO’s want their CHRO’s to be more strategic.


As intangible assets began to overtake tangible assets in the workplace, building what we know as the “knowledge economy”, it became clear that employees were more and more important to the bottom line. [See the chart in Exhibit 2 to see how rapidly the landscape changed with the advent of more advanced technology.] Now when an employee leaves they take their intellectual and human capital with them–things that may be worth many times their salary. The Great Resignation started in 2021 and threw many organizations into a panic–they couldn’t recruit, onboard, and train fast enough. For every person they brought in, at least an equivalent number was going out the back door.


Exhibit 2

The landscape has rapidly changed with the advent of more advanced technology.

CEOs now expect CHROs to be more strategic and contribute directly to the organization's bottom line by creating the foundation for a better culture, a place where everyone gets along, and top talent never leaves. It’s a tall order.  As a result, the organization’s People Strategy & Agenda become the most important focus for the organization overall.  


Key Components of Your People Agenda


By focusing on culture, talent acquisition, and retention, HR leaders can create a People Agenda that directly impacts the overall employee experience. With focus and execution shared by department leaders, this strategy can lead to amazing results, such as:


  1. Reduced Attrition: Lower employee turnover can save organizations a significant amount of money per employee, directly contributing to the bottom line.

  2. Stronger Bottom Line: Leveling the playing field and having greater representation of diverse employees, particularly at the top where the gap has been the widest, drives greater innovation (by 20%), higher productivity, and stronger customer loyalty, all contributing to increased profitability.


As the role of CHROs continues to evolve, the notion of the "Chief Impact Officer" becomes an easily conceivable reality.


Your People Agenda should include these 5 key parts:


1. Talent Acquisition and Retention

This component focuses on attracting and retaining top talent. It involves strategies for effective recruitment, onboarding processes that welcome and integrate new employees into the organization's culture, and retention programs aimed at reducing turnover rates. It emphasizes creating a compelling employer brand and a positive candidate experience.


2. Employee Development and Career Growth

A critical aspect of the People Agenda is offering continuous learning opportunities and career development programs to employees. This includes professional development, leadership training, succession planning, and performance management systems that help employees grow within the organization and achieve their career goals.


3. Creating a fair and level playing field

Yes, I know, DEI is in and then it's out–well maybe the term is. But not the  initiatives.  Creating a culture of belonging where all employees feel valued and respected is integral to a high performing organization. This involves implementing policies and practices that promote diversity in the workforce particularly in leadership roles, equitable treatment of all employees, and an inclusive environment that encourages collaboration and innovation.


4. Employee Well-being and Work-Life Balance

Focusing on the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of employees is essential. This can include health and wellness programs, flexible working arrangements, mental health support, and initiatives that encourage a healthy work-life balance. The aim is to create a supportive workplace where employees can thrive both professionally and personally.


5. Culture and Engagement

Building a positive organizational culture and fostering high levels of employee engagement are vital for motivating employees and achieving high performance. This involves creating a strong sense of purpose, shared values, and a positive work environment. It also includes mechanisms for gathering employee feedback and acting on it to improve engagement and satisfaction.


Implementing a People Agenda that effectively addresses these components requires strategic planning, ongoing assessment, and adaptation to meet the evolving needs of the organization and its workforce. By focusing on these areas, HR can play a crucial role in laying out the strategy and helping leaders drive business success through effective people management.


Embracing the Future of HR Leadership and Impact


Leveraging an Analytics Platform like PARiTA can support your efforts to drive impactful HR strategies. To fully embrace their role as Chief Impact Officers, CHROs can harness the power of the PARiTA analytics platform, integrating data-driven insights into various aspects of their People Agenda.


  1. Talent Acquisition: By using sophisticated data analysis, CHROs can identify the most effective recruitment channels and strategies, ensuring the right talent is acquired to bolster the organization's growth and success. PARiTA can show you the impact of your recruitment strategies and how they show up in your pipeline for succession planning.

  2. Employee Retention: PARiTA helps CHROs monitor workforce dynamics and spot areas of concern that may lead to attrition, enabling them to take proactive measures to retain top talent before they start looking around.

  3. Inclusion and Diversity: With access to advanced analytics, CHROs can identify barriers to diversity and inclusion within the organization, developing targeted solutions that drive meaningful and sustainable change.

  4. Employee Engagement: The PARiTA platform helps HR leaders track key engagement metrics, enabling them to develop impactful initiatives that boost employee satisfaction and positively influence the bottom line.

  5. Compensation: Understanding the pay gap in your organization is important, for sure; but understanding the pay gap on both an unadjusted and adjusted basis, and by the key demographics in your organization, now that’s actionable. PARiTA can help you quickly see where in the organization and which employee groups are being positively or negatively impacted by your compensation strategy. 


By integrating advanced analytics and strategic thinking, CHROs can become instrumental in driving transformative change within their organizations.


PARiTA's intuitive platform empowers HR leaders to make data-driven decisions that create a direct and sustainable impact on the bottom line. By developing and implementing a practical People Agenda, CHROs can not only contribute to the organization's growth and profitability but also shape a healthy and inclusive organizational culture. The concept of "Chief Impact Officer" is not only viable but also vital for the ongoing success of businesses across all industries.


Unleash the Potential of CHROs as Chief Impact Officers with PARiTA


By proactively focusing on the Employee Lifecycle from talent acquisition, retention, representation, inclusion, learning and development, succession planning and employee engagement, HR leaders can significantly contribute to the organization's growth and profitability. PARiTA's cutting-edge people analytics platform acts as a catalyst for this transformation, driving decision-making and performance through advanced, data-driven insights.  It is easy and intuitive to use, so you won’t have to waste time endlessly training your managers.


Take the first steps towards embracing the potential of the Chief Impact Officer within your organization today with PARiTA. Reach out to us and explore how our innovative analytics platform can empower CHROs to unleash the full potential of the workforce, elevate the employee experience, and create a lasting, positive impact on your organization's success and growth.


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