5 Business Leaders Talk About the Strategic Role of HR

Employees don’t stay at companies for 10 or 20 years anymore — that much we all know.

So as the costs of poor retention cut into sustainable growth and performance, it’s crucial for business leaders to start building ways to win on talent. This means improving experience so employees stay, but also building out development programs so employees are empowered to contribute their best during their tenure.

Performance is a verb and leaders need to consider managing performance as an action Click To Tweet

In our recent 2017 HR Virtual Event: A Seat at the Table: The New, Strategic Role of HR, in partnership with Argyle Executive Forum, we brought together leading HR executives from across industries to discuss these topics and more. Reflektive CEO Rajeev Behera spoke on how he views employee experience as an executive, and his presentation was followed by a panel of HR leaders. The panel was moderated by Donavan Mattole, VP of HR, Brenntag, and featured Behera along with Marie-Claire Barker, Chief Talent Officer at MEC Global, Matt Hoffman, VP of People, DigitalOcean, and Cari Stammler, Director of HR, Netsmart.

You can watch the event here, or see some highlights below.

1. Ongoing Conversations Drive Development

At Reflektive, we work with companies to modernize their performance management to make their businesses more agile. One trend we see is the performance process becoming a set of ongoing conversations. Where HR comes in is communicating strategy changes to the organization and making sure changes in business priorities are spread throughout the company.

For executives, this resonates because performance is now a business focus.

2. The Role of HR Is More Visible

HR has always been strategic, Barker says. The difference is that the entire organization is becoming more aware. The three things that keep CEOs up at night are technology, globalization, and talent management.

3 things that keep CEOs up at night are technology, globalization, and talent management Click To Tweet

The workplace has changed significantly and organizations cannot reach their business goals without the right talent. As Behera pointed out, the talent marketplace is in the employees’ favor, with more choices of where to work than ever before. Getting the right talent is crucial to get the organization to where it wants to go.

In addition, HR is catching up to being more of a real driver in the business and not just a cost center, Hoffman says. Talent is a business advantage, and all high-performing companies have proven they’re are able to attract, retain, and motivate the best talent. To do this, you need thoughtful and strategic HR leadership.

3. Training Leaders Is Crucial

It’s not enough for HR to come up with a great strategy — the next step is mobilizing leaders. Department heads and mid-level managers alike need to develop the skills to lead frequent, forward-looking conversations with their reports.

This is how businesses remain agile, Stammler says. “Performance” is a verb and leaders need to consider managing performance as an action, not a static result.

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