Enough whining that CEOs don’t value HR enough. CEOs don’t need to change–but HR probably does.

August 13th, 2013
Written by: Dana Papke

Because this is the first post for our new blog that resides within TPO’s new web site, it’s critical that we set the tone for our philosophy and approach as a business.

The first thing I realized is that it is difficult to write about HR-related topics without falling back on so many of the expressions (“Your people are your biggest asset.” “HR deserves a ‘seat at the table.’”) we’ve all heard for so many years–even decades.

TPO’s Pledge: No Whining

So my first pledge, on behalf of my fantastic colleagues at TPO, is that we will never whine about why the HR function doesn’t get more attention.  Because we understand that after all these years, if the HR profession believes it isn’t valued more by CEOs, business owners, CFOs and association executives, then maybe whining doesn’t actually help.  What helps?  Value.  If we want to be valued, we have to add value.

So, it is time to change the conversation.  More specifically, it’s time for all of us to move the dialogue away from just HR-centric metrics and terms and onto the C-Level playing field.  And I don’t mean how we describe ourselves on our web site (how many consulting firm web sites say, “We really understand your business objectives”?).  I mean actually leaning forward into our clients’ enterprises, thinking and acting like who we are — business people who get paid to think about HR.  And this requires delivering an entirely new and very tangible value proposition.

A Tangible Example

Lest you think this is more HR hyperbole about connecting HR activities with business goals, let me give you an example of this new value proposition.

For two decades, TPO’s founder and chairperson, Karen Usher, has shown a drive and passion to increase the value of HR in the context of business priorities.  And now these efforts are being raised to a new level.  For the last 18 months, TPO has invested in a research and development effort to create a set of metrics-driven toolkits that TPO’s consultants will use to help our clients measure and improve critical functions and processes.

The first toolkit is TPO’s Onboarding Toolkit, a data-driven resource that helps reduce non-productive compensation among new hires and speeds the process of identifying bad hires.

Reducing non-productive compensation and identifying bad hires more quickly are C-level issues because they impact profit and loss. We know they are C-level issues because they came from our C-level clients.

We believe TPO’s new toolkits are the first of their kind in terms of using data-driven metrics to enable small- and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations to actually measure the decisions they make regarding their “most valuable assets.”  Or, as one of our clients put it so well, “our most valuable assets are the ones that wear shoes.”

TPO’s toolkits are part of our tangible commitment to changing the dialogue around HR by changing not how we talk, but what we deliver.  By providing value that is relevant to the bottom line and, therefore, to the C-Suite.

So here’s to the end of whining.  And here’s to engaging the C-Suite on their terms by delivering an entirely new level of measurable and tangible value.

One response to “Enough whining that CEOs don’t value HR enough. CEOs don’t need to change–but HR probably does.”

  1. I love the new website, and this blog is consistent with your message: provide demonstrable value to meet a crying need. HR belongs at the table, and you offer ways to make that obvious to the C suite.

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