A debatable topic, but the end answer remains that YES! An HR can become the CEO of any firm. With an equal number of responsibilities, even more than their other counterparts, the HR can indeed utilise his/her skills and networking abilities with a maximum number of employees to play to their advantage and handle the company like a boss! They do have the right set of people management and leadership skills to be the leader everyone desires and thus can do justice to the responsibility of a CEO. Though HRs have been denied this opportunity for quite a long time, they have always wanted an opportunity to prove their mettle, and things have slowly started changing for the better. Things have finally started looking rosy for the HR professionals, and some companies have their HR professionals as their CEOs.
Why can HR professionals become the CEOs of the organisation?
According to the research carried out by the world-renowned researcher Dave Ulrich, CEOs in the future will have a strong sense of workplace culture and will have excellent people skills. Who other than HRs excel in this domain? Also, according to the research, it has been concluded that the personality type of Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) is much more similar to the CEOs than any other CXOs. They also have similar responses in stressful situations and have similar kinds of leadership styles. This has been an obvious result as HRs have been people with excellent soft skills and a great rapport with the workforce.
Apart from excellent communication skills, CEOs also must have a deep understanding of the day-to-day working of the official business. This requires a strategic mindset and complex data analysis skills. Up until recently, these skill sets were considered outside of HR’s purview. But due to changing needs and requirements, HRs too have become adept in strategic planning of the bottom-line workers and thus provide valuable insights in matters concerning the firm. They too have become proficient in these kinds of decision making, and CXOs have recognised the importance of the workforce as the important resource that the firm has.
Why should leading people be a responsibility and not a reward?
Leading people is a responsibility that requires training and should not be considered a reward to be cherished. It should be considered as the responsibility to be fulfilled. The training must include the most important part of any firm – its people and who other than HRs can manage the reins of the workforce? Any CEO who values its workforce can avoid problems like poor execution due to less engaged people, troubling employee behaviour and loss of company’s clients. Thus, HRs becoming CEOs can enhance returns to the firm by making people feel more included.
Why are HRs the best choice for CEO during this growing trend of Mergers and Acquisitions?
In this ever-growing trend of Mergers and Acquisitions, working with people of different ideologies towards the same goal is a herculean task. In these challenging situations, CEOs need to make sure that there is a correct fit between the workforce coming together from different organisations, have the same goals, work in harmony and thus increase returns to the firm. So, HRs as CEOs here, can gauge the situation at the deepest level and make sure a smooth transition takes place and no employee fatigue sets in.
Who is responsible for converting the firm to an agile organisation?
In today’s overly competitive world, faster decision-making abilities combined with the use of cutting-edge technology is the solution to always be on top. Making the firm agile, by rendering more people responsible for taking decisions on their own and failing and learning from their mistakes, thus giving people the autonomy to behave promotes innovation in any firm. Thus, creating such kind of a safe psychological environment for the workforce helps in making the firm agile faster, and HRs who are adept in dealing with people and work environment will make a great CEO.
What is the key trait that any CEO must harbour?
The answer to this question is “CONFIDENCE”. Confidence is the key that will help any CEO to ace the game and thus outshine on a macro level. Other CXOs might have varying levels of confidence as they mostly work with people of their domain, but HRs have a great command over it. Working closely with the entire workforce, dealing with their issues, they have the talent and the confidence to get work done and thus motivate people positively.
How important is building trust both internally and externally within a firm?
HRs as CEOs will do a great job in building trust both internally and externally within the firm. Research proves that most of the employees have no trust in their leaders, and thus they tend to leave the firm in the long run. So, they need to have a person who networks efficiently with all the employees in the organisation and HR’s job description has this skill in bold! Thus, they have a great potential for being the CEO of the firm.
Try something new, Be Unique!
Historically, CEOs have been their organisation’s financial expert or the marketing lord, but what if firms do things differently for once? CEOs are not only the people who have a clear understanding of the processes and financial expertise but those who can work for the people and with the people to help the firm in achieving its goals.
As already discussed above, there are many advantages of making HR the CEO of a firm. HR is the person who knows the firm inside out, has a great rapport with people, is adept at making strategic decisions as and when the time arises and thus creates a happy workplace for the employees. Choosing a leader who can work with the team and for the team will help the firm to achieve its goals smoothly. Bringing in a fresh perspective from the internal organisation’s viewpoint, HR can bring new ideas and thus remove the stagnancy built over the years. So, what do you think? Can HRs become the CEO of a company?