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    The Evolving Role of CEOs in HR

    April 5, 2023

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    Shreya Srivastava
    Written By
    Shreya Srivastava
    CEOs in HR

    The Evolving Role of CEOs in HR and How HR Tech Can Help 

    The year 2022 was a year of transition for many businesses. We’re now well into 2023, and CEOs continue to face major challenges and must prioritize their efforts accordingly. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 priorities for CEOs in 2023 and explore how innovative HR practices can help. We will also look into how HR Tech can help in implementing these practices effectively. 

    The year 2022 was a year of transition for many businesses, as they navigated the post-pandemic work models, economic uncertainties, and shifting consumer behaviors. The CEO's involvement in the human resources function has changed dramatically in recent years. Historically, CEOs have delegated HR responsibilities to specialists so they can concentrate on leading the company strategically. However, in the past few years, CEOs have begun to take a more active part in HR management as the HR function's importance in the performance of the business has grown. 

    The increasingly diversified and complex nature of the modern workforce is one factor contributing to this change. CEOs need to be aware of the nuances of a culturally and linguistically diverse workforce in order to manage it properly. They also need the ability to foster an inclusive and diverse workplace.  

    CEOs are also taking a more active role in improving employee engagement and development as a result of evidence linking these processes to increased productivity and lower turnover. Organizations benefit greatly from CEOs taking a more hands-on approach to HR management with the help of HR technology. When it comes to employee engagement, for instance, HR tech tools may provide real-time data, allowing CEOs to spot problem areas and take corrective measures. HR technology can also be utilized to automate repetitive HR processes, allowing HR experts more time for policy and planning. 

    Talent management is one area where HR technology shines. CEOs can use HR technology to better understand their workforce, identify those with the most promise, and design programs to help them reach their full potential. HR tech can also be used to improve employee performance and encourage a growth mindset by facilitating feedback and coaching. 

    Alongside macroeconomic factors that influence businesses, we’re now seeing HR-related issues and processes shaping the way organizations across sectors function.  
    As the world of work evolves, CEOs must continue to prioritize these issues and channel their efforts accordingly.  

    As renowned management consultant Peter Drucker once said, "The best way to predict the future is to create it." And in order to create that future, CEOs must prioritize areas that will make the most impact.  

    The Top 5 CEO Priorities For 2023 

    1. Investment in technology 

    Technology-related concerns like digitalization and cybersecurity are a priority for CEOs across sectors.  During the pandemic, CEOs realized how important remote work, e-commerce, and other digital solutions were. They must now continue to put technology at the top of their operations. 

    Here are some aspects of technology that CEOs ought to focus on: 

    1. Digital Transformation

    Leaders can put technology at the top of their list of priorities by investing in new digital tools and platforms that will improve business operations and the customer experience. With its innovative solutions for automating HR procedures, developing mobile apps, and integrating AI and ML, HR technology is at the vanguard of the digital transformation currently underway in the business world. Technology like this has the potential to boost morale, boost productivity, and ultimately lead to better company results. 

    B. Cloud Computing

    Cloud computing can help businesses find solutions that are scalable and don't cost too much. Leaders can invest in cloud-based platforms and tools to improve speed and efficiency. In a report by EY-NASSCOM, 80% of the C-suite executives surveyed across all industries said they would increase their cloud budgets over the next twelve months. 

    C. Data analytics

    Data analytics can give you information about how a business works and how customers act. Investing in data analytics tools and platforms can help leaders make better decisions and boost growth. HR software in particular is increasingly leveraging data analytics to make data-driven decisions. With tools for HR analytics, organizations can analyze employee data to identify trends and patterns and make informed decisions about talent management, performance management, and employee engagement. 

    D. Cybersecurity

    84% of C-level executives say they were the target of at least one cyber attack in the past year, with phishing attacks being the most common. The growth of remote work and our growing reliance on technology have made cybersecurity a major worry for CEOs. To safeguard the security of employee data, HR tech solutions are now including cybersecurity features like multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and secure cloud storage. 

    E. Automation

    Automation can help a business run more efficiently and save money. HR software providers are progressively automating HR procedures to cut down on time spent on administrative tasks and improve efficiency. Organizations may boost efficiency and output with the help of automation technologies for operations like employee onboarding, time and attendance tracking, and payroll administration. 

    F. Internet of Things (IoT)

    HR tech companies are rapidly making use of the Internet of Things to keep tabs on workers' well-being, monitor productivity, and boost security in the workplace. Data about employee behavior can be gathered with the help of wearable devices, sensors, and other Internet of Things technology to help CEOs make better decisions. 

    Learn More: Top 10 HR Analytics Tools for Organizations in 2022 

    2. Talent attraction and retention 

    According to the Global Leadership Forecast of 2023, only 40% of leaders say that their organization has high-quality leaders. This is almost 20% less than what it was two years ago. The ratings of how well leaders are doing now are almost the same as they were after the economic crisis of 2007-2008. CEOs know that even with all the problems they face, their biggest risk is not having the talent they need to navigate the problem they face and reach their goals. This year, 59% of CEOs said that retaining good employees was the number one thing they were worried about. With a turnover rate of 54%, talent retention becomes a top priority for CEOs. Here are the steps they can take to attract and retain talent: 

    A. Hiring effectively

    Employee experience and employer brand are essential factors in effective hiring as they can help attract top talent and retain employees in the long run. EX can impact how candidates perceive a company and whether they want to work there. A positive employer brand, on the other hand, can increase the likelihood of attracting the right candidates who align with the company's values and culture. Leaders can make the process of hiring effective by building a strong employer brand and focusing on Employee Experience. HR technology can help automate tasks and eliminate biases in the hiring process, speed up the process of hiring, and also automate the onboarding process, which cuts down on administrative work and makes sure that new employees fit in well with the organization

    B. Talent development

    By investing in talent development, leaders can ensure that their employees have the skills and knowledge required to adapt to new challenges, take on new responsibilities, and drive business growth. Effective talent development programs can also enhance employee engagement and retention, which can lead to improved productivity and lower recruitment costs. HR tech can play a significant role in talent development by providing innovative tools and resources for upskilling, reskilling, and learning and development to help employees develop their skills and advance their careers. With the help of HR tech, companies can provide personalized learning experiences that cater to the individual needs and preferences of their employees. 

    C. Strengthening the leadership pipeline

    Only 12% of organizations said they have a strong pool of leaders ready to step into key positions. Companies with a strong pipeline of employees ready to step into leadership positions are more likely to be able to attract and keep top talent. HR tech tools can help CEOs find employees with potential, give them career paths, and create a pipeline of future leaders for the company. HR tech can also help find skills gaps and suggest training programs to help employees improve their skills. This can help CEOs build a strong and capable team that works towards the goals and vision of the organization. 

    D. Cultivating trust

    Only 46% of leaders say they know for sure that their direct manager will do the right thing. Worse, only 32% of people say they trust the top people in their organization. This is in line with the latest Edelman Trust Index, which shows that trust in leaders has dropped. CEOs and other top leaders will have to do more to build trust. By doing this, they will be able to attract superior talent and retain the talented people they work so hard to find and develop. 

    E. Giving leadership a purpose

    Even though companies work hard to make their organizations more about purpose, less than half of mid-level and front-line leaders find purpose at work. Even in the top jobs, less than two-thirds of people find their work to be meaningful and important. This not only makes people less interested at almost every level, but it also makes high-potential people less likely to take on leadership roles. By putting in place effective talent strategies that build a sense of purpose, CEOs and other leaders can help meet their employees' expectations, build a strong and dedicated team, and reach their business goals.  

    Learn More:  Talent Management Strategy To Create a Sustainable Workforce 

    3. Accommodating hybrid and remote work 

    According to a recent Gartner survey with top CEOs as respondents, the most important change in the world of work is the rise of hybrid and remote work models. The rise of remote and hybrid work is not just a passing trend but a reality that businesses must embrace. And by prioritizing remote and hybrid work, CEOs can empower their employees to become leaders in their own right and help their businesses thrive in the new world of work.  

    As LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said, "The world doesn't need more work. It needs more meaningful work." And the rise of remote and hybrid work can be a powerful tool in helping businesses achieve that goal. But while remote and hybrid work can offer many benefits, it also poses unique challenges that CEOs must address. The focus must be on: 

    1. Learning to lead and manage remote teams effectively, ensuring that employees remain engaged and productive, even when they are not physically present in the office.
    2. Creating a shift in management strategies with a focus on building strong relationships with employees, regardless of their location.  
    3. Building technology and infrastructure to make sure employees have the tools and resources they need to work well from home.  
    4. Creating a culture of trust and flexibility, with clear ways to communicate and work together, to keep productivity and morale high. 
    5. Adoption of technology that aids efficient communication, collaboration, performance management, employee engagement, training and development, and other HR functions. 

    Learn More: How to Create an Effective Hybrid Work Policy [With Free Template] 

    4. Organizational growth 

    Companies need organizational growth to stay competitive and relevant in their fields. Growth lets companies increase their market share, increase profitability, and attract the best talent. Staying ahead of the curve means being quick and flexible, always making processes better through innovation, and embracing new technologies. This translates into the need for effective talent management, innovation, digital transformation, and investment in technology. Here are some ways leaders can drive growth in 2023: 

    1. Talent Management

    Talent management is an important part of organizational growth, and HR technology can be a big help in this process. With the help of HR tech solutions, companies can find employees who have a lot of potential, make individualized plans for their growth, and track their progress toward specific goals. These tools can also help managers give regular feedback to their employees, making it easier for them to talk to each other and promoting a culture of always learning and growing. Also, HR technology can automate talent management processes, giving HR professionals more time to work on strategic projects that help the organization grow.

    B. Innovation

    HR technology can play a big role in driving innovation and growth in an organization by facilitating learning, streamlining processes, enabling remote collaboration, and supporting a culture of innovation. Using the power of HR technology, companies can build a more flexible and adaptable workforce that is better able to deal with the challenges of a business world that is changing quickly. 

    C. Customer Experience

    To drive growth, it's important to give customers a great experience. Leaders can focus on learning what their customers want and need and coming up with personalized solutions to make their customers happier and more loyal.  Exceptional EX also leads to exceptional customer experience. Happy and engaged employees are more likely to provide excellent customer service and create positive experiences for customers. Leaders can improve customer experience and drive business growth by investing in employee experience and giving employees the tools, training, and support they need to do their jobs well. By using HR tech solutions, companies can streamline HR processes, give employees access to important information, and make it easier for employees and managers to talk to each other. This, in turn, can improve employee engagement and happiness, which can lead to better experiences for customers. 

    D. Digital Transformation

    Digital transformation has become a key driver for organizational growth, and HR technology is becoming more and more important in this process. Automation is one of the most important ways that HR technology is driving digital transformation. By automating routine HR tasks like processing payroll and managing benefits, HR teams can get more time and resources to work on more strategic tasks. This can help businesses become more flexible and adaptable to changes in the market, which is important for growth. HR technology can also help companies find and keep the best people, which is another key growth driver. HR teams can find better ways to hire people and keep them on by using digital tools like social recruiting platforms and talent management software. This can help organizations build high-performing teams and encourage innovation, which is important for growth in today's competitive market. 

    Technology can help an organization grow by making HR processes more efficient, making decisions based on data, and improving employee engagement and performance. With HR tech solutions for talent acquisition, performance management, learning and development, employee engagement, and HR analytics, CEOs can attract top talent, align employees with organizational goals, improve productivity and retention rates, and make proactive decisions to deal with HR issues. 

    Learn More: Key IT Strategy & Implementation Best Practices for an HR Digital Transformation 

    5. Investment in Corporate Responsibility 

    Consumers and employees are increasingly demanding that companies take a stand on social issues and operate in a way that aligns with their values. Studies have shown that people are willing to pay more for goods and services that come from companies that have a positive impact on society. Also, companies that practice social responsibility often see benefits in terms of employee engagement, brand reputation, and long-term profits. By investing in the communities where they do business and addressing social and environmental issues, companies can attract and keep top talent, build stronger relationships with customers, and improve their bottom line. Here are some ways for leaders to put corporate responsibility at the top of their list: 

    1. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

    DEI has become a critical aspect of organizational success and culture. Organizations that prioritize DEI are more likely to have higher employee engagement, better financial performance, and improved innovation. Leaders must make efforts to create a culture of inclusion, making sure underrepresented groups have opportunities, and making sure everyone is treated fairly and equally in all business operations. HR technology can help organizations promote DEI by giving them tools to track diversity metrics, make hiring practices more inclusive, and teach employees how to be culturally competent. 

    B. Well-being of Employees

    Employee wellness is an important aspect of any organization. It refers to the overall well-being of employees, including physical, mental, and emotional health. A healthy and happy workforce can result in increased productivity, better job satisfaction, and lower absenteeism. Leaders can put the well-being of their employees first by creating a positive work environment that supports their physical and mental health, gives them a good balance between work and life, and promotes their overall wellness. HR tech can play a crucial role in promoting employee wellness. For example, wellness apps can help employees track their fitness goals, mental health, and provide access to virtual healthcare services. HR tech can also help employers analyze wellness data to identify trends and areas for improvement, such as implementing wellness programs or offering additional support for mental health. 

    C. Environmental Sustainability

    Being environmentally sustainable can help organizations in mitigating the negative impact business operations have on the environment, complying with regulations, improving reputation among customers and employees, and reducing costs. Leaders can make corporate responsibility a top priority by putting in place practices that are good for the environment, like reducing carbon emissions, saving energy and water, and encouraging recycling and reducing waste. By offering tools for monitoring and reporting on environmental impact, promoting ethical sourcing and supply chain management, and encouraging sustainable business practices, technology can assist firms in promoting sustainability. 

    D. Social Responsibility

    Social responsibility is increasingly becoming an important aspect of business, as consumers and stakeholders are demanding that organizations operate in an ethical and sustainable manner. Leaders can make social responsibility a priority by giving to charities, volunteering, and doing other things to help their local communities.  

    E. Corporate Governance

    Corporate governance refers to the system of rules, practices, and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. It is essential for ensuring that a company operates ethically and responsibly, protects the interests of its stakeholders, and complies with legal and regulatory requirements. Leaders can make good corporate governance a priority by putting in place good policies and procedures for making decisions and holding people accountable, and by encouraging their employees and other stakeholders to act in an ethical way. HR technology can assist businesses in ensuring adherence to labor laws and regulations, particularly those pertaining to anti-discrimination, data privacy, and ethical work practices. 

    By offering solutions for fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and compliance management, HR tech may support executing and implementing corporate social responsibility initiatives. CEOs can use HR tech solutions to make data-driven decisions that support ethical and sustainable business practices and ensure adherence to labor laws and regulations. HR technology may benefit businesses in managing their social and environmental impact while also assisting their employees and the communities in which they operate. 

    Learn More: 10 Best Practices for Successful HR Tech Implementation 

    The Way Ahead 

    While the challenges and opportunities of 2023 are vast and varied, by focusing on the key priorities outlined in this article, CEOs can position their businesses for success in the year ahead and beyond. As business strategist Tony Robbins said, "Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." And by setting clear goals and priorities for the year ahead, CEOs can create a roadmap for success and position their businesses to achieve their full potential.  

    Interested in exploring further? Find out how Darwinbox can help CEOs manage their priorities for 2023; book a demo today!  

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