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CEO’s Letter: Generating Business Outcomes

This month, we announce the finalists in the HRO Today magazine CHRO of the Year Awards and the Talent Acquisition Leader of the Year Awards. Next month, we are debuting a Healthcare HR Executive of the Year program to recognize the unique challenges of the healthcare industry. All of these programs will conclude with individual awards at the HRO Today Forum North America in Chicago, May 1-3. Everyone always thanks me and the team for the awards when they are received, but,in reality, it is us who should be thanking you.

When I entered the workforce after having studied HR in college, I would not have wanted to be part of an HR leadership award effort. HR, while important at the time, was about risk management, compliance, and administration. It was a relatively passionless department and bereft of real connection to the enterprise beyond being a gatekeeper and a cop. Most hiring was done by line management who were subject to some oversight, and payroll was either in “personnel” or finance.

Each year, as I talk to the dozens of nominees—yes, I try to talk with all of them as part of the process—I am so heartened at the progress of this profession. CHROs today talk about productivity enhancement, supporting key strategic initiatives, and generating business outcomes. They talk about analytics and metrics as a second language to the social science aspect of working with people. If I just look at the progress in the last 10 years during my tenure at HRO Today—and I’m not going anywhere—it is truly amazing.

From this CHRO finalist group that we are currently reviewing, we will announce a 2017 class of winners called HR Leaders of Distinction at the awards gala. Given the enormous contributions that each of our finalists makes to both the strategic direction and the cultural health of their enterprises, it is bewildering to figure out how our judges—who are all former winners—choose the individual award winners. It is important to stress that the judging is by former winners. They are all CHROs so this is peer-to-peer recognition.

Why do we need to thank you? We need to thank all of our readers for elevating their game and having enormous impact on their organizations. HR is now driving business strategy and has the incredible responsibility of using people policies and communication programs to generate engagement and success for the overall enterprise. When I read the nomination forms, I see many different programs and different approaches, but all of them can show measured success. This, above all, validates the need for these awards.

Years ago, I made a joke about the fact that by the time HR was done recognizing all of the associates, teams, and executives who contribute to their organizations, they had no energy left to actually recognize HR. So, we have taken up the mantle recognizing CHROs. I want to thank this community for giving HRO Today the opportunity to provide that recognition on your behalf.

And, a quick footnote: SharedXpertise Media, LLC has owned HRO Today for 10 YEARS as of this month. Next month is our 10th anniversary edition, and we will do a retrospective on the past decade and give readers a chance to participate and also win some prizes. More information in the next issue of HRO Today!

Elliot H. Clark
CEO
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