A leading HR executive has spoken out about why she thinks every CEO needs to pay more attention to human resources
According to Charece Newell, vice president of human resources at Sunspire Health, behind every successful organization is a great human resources department.
“If we took a magnifying glass and looked closely at today’s most successful companies and those that make the lsit of best places to work, they all have one thing in common: Happy people,” she said.
In an essay published by Forbes last week, Newell explained how CEOs today are shifting away from the mindset of HR as a backstage operation. “Maybe you’re still trying to understand what constitutes a ‘happy place to work’ and how you create that yourself,” she said. “Well, this is my point exactly. It’s not for you to figure out, but for your trusted HR team.”
Newell spent a lot of early HR career developing human resources departments for new companies. She explained how establishing an HR team is often seen as a step firms take in their company’s growth phase, not necessary in its early stages.
“Even after organizations make the leap to add a human resources team, we would never be invited to important meetings,” she said. Instead of incorporating the HR perspective in major business strategy decisions, the department is often delegated the task of figuring out how to work around budget and strategic constraints.
“Being the minority in an organization doesn't benefit anyone,” Newell said. “But with a little help from the CEO, we can turn this around by becoming a key player.”
Putting HR in the boardroom means streamlining the company’s communication channels. Tasked with broadcasting top management decisions and relaying employee feedback, the role of HR as mediator becomes easier and more effective when it’s viewed as a strategic partner of the business.
The problem with relegating human resources to an afterthought in corporate strategy is that it puts both the management and the workforce at a disadvantage from the get-go.
The workforce is left vulnerable to a reckless management team, and the management becomes all the more susceptible to backlash from disgruntled employees. “If organizations allow us, we keep employees happy and the company free and clear from lawsuits,” she said.
“This can be a tricky thing,” she said. “But with human resources at the table, the needs of both management and employees are understood and communicated.”