These discussions then need to feed into the overall strategic talent plan for attracting, developing and retaining the people needed to achieve the organization’s strategy. The board can support the CHRO to deliver on this plan by making sure each individual feels heard, valued and supported.
Board directors don’t need to know the granular detail of employee insights, but they should be apprised of the potential risks, opportunities and impacts. That way, they can make sure the overarching strategy, culture and organizational employee value proposition reflect the needs of different employee groups. And that, where appropriate, they allow for personalization.
Culture is a particularly important factor for boards to consider. Research shows that companies that fully understand and embody their cultures outperform their peers by a factor of three, while those with deep cultural issues stumble or even collapse.
As boards become increasingly responsible for overseeing this crucial area, they should make sure that the cultures of their respective organizations are in lockstep with their strategies around talent and retention. In return, Smart says the CHRO should go through the organization’s employee value proposition in detail with the board and support them with plugging any gaps in their understanding.
The effective use of data should be central to all these discussions. Presenting the board with clear, concise and well researched findings and recommendations will engage them better and obtain their buy-in. “The CHRO role today is design-led and data-driven,” explains Chaplin. “By leading with the numbers, you’ll get the board and the management team thinking of talent data in the same way as financial data.”