What do Chief Financial Officers think about Chief Human Resource Officers?

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Let's pivot and discuss what CFOs think about the chief HR officer role and the HR function within their organizations. What do they expect, and how well are we living up to their expectations?

In a separate global survey conducted by "The Economist" in 2012, CFOs were asked what were the most useful measures of the HR function. These measures included internal and external measures. Do you agree with the CFOs?

When asked what are the obstacles to measure the value of the HR function, here's how CFOs responded. Does this ring true based on your experience?

If we do a side-by-side comparison of the responses from CEOs and CFOs in "The Economist" survey to the question in what areas does HR do a good job, here's what it looks like.

There are several conclusions we can draw from these surveys. Clearly, CFOs are more critical of the HR function than CEOs. A contributing factor may be that the nature of the relationship between CEOs and CHROs and CFOs and CHROs are fundamentally different. CEOs place great value on the chief HR officer role of trusted advisor, confidant, and enabler of executive leadership team effectiveness. CEOs may also practice ambidextrous thinking relative to adopting both short term and longer term perspectives regarding organizational success.

Meanwhile, CFOs are data driven. Focused on the delivery of tangible results and employ primarily a short-term perspective regarding organizational success. It has been argued that CFOs view themselves as the champions of integrity within an organization.

In sum, this data makes the case that there is a clear discrepancy between what CEOs and CFOs expect from CHROs and the HR function and what we are delivering in practice. It is not sufficient for CHROs to be viewed as the champion of fairness and the voice of the employee within our organizations. It's time to close the gap.

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Key Concepts from this Video:

CFO Perspectives

Tom references several charts in the video above. If you would like to study the charts that he talks about in the video in more detail, please spend some time exploring the data visualizations below.

What are the most useful measures of the HR function?

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What are the obstacles to measure the value of the HR function?

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HR Does a Good Job of

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Self Check

According to the 2012 survey by The Economist, what were the two biggest obstacles to measuring the value of the HR function?