Unlocking growth: How high-res CHROs drive long-term success

Enabling the conditions for CHROs to thrive is critical to boosting productivity and potential across organisations, says Accenture's Gaston Carrion.
By: | April 26, 2023

Current global macro-economic uncertainties are creating a new imperative for companies to continuously reinvent themselves so that they not only remain competitive but also simultaneously pursue new paths of growth.

Our research found that companies that adopt next-generation artificial intelligence and digital tools, in combination with enabling partnerships and ecosystems, are 2.6 times more likely to increase revenue by 10 per cent or more than their peers.

However, Gartner predicts that the current demand for tech talent far outstrips supply, and this will likely remain the case until at least 2026. This tech skills-gap is just one of the many talent trends that will shape businesses over the next decade.

For example, while the rising importance of ESG will drive demand for people who can help companies navigate the new normal of sustainability, pandemic-induced surge in remote work and autonomous work will emphasise the growing significance of soft skills.

As companies embark on the next growth phase in the new digital economy, the need for the right people has never been more intense. For example, in Singapore, over 64% of CHROs say that talent is a key driver of digital transformation.

Our research found that incorporating people into the process of digital transformation driven by data and technology can generate a productivity premium of 11 per cent compared with just four per cent without them. Yet just five per cent of companies are doing so.

The difference? The rise of the high-res CHRO – one who operates at the heart of their company’s transformation by putting equal emphasis on people, data, and technology.

A different breed

This new breed of CHROs will be the key conduit to enable total enterprise reinvention and bring a clearer, sharper focus on what is required to succeed in the new digital economy.

High-res CHROs are differentiated by two key factors. Firstly, their skills. High-res CHROs are more likely to be in the top level of proficiency across six critical skills that include systems thinking, financial acumen, leadership, technology and data, strategic talent development and business acumen.

Secondly, high-res CHROs have strong connections that run across the leadership team. They are four times more likely to have strong relationships across the C-Suite, from the Chief Executive to the Chief Financial Officer, and the Chief Technology Officer.

Creating the right conditions

Finding the right CHRO is just one part of the equation; to unlock their full potential, enabling them in two areas is key.

The first is for leaders to fully appreciate the importance of prioritising people in the company. To find out, CEOs need to ask a simple set of questions. For example, are people better off working for the company than elsewhere? Are they healthy and happy? Are they connected to the company, with a strong sense of purpose and do they have marketable skills that will translate to vibrant careers?

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Enabling the conditions for CHROs to thrive is critical to boosting productivity and potential across the entire company.” – Gaston Carrion, Talent & Organisation Lead, Growth Markets, Accenture.

If the answer is yes, then the company is on the right track. Meeting these needs, our research shows, will help boost revenues by five per cent or more.

The second is to place CHROs at the centre of the company’s priorities and processes, involving them in areas outside of the typical HR purview.

Take a leading global financial institution as an example. The company, like many others, suffered during the pandemic. They doubled down on their digitalisation strategy and retrained their workforce during the pandemic.

The results have paid off: the share price of the company has risen higher than pre-pandemic levels, bolstered by the results of its digitalisation drive.

As it turns out, it also helps that the company puts people at the centre of its plans. The company’s CHRO sits in the company’s executive management team and has been instrumental to its growth plans.

 A clear vision

The above example is not isolated. Our research shows that enabling the conditions for CHROs to thrive is critical to boosting productivity and potential across the entire company.

This is because CHROs can help connect the dimensions of data and technology to unlock new potential while leading reinvention beyond the HR function. For example, empowered high-res CHROs are more likely to effectively connect data and technology, and use innovative technology such as the metaverse to enhance people’s experiences at work.

The bottom line is this: people matter. And the high-res CHRO, enabled by the right conditions and armed with the right skills, can set up the company for success in the long term.

About the Author: Gaston Carrion is Talent & Organisation Lead, Growth Markets, Accenture. Join him at HR Tech Festival Asia 2023 on May 10 at 9.40am (SGT), where he will be highlighting the strategic initiatives that HR leaders should be prioritising in 2023.