Why HR cannot be afraid of the CEO

We were very lucky to have the pleasure of hearing Deb Coakley’s (Executive GM of People and Property Services at Dexus Property Group) inspirational “sermon” (her words not ours) at our most recent Table for 10 forum.  Deb kindly agreed to share wisdom on “why it’s not an HR issue, it’s a business issue” with our invitees. 

Patricia Ryan (Principal), Deb Coakley and Hannah Ellis (Principal)

Patricia Ryan (Principal), Deb Coakley and Hannah Ellis (Principal)

We have curated our top 5 takeaways for HR professionals below.

1.       Understand the business. It is HR’s role to understand the core business and business metrics in order to attract and retain the right talent and be able to stay objective when parting ways.

2.       Get the CEO’s sponsorship. The CEO owns the business strategy so it is HR's job to elevate issues as appropriate and get the CEO to “own” whatever the business is measuring through each HR initiative. That way, the tone is set and the culture authentic.

3.       Enforce what it is you believe in. Otherwise what is the point?

4.       Take time to uncover the root cause of the problem. You don’t always have to have the answer immediately. If the root cause is not dealt with, the troubles will only get worse for the business. 

5.       Stay calm. Always. At the end of the day, HR professionals are advising the business on something they just happen to know more about than the other business units. It’s all business.

When we first envisaged Table for 10, we wanted it to be a forum for young HR professionals to network, learn and workshop ideas. We knew the group size had to be small and the speakers experts in their field, for it to work. By that we mean, for it to add value to the professional (and hopefully personal) lives of the invitees and (somewhat selfishly) to enrich our professional lives. We hoped it would also be inspirational, in the sense that it would engender passion and ambition in the next generation of leaders. Deb Coakley was all that. And some.

To learn more about what Table for 10 is all about and get involved, contact THE WORKPLACE

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