How HR can win over the CEO

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HR professionals often have big ideas that they’d love to see implemented in the workplace – however, without buy-in from the CEO, it’s unlikely any daring new projects will get off the ground.

Here, one organisational leader offers his advice to HR professionals who want to win over the chief execs and gain support from senior leaders.

“The first thing is that it’s extremely important to demonstrate how any change in your HR policies will benefit both the employees and the business,” says Darren Linton, CEO of Yellow.

“It may seem like an obvious thing to say but you’ve got to get that balance right – every executive team and every CEO will want to know exactly how a potential program is going to benefit not only the business but also its employees.”

Since taking up the top spot at Yellow in September 2017, Linton has been the driving force behind overhauling the company’s HR policies with a progressive attitude in mind – already, a flexible working policy has been introduced alongside a summer hours scheme and a lump-sum payment for any employee who returns from parental leave.

Aside from demonstrating the potential benefits, Linton also says HR professionals should seriously consider testing a new program for a short period or on a certain section of the workforce.

“We trialed flexible working for three months in one of our core teams, made sure we got it right and made sure we got feedback from people, so when we rolled it out across the entire organisation, we’d ironed out all of the bumps,” he says.

According to Linton, it’s also critical that HR leaders continue to measure the impact of any new initiatives to ensure they’re successful and having the desired effect.

“By continuing to do that, you can then show the board and the company hard data to support the investment or initiative,” he says.


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