At the heart of every successful business is the team that makes it happen. But most founders will be aware that nurturing talent comes with challenges, especially for new companies.
Teams may worry about job stability, for example, particularly given recent layoffs in the tech sector. Founders may also find that when they are swept up in rapid growth, the company culture may suffer.
Of course, some practices will always help to keep a team happy. Things like clear communication, regular updates on new business developments, checking in with how the team is doing, and seeking feedback.
But new companies are always shifting in their structures and as a founder, you may find that you need to move away from doing the bulk of the people management. To keep your team at the heart of what you do, this could be your sign it’s time to bring on a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).
But why are they so important to a growing company, and how could they be an asset to your organisation?
The CHRO can anchor a growing company
As your priorities shift, the CHRO can anchor the company by becoming a key channel to keep you updated on how the team are doing. This ensures you have more time to focus on driving the company forward without leaving the team behind.
In the early days of your business, you might be working with a smaller team. Even then, a CHRO can help keep the business going smoothly and ensure that they are working to their full potential. This is because they will have expertise in making the most of internal talent or thinking about what can be outsourced. Ultimately, this creates a productive team with a manageable workload.
They’re also sometimes in a better place to make decisions or inform updates to the tech stack. For example, whether employees are spending too much energy on time-consuming manual, tasks and when a new tool could be brought in that can reimburse your most valuable resource.
The signs your C-Suite needs an HR professional
The first thing that might come to mind when thinking about the right time to hire a CHRO is the maturity of your company. It could be that you are looking to enter the next stage of funding. Bringing on a CHRO at this point can help founders and the wider team focus on securing that next raise.
However, while its increasing size is always a good indication of the growing maturity of your company, don’t rule out employee tenure. If your employees are coming up to a year’s plus tenure, this suggests a stable workforce that could benefit from management by an HR professional.
You can also look towards senior leadership to gauge whether your company is mature enough for a CHRO. If the senior management is increasingly welcoming non-founding members this tends to indicate they are looking to move to more specialised priorities. This means the senior team have come to a point where an HR specialist will help balance out the team.
Nurturing your business by nurturing your people
The heady days of rapid growth are exciting for any founder. But to keep the dream alive it’s important to foster what keeps it growing sustainably. It’s only natural that your priorities as a founder will change as you move forward from launching to a fully-fledged business. Acknowledging this can help recognise when you might need some extra help to keep things ticking along as you’d like them to.
Introducing a CHRO frees up time for the whole C-Suite to further the company’s vision without compromising the productivity and well-being of the rest of the team. So bringing on a CHRO is more than about helping you function as a founder, it’s about keeping all elements of the company running smoothly – ultimately looking out for your team’s interests so they can look after yours.