HR Business Partners: Want to think like a CEO? Keep a Focus on Pivotal Roles
Get a glimpse into the minds of CEOs who shared their thinking with PwC on a range of issues, one of which is near and dear to HR Business Partners - Talent. PwC's 15th Annual Global CEO Survey 2012 devotes a major portion of findings to the discussion of talent, and it's interesting to note the focus on pivotal roles.
'Pivotal roles,' or 'critical roles,' are those that provide significant value to the organization. They move the needle in achieving business strategy more than any other roles. And they're the roles that CEOs are particularly interested in knowing more about.
According to PwC's work, CEOs are interested in slicing their engagement data by employees in critical roles. This perspective allows companies to examine the risks associated with engagement and retention where the link between people and business strategy is most tight - in pivotal roles. The study suggests that they are looking at a retention index for these employees, searching engagement data for ways to eliminate barriers to business performance, and more closely investigating the effects of engagement on business performance measures like customer satisfaction or quality.
In what ways can HR Business Partners follow suit? If you haven't already, start with the basics, by identifying them, defining success for them, assessing talent in them, developing the people in them, and planning a pipeline for them. Then take a page out of the CEO's book:
- Can you, or your engagement survey administrators isolate the data from critical roles? Or, if it's not possible, plan ways to tag pivotal role responses to slice and dice at your next administration.
- If you can get the data, examine it for trends. Where do respondents seem to be the most satisfied? Where are they the least satisfied?
- Are you relatively brilliant, statistically speaking? Can you or your survey administration group run a regression analysis to understand the strongest drivers of engagement such as meaningful work or autonomy? If so, you can brainstorm ways to leverage or amp those drivers.
- As you examine areas where employees in pivotal roles are least satisfied, brainstorm ways to mitigate these factors.
- Even better, involving respondents in your efforts will demonstrate a commitment to their engagement, but, of course, you must follow through with a meaningful plan to be credible.
Do you collect data specific to employees in pivotal roles? What questions are you seeking to answer? What have you found? How else have you applied the lessons from the study?