CHRO: From Building Culture Keepers to Culture Drivers

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The business landscape is becoming competitive every day. They are expected to improve their services, products, and processes to stay competitive in the market. It is vital for organizations to keep improving to grow HR leaders. Turns out, growth is an intrinsic attribute company seeks to develop across company culture, and CHROs work to build and propagate this culture. 

This need for continuous improvement is what psychologists called ‘growth-mindset’. This originates from the belief that improvement can be achieved through hard work and perseverance. It can best be achieved through the development of an engaged, collaborative, and highly committed workforce. With this understanding, chief human resources officers (CHRO) of growth-oriented organizations have moved from being the ‘culture keepers’ to the ‘culture drivers’.

The responsibility of cultural change doesn’t solely lie with CEOs, but CHROs as well who can foster a growth-mindset among employees. That way CHROs are not only culture keepers but culture drivers.


Role of the CHRO 

The organization’s cultures are the values and norms that are held by management and the workforce. These values are also owned by each employee in the workforce. CHROs play an important role in defining them and propagating them throughout the organization. CHROs can take a few actionable steps to do that. 

Articulate the value employee proposition


Organizational values must be communicated to a prospective candidate right from the start. As soon as a candidate enters the recruitment process, he/she should get well-acquainted with the values of the organizations and the value carried by the organization.
The understanding – growth is the true metric of success – should be made clearly communicated.

Regular performance reviews, goal-oriented tasks, and other ways in which an organization measures growth should be communicated to employees. 

Emphasize organizational values


At every candidate touchpoint, organizations should put forward the values held across the organization. According to SHRM CHRO’s role, should be to “reinforce organizational values”.

Companies like Atrium go to the extent of asking their employees to serve community service for employees to develop the same values as the organization. Similarly, other companies aim to communicate organizations’ values by imparting orientation sessions, discussions, and learning and development programs during the onboarding process.

Communicate real values


CHROs should work toward setting real values. Unrealistic and apparent hypocrisy often leads to cynicism among employees. This undermines flexibility and resilience, which are critical to high-quality care. Therefore, CHROs should take care that values communicated to employees are not just for the sake of communication, but real values that each department of the organization adheres to.    

Engage with senior leaders to communicate values


CHROs should align with senior leaders to communicate organizational values. The conduct of senior leaders in an organization can influence the behavior of employees. If senior leaders demonstrate the values of the organization, employees are bound to instill the same values. CHROs essentially make senior leaders as culture advocates. 


Chief HR leaders, as is known today, are not just culture keepers, but builders and drivers too. In an increasingly competitive business environment, they act as a strategic growth partner by propagating a growth culture. Right from hiring to exit, it is necessary for HR leaders to ensure that each employee learns about organizational values. Instilling organizational values is a consistent process and HR leaders need to ensure employees are addressed at every touchpoint. It could be a long time but as is known all good things take time.

Building company culture is a Sisyphean task, driving company culture is an even harder task. But there’s nothing more challenging than transforming employee behavior. New age CHROs have taken upon themselves to achieve this feat. In an increasingly competitive talent market, this is obviously a double-edged sword! 

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