On February 8th, we were fortunate to host Jason Lioy, Chief People Officer of Dawn Foods Global, for a lively and engaging discussion on “What CEOs Need From HR Today.”

You can view the whole conversation HERE – but here are 5 key quotes from Jason with some paraphrasing to break down the big ideas.

1. “Know the business, know the people, and never let your leader get surprised. Clear the way and enable the business to run smoothly.”

Jason opened up with an awesome story from a conversation he had with a boss early in his career. His boss sat him down and told him to throw out EVERYTHING he learned in school about HR.

Instead, the boss wanted him to focus on three things in order of importance: knowing the business, knowing the people, and never letting the leader get surprised.

To elaborate, he emphasized that if you don’t understand how the business makes money – and how you can contribute to that – then you are at risk of losing your job! Next, you have to get to know your people – not from an administrative perspective, but to know them as people. Find out what drives them, what their role is about, and how they fit into the bigger picture.

Lastly, CHRO’s have to be a chief HR strategist. It’s their job to identify pitfalls and hazards down the line, from a people and business perspective.

Once you’ve got these three essentials down, then you can return to the theoretical and traditional lessons taught in school.

2. “HR needs to provide levers and enhance leadership roles and their effectiveness, which will enable their workforce to deliver results with a profitable performance.”

Leadership has a direct correlation on the performance of our teams – which has a direct correlation to the value we deliver to our customers and our profitability.

As a result, HR needs to provide the tools and guidance to help leaders reach their full potential.

However, it’s important to note that HR can’t do this alone! It has to be led by the leaders of the organization and heavily involve them. Otherwise, people will view it as an HR pet project, or just a box to check.

3. “As an HR leader, identify 4-5 business aligned priorities you and your organization can do really well that will impact and produce positive change in the organization.”

As an HR leader, it’s easy to make grandiose lists about all the things you’re going to do and change. But in reality, you can make a much greater impact focusing on a handful of key priorities. It’s easy to spread yourself too thin. Instead, try to achieve great success with a smaller list of priorities.

Everything is connected in HR – by making a big impact in few areas, you will likely have a positive impact on other areas as well.

4. “Embed in the organization that all leaders should have an HR mentality. As people leaders, they take care of people and develop trusting relationships with team members that will maintain and increase retention rates.”

When you think about it, every leader is an HR leader! Every leader leads people – which are human resources.

We have to help leaders across the organization adopt a mindset that they must take care of people and develop strong relationships with their team members. No matter what type of leader you are, if you lead people, you have to double down on these two things.

5. “HR should establish more than a competitive wage. Nurture team members with support mechanisms, development, total reward programs, health and wellbeing programs, and a hybrid work modality to increase their engagement and sense of belonging.”

When companies think about competitive compensation, they tend to focus on wages or salaries. But if you’re looking to retain and attract top talent, we recommend thinking bigger.

For example, you don’t have to beat the competition with overinflated salaries if you offer lots of other reasons to work for your company. From reward programs to upskilling, training and wellness programs, there are more effective and affordable ways to retain talent than simply throwing money at the problem.

If you’re serious about addressing these challenges and more, schedule a call with us today to learn more about our platform for turning one-on-ones into your most powerful performance management tool.