Five key attributes of chief people officers – whether day one, 100 or 1,000 

Black businesswoman talking on cell phone

08 September 2022

The Chief People Officer’s role has changed as businesses transform to meet the challenges of a new world.

Chief People Officers face a unique moment in time

Chief People Officers have an opportunity to lead and partner more strategically and effectively with the business. This is a unique moment in time that is ripe for leveraging as companies transform to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world. The opportunities that Chief People Officers face are wide and varied as they strive to meet the needs of both employees and the business in an ever-changing world of work.

Former perspectives, tactics and solutions need to evolve as the Chief People Officer's responsibilities shift and expand dramatically. 

Are you ready?

Whether you are a seasoned or newly appointed Chief People Officer, you must adapt to tackle new demands and navigate an uncharted, evolving landscape. Successful Chief People Officers know their strengths, upskill their weaknesses and surround themselves with employees with complementary skill sets.

Five attributes that Chief People Officers deploy

The five key attributes Chief People Officer's need to achieve success include:
  • Listener

    Effective listening sparks innovation and organisational learning, builds trust and psychological safety, and creates and energises a collective commitment to positive change.
  • Cultivator

    Embracing, promoting and cultivating a responsible position on the many different dimensions of inclusivity and well-being drives positive outcomes for people, communities and businesses. Cultivators of inclusivity don’t reduce this vital work to a checklist of programmes.
  • Storyteller

    Reams of data are an unavoidable part of most human resource (HR) functions. But data sets mean little if they are not harnessed to plot a way forward. Instead, storytellers turn information into actionable insights, use data to plan strategically and work to create a compelling narrative that all parts of an organisation can buy into.
  • Activator

    HR technology is freeing up teams to spend more time on creative problem-solving. Activators capitalise on this to help others deliver. They foster execution discipline, operational excellence, and financial and digital acumen.
  • Transformer

    Two key challenges sit before you: redesign work so that talent can seamlessly connect with it and redesign the HR function to create a future-fit workforce. Transformers harness these key challenges to help their businesses achieve their strategic goals.

Executive summary

Leading the people function: Five key attributes of Chief People Officers - Whether day one, 100 or 1,000.
Related solutions
Related insights