In the way that your CEO is comfortable standing in front of a group of investors or a group of advisors and talking about the organization and really understanding what’s happening from a business perspective, he should be just as comfortable doing that in the world of people. Don’t you think?

So the question I asked on my podcast recently and again here is, “What would happen if the CEO ran the HR department?” 

Let me clarify what I mean. I don’t mean that HR reports to the CEO.

I don’t mean that HR is a strategic partner to the CEO. 

I don’t even mean that the CEO rebrands himself as a chief people officer much in the way that they’ve rebranded themselves. 

What I said was really clear. You’ve got an HR department, give it to the CEO. Let him run it.

I know CEOs care about their people, at least I’m told that. I also see it firsthand when I meet and hang out with them. I genuinely believe that they want their people to have a good experience at work.

But as a leader, you cannot guarantee that people are having a good experience at work unless you have a direct line of sight and accountability into that function, which is why I’m in love with the idea that CEOs should run the human resources department. 

There are business goals and people goals, often these goals overlap. Why not marry the two together and make this an organizational priority in a new and creative way by having the CEO run HR?

If your company wants lower turnover, lower recruiting costs, better employee experience scores, reduced healthcare expenses, higher wellbeing, participation rates, more revenue per employee, and more innovative employee led initiatives; ask the person who holds the most power. Ask the person who is the most creative. Ask the person who’s more responsible for fixing work and making work more enjoyable and more meaningful.  

Give the CEO the HR department, make him own it and you will begin to see a positive shift in your organization. 

If you are interested in exploring more of my commentary on what a human resources department run by a CEO might look like, head over here to listen to this episode of Let’s Fix Work.