What’s onboarding like for the new CHRO?

You’re the company’s new CHRO. It’s great pay, a great job and great growth opportunity. There’s just one catch: Your predecessor abruptly quit due to a highly publicized scandal. Consider stepping into David Fairhurst’s job, the former chief people officer at McDonald’s, who stepped down last fall after his boss, the CEO, was fired for having a consensual affair with a colleague.

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Within your first 100 days, identify and share tangible goals that employees are likely to support and can jointly accomplish. For example, employees could be involved in a project that provides food to coworkers in need. Rock says the most powerful goals benefit local communities or society as a whole, generate warmth and motivate employees to unite behind them.

Likewise, start building competence “one expectation at a time,” says Rock, adding that HR tasks must be prioritized. “What really matters? Be really explicit about things you’re going to do so you can clearly show you’re making progress. In the environment we’re in, it’s critical to focus on what’s essential and not try to be exhaustive.”

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“Right now, HR leaders must also take care of themselves, look after their people and deliver essentials,” he says. “The coronavirus isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. We need different work habits right now.”

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Carol Patton
Carol Patton is a contributing editor for HRE who also writes HR articles and columns for business and education magazines. She can be reached at [email protected].