Innovative thinking is the way to impress the board

HR must find innovative ways to measure how they add value if they want to
impress CEOs.

"If you want your place on the board, then understand business and sit
on the business team not the HR team," said Paul Carter, managing director
at Rolls-Royce Combustion Systems.

"Understand how to measure how you add value and routinely report it.
If you think innovative then you will find many ways to measure the benefits of

He warned HR directors not to wait for other executives to tell them what to

"You must get on and do it, there is no-one in the attic measuring
people issues, so if you’re not doing it, no-one is," he said.

Carter did his own calculations as to how HR has an impact on the bottom

"Take an organisation of 500, with a 5 per cent turnover rate. It costs
£25,000 to recruit per person, that is a cost of £625,000 a year, which is
£6.2m over 10 years.

"And you talk about outsourcing? If £6.2m is the price of getting it
right, what is the price of getting it wrong?"

Carter also told delegates that organisation charts and policy documents
should only be kept for regulatory reasons and should not be distributed to

How to be top of the HR flops

Ten ways to make sure you don’t win friends on the board:

– Be really nice to everybody all the time and try not to offend anybody

– Show a complete lack of interest in the business and how it is performing

– Show your worth to business by building massive empires that cannot be

– Run a Monday-to-Friday office hours service in a 24-hour business

– Invent another competency-based model

– Create another form, more paperwork

– Make your pay and grading structure as inflexible as possible and don’t
promote staff unless they fit into the structure

– Only make contact with line managers when there is a problem to sort out

– Spend ages sitting around arguing about whether HR is the right job title
or not

– Put flowers in saucers on top of the filing cabinet with a box of tissues
on the desk. Keep a supply of custard creams and have the kettle on, and always
be ready for a chat

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