When HR puts culture onto CEO agendas

May 2, 2019  · by

Executives at a conference table surrounded by data

Topics: Business case, C-level board and executives, Human resources, Intercultural competence

We know from recent research by PriceWaterhouseCoopers that CEOs are looking at operational efficiencies as a way to drive growth at this time of global economic uncertainty.

Human Resources professionals are especially well-placed to bring solutions to CEOs looking to boost business through more efficient operations.

The table shows Operational efficiencies 77%, Organic growth 71%, Launch new product 62%, New alliance or JV 40%, Enter new market 37%, M&A 37%, Collaboration with startups 32%, Sell a business 14%
From ceosurvey.pwc in 2019, responding to the question: “Which of the following activities, if any, are you planning in the next 12 months in order to drive revenue growth?”

In the Argonaut team, we see a strong link between the PWC research and earlier research by the British Council into the business value of intercultural skills.

HR investment in cultural skills targets multiple benefits

The BC research found that HR people across different sectors were investing in intercultural skills in order to achieve more efficiency within teams.

HR people have known for a long time that cultural fit brings greater employee effectiveness, which saves costs and builds revenue in multiple ways.

The chart shows responses between 25% and 45% for various business benefits including reputation, getting new clients, trust, international communication, working with diverse co-workers, team effiency
Research by the British Council, Ipsos and Booz Allen Hamilton: Culture At Work 2013. Chart 8 On the Business benefits of employees having intercultural skills

HR designing intercultural interventions

Now there are increasingly robust methods for building intercultural skills and enabling organisations to achieve more of these business benefits.

This is an opportunity for HR. When a CEO is looking to make operational efficiencies, we know that this often translates into out-sourcing, lay-offs, job-cuts, down-sizing and other measures which can damage employee engagement the longer-term development of the organisation.

HR can bring an alternative which is a proven motor for revenue growth. With well-designed, targeted interventions, the benefits can appear quite rapidly in business bottom lines.

Culture impacts half the Top 8 agenda items for CEOs

And it’s not just in response to economic pressure that HR can bring intercultural solutions to drive revenue growth. PwC’s research shows a “Top Eight” of issues on the CEO agenda where intercultural skills can be the success factor unlocking business benefits in a least half of the categories.

In tough times as well as good times, HR professionals who know how to design high-impact intercultural interventions can be the revenue-boosting heroes of their organisation.


Share this article: