HR board committees: A fad, or the future?

Author:Merina, Edward B.
Position:The Shape of Things to Come - Human resources - Brief Article - Column

WHENEVER I DISCUSS a human resources committee with a CEO, the words "human resource" seem to cause the CEO to think of the soft side or benefits of HR. I have to immediately call time out and restate that this committee reflects the single most important hard facts of life in his company -- his people. It is his greatest cost and his greatest leverage point. (A few CEOs have adopted this committee: Jerre Stead, former CEOs of Ingram Micro, has been on 21 boards -- six of which have been company boards that he chaired -- and he has been chairman of nine HR committees.)

As a director, I want to know how productive my people are. I want to visit our retention rates at each meeting before I hear the financial report. If we have created a culture that trains and retains our great people and allows them to be as productive as they can be, the financials will surely reflect the appropriate results.

In order to insure these results, we must have a selection process that allows the company to identify candidates who will leverage its investment in them. I believe the ability...

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