The Future is Now: The Evolving Role of a Chief Learning Officer (CLO)

Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." ~ George Bernard Shaw

Today, the role of a chief human resource officer (CHRO) has taken strides within the past years. No doubt it is one of the most important job roles in a company. Due to digital transformation, we’re now experiencing a huge shift in the work industry.

The CHRO often acts as the voice for the organization. Their responsibilities cover several aspects of the HR department, from recruiting to talent management. However, these job roles have evolved to better business value.

Naturally, the role and evolution of the chief learning officer are now becoming a game-changer in the HR industry. As a result, it has begun to morph.

Based on a report by Forbes Coaches Council, they said that the upcoming modern leaders’ must exhibit leadership and management skills for the modern workforce. Updated skills will no longer be of use. Let us have a closer look at the changing shift of the CLOs and CHROs: -

  • CLOs who can grow into Chief Talent Officers must start building a foundation for good places to work. In a world where we’re still struggling to hire the right talent, there’s a strong desire to hire the brightest and the best of talent. Thus, a chief learning officer must consider making proper adjustments to fit newer job roles.
    • The evolving role of CLO
      • Overseeing the lifecycle of team members, basically in the field of hiring, engaging, and development
      • Also, the evolving role of Chief Talent Officer – for learning, diversity, culture, and engagement
    • The evolving role of CHRO
      • Total rewards such as compensation and benefits
      • HRIS
    • The CLOs must now think strategically about the job role. Their core responsibility is to create an ecosystem that starts through the recruiting process then further progress throughout the team development. Also, keeping their focus on retention and engagement culminating to ensure their team member undergoes a positive experience.
    • At present, the CHRO stays engaged in the operational part – g. HRIS, compensation, and benefits. Whereas the CLOs focus is majorly on transforming the talent ecosystem –  e.g. learning, diversity, recognition, recruitment, and organizational development.

To be ready for such esteemed positions, CHROs and CLOs must be mentally prepared. They should move beyond just being strategic partners for the organization. They must show they have the potential to understand and demonstrate business value.

The next-generation CLOs and CHROs are likely to perform tasks like any other management person will do but they must ensure they do not rely on the traditional methods.

It’s been decades together where the workplace scenario has been categorized as a highly-controlled environment. With the job market, so tight, finding the right talent could be challenging. The reason why making a shift toward agile practices is crucial.

Most of today’s top talent is focused on work-life fluidity rather than work-life balance. Thus, the CHROs and CLOs will need to work strategically to gain managerial buy-in so that support can be given to augment workforce flexibility.


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