Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management
Ceridian HCM, Inc.
Risk Leaders We Love
Since its inception, the Risk Leadership Initiative has focused on providing relevant education to tomorrow’s risk leaders and being a forum for experienced professionals to further their knowledge. As part of the Advisory Board’s commitment to this mission, we decided to use our quarterly meetings as an opportunity to meet on-site with risk leaders in the Minneapolis-St. Paul community to hear about their approaches to risk, what issues matter most to them and which skills they consider crucial to their organizations’ continued success.
In December, we were fortunate enough to be hosted by Ceridian, a cloud-based HR and payroll technology company headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While at their Bloomington headquarters, we enjoyed a presentation from Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk, Chelsey Griggs on her development of Ceridian’s risk function and the company’s integrative approach to risk leadership. Chelsey graciously (and enthusiastically) agreed to help us jumpstart a quarterly Q&A featuring advice and insights from local risk leaders we admire.
Although this article won’t be able to convey Chelsey’s infectious optimism, we thought you’d enjoy some background about her.
Chelsey Griggs is the Senior Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management for Ceridian. Chelsey has twenty years of experience in the information technology, consulting and human capital management industries. One year ago, Chelsey transitioned from her senior IT Operations role within the organization to build the global ERM function at Ceridian. She is responsible for the strategic risk plan and management of the resources, initiatives and budget associated with that plan. Risk is a key component on Ceridian’s Corporate Scorecard and the measurement of risk is tied to the ability to meet the company’s strategic objectives.
Chelsey is passionate about improving company performance and sustaining operations to support growth. Her career in IT has been integral to her new role as leader of Risk for Ceridian. She enjoys building new functions and gaining alignment from senior leaders on key priorities for the company. She believes the key to managing risk is knowing your business, having your pulse on the customer and listening to employees.
Here are some highlights of our conversation with Chelsey:
I view my group’s mission as supporting the company and helping protect our strategic goals. We tie every one of our initiatives back to these company goals, which helps us speak in a shared language with our business partners. They know we aren’t there to provide edicts from on high, but to enable them to do their best work. My team understands that knowing our business is integral to a successful risk management program. We make it a point to build strong cross-functional relationships, and I encourage my team to network and learn from all different parts of the business. After we listen, we try to help with what we can, whether it is helping elevate and explain issues to executive leadership, or advocating for funding where we agree it is needed. In a lot of ways, we try to be a clear and focused voice.
I think there are three big things that transform risk managers into risk leaders:
- It’s a big advantage to have deep business knowledge and to know and understand the industry you’re in. You should understand the products and services your company sells, the competitive marketplace, and what’s important to its players so you can quickly and proactively spot risks. Ideally this comes from knowledge you gain not just by asking questions in risk assessments, but through firsthand knowledge and experience.
- A close second is the ability to cultivate meaningful relationships and establish trust. You need to know who can help you provide insight into business risks and mitigation strategies. This should be done proactively and outside of the context of incidents and escalations. People need to trust you and feel like they can come to you as a person, not just as someone from “risk”.
- The ability to focus is also key. No risk professional, no matter how good they are at their job, can do everything. In fact, there comes a point in everyone’s careers where they realize they can’t do every single thing that is asked of them. So you need to be able to decide what deserves attention and what can wait, and be able to clearly and concisely articulate why that is.
At Ceridian, we don’t view our virtual workforce as any different than our site-based workforce. A simple phone call to introduce yourself goes a long way. We don’t tell people what we need, we just give them the framework to identify risks to their business. I encourage my team to always be thinking about positions in the organization and functions that they need to understand in order to grasp our evolving picture of risk. This goes for whether they are in the same office, virtual or at our office in Mauritius.
I think the future of this profession is global and inclusive. A lot of the challenges we face have become more global - security threats are a great example of this. So it’s not just about working cross-functionally, it’s about viewing risk in a cultural and even global context. The inclusive part speaks to building a culture where every employee understands the part they play in protecting company goals. Risk professionals are going to need to be better at building relationships with people leaders and creating a culture of risk awareness. This starts by communicating in a common language, getting rid of jargon in favor of tying things back to their own functions and goals.
The RLI sincerely thanks Ceridian and Chelsey for hosting and sharing their ideas with us.
At the RLI, we believe that these and other unique connections to employers enrich the student experience and ensure a pipeline of highly-qualified talent in the applicant market. We view these relationships as crucial to not just our success, but that of the profession’s on both a local and global scale. If you are interested in helping us further this mission by hosting an Advisory Board meeting, sponsoring an RLI event, or volunteering your expertise in another capacity, please contact us.
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