Large companies have lots of tiers of employees, from part-time receptionists all the way up to executive directors and C-level leadership. Whether you work directly under the big wigs or simply see them come and go from time to time, if you work for one of these companies, you’ve probably wondered what exactly they do all day. Is their time all spent in conference calls and executive leadership training? Do they have daily tasks just like you do? Although the work of executives may seem nebulous, there’s lots of big picture tasks they have to accomplish to keep the company running, growing, and innovating.
The first role of C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CAO, etc.) is to establish corporate policies and protocols. They set the tone for the company and represent the will of the board of directors. Once they decide on a new policy, they also have to oversee the implementation. They might employ other departments, such as human resources, to help them spread the news and enforce new rules, but the mandates come from the top. As long as a rule or procedure is in place, the executives are responsible for ensuring it’s enforced and followed at all levels throughout the company.
Perhaps the most important role of business executives is keeping track of the financial side of the company. Budget meetings, keeping track of projections, and checking in with divisions or teams about their revenue and expenditures are regular tasks on an executive’s calendar. They have to make sure the company is spending only necessary money and are always looking for ways to boost profits. Although the CFO will typically head these discussions and the resolutions to any issues, they work alongside other teams and executives to ensure the desired results are reached.
Heading a Department
Most people think executives’ only role is to delegate their work to their employees, but this is simply because most top brass also head the department their position represents. For example, a Chief Administrative Officer will most likely oversee all of the human resource department. Even though they might frequently dole out work to that department manager or staff, it’s because it’s the day-to-day things they don’t have time to focus on. Their minds are set on the big picture and future plans, so they need help to handle immediate issues.
Executives have a number of important duties that all focus on growing the company as a whole.