Despite being aligned on short-term cost management issues, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) report, HR Outlook: A Variety of Leader Perspectives, has found that long-term people issues see a disconnect between business leaders and HR executives. The survey found while 64 percent of business leaders and 71 percent of HR professionals feel that cost management is a top priority, senior HR professionals were much more likely to note longer-term issues as the top concern (41 percent) compared to business leaders (18 percent). Additionally, 27 percent of HR respondents said talent development was a priority while just 18 percent of business leaders said the same.
“This is a time of real opportunity for HR. In what is often called the ‘current economic climate’, but would more accurately be called ‘the new normal’, businesses face many conflicting priorities, such as reducing costs at the same time as trying to increase employee engagement. This puts HR issues at the heart of the business agenda now more than ever,” Peter Cheese, CEO of CIPD, said.
He continued, “Business leaders are looking to HR for creative solutions to the challenges the business faces, but there still needs to be a solid and robust business case for action. Using metrics effectively to inform business decision-making is essential.”
Worryingly, the report found that many business leaders feel that HR does not significantly contribute to business performance and is not strongly demonstrating its strategic value. HR is frequently perceived as more of a strategy implementer rather than a developer. Nearly 20 percent of business leader respondents were unsure of what HR’s strategy contributions even were.
“It is clear that HR still has work to do in terms of increasing its visibility and impact and ultimately in demonstrating the organizational value they deliver. HR needs to make better use of metrics to look forward, support and inform the business agenda, but HR leaders must also have the courage, and the business savvy, to effectively challenge and influence business leaders and strategies,” added Cheese.