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What’s Ailing HR & What Can Cure It?

Source | LinkedIn : By Sudip Varma

In a 2015 study conducted by Willis Towers Watson-CII, 67% of leaders responded that availability and quality of talent is a key business driver for their industry. Leaders seem to concur that translating business strategy into reality is increasingly more reliant on people.

That leaders acknowledge the significance of talent in propelling growth is certainly good news.

Let us look at another data point.

According to a PwC survey, only 34% of CEOs believe that HR is well prepared to meet the challenges of future. 9% believed that HR is not at all prepared to meet the challenges of future. Which means that 2/3rd of CEOs are not confident that their HR has the wherewithal to execute their business strategy on ground. 63% of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills. This crisis of confidence brings into question the role that HR needs to play in executing the business strategy

From the above it can be inferred that CEOs, more than ever, realize the role that talent can play in operationalizing their business strategy. However, CEOs do not feel confident of HRs ability to ensure adequate supply of high quality talent across all levels of the organization.

All is not well in HR.

And the issue is so pervasive that you really do not need to have any research done to validate it.

Just a look around will show you enough and more examples of well-meaning HR professionals feeling the burden of carrying on a talent strategy that is disjointed or not linked clearly to the business strategy.

If anything is amiss it is certainly not the intent.

It must be said that most HR professionals do want to make a difference, want to contribute towards creating a high performing, high performance oriented, humane & engaged workplace.

However, that does not seem to be translating into palpable progress on ground.

So what is wrong?

How did a function that CEOs widely believed to be a “game changer” miss the bus to the strategy room?

Yes, according to DDI / Conference Board Global Leadership Forecast 2014 – 2015, only one in four HR respondents reported participating early in strategic planning. The other three either were not involved or were asked to develop talent plans after the strategic planning process.

25% of HR professionals in India are still playing the role that while necessary add no real tangible value to business. These professionals help in ensuring compliance, formulating policies & do what they are asked by the business.  While this is important from a business continuity perspective this has been a base line expectation since some time now. To be sure 60% of HR professionals in India view themselves as vital partners to business. That means they openly share information with business and work collaboratively towards common goals. That is indeed a good sign. However, that is not enough.

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