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After A Seat At the Table, Get HR Featured In the Annual Report

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Many in HR leadership focus on “getting a seat at the table.” However, if you want everyone to see and acknowledge your accomplishments, HR leaders need to go a step further and also be prominently featured in the annual report.

That placement is critical because the primary purpose of the annual report is to highlight the corporation’s performance and strengths. So barely being mentioned leaves the impression among both insiders and outsiders that your function had little business impact. Unfortunately, it’s not that unusual for HR to be barely mentioned in an annual report. Being slighted in this strategic document can be an indication of how board members and executives view HR.

The primary purpose of an annual report is to make current and future investors fully aware of the performance, the strengths and the direction of the corporation. So when HR is not prominently featured, it means it either didn’t have much of an impact on the corporation’s performance, or more likely, the cause for the slight was that HR leaders failed to make a convincing case for including the many HR accomplishments over the year. And no matter the cause, failing to be prominently mentioned in the annual report can only further diminish the status of HR.

Many HR Areas Meet the Criteria for Inclusion In the Annual Report

Every corporation has its own selection criteria for determining what functional areas and accomplishments should be covered in the annual report. But in most cases, those criteria encourage the placement of all actions that:

  1. Impacted strategic goals and organizational performance.
  2. Increased corporate revenue growth and profit.
  3. Involved significant budget expenditures or high rates of return.
  4. Cover significant business challenges and risks that investors should know about.
  5. Increased innovation.
  6. Cover added programs or actions that enhanced our firm’s strengths.
  7. Provided a competitive advantage.

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