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HR’s strategic input remains poorly acknowledged

More than three-quarters (76%) of HR professionals believe HR’s strategic input is poorly acknowledged, according to research from software provider Cascade HR.

The Cascade Client Survey 2015 found that 39% of HR professionals do not need to report an overview of their department, 42% are not expected to report on workforce diversity, and 48% are not required to report on salary information.

Cascade’s managing director Oliver Shaw said that this is a wasted opportunity as HR holds the key to powerful strategic thinking within private sector organisations. “By interrogating the right data, for instance, they could aid much smarter resource planning,” he said.

“It would certainly capture my attention if someone told me how many people I had in work today, their productivity ratio, how many more employees we need to fulfil our objectives, how many CVs we’d have to see and interviews we’d need to conduct to fill that gap, what our recruitment pipeline looks like, how long it will all take, and at what cost.”

Helen Pitcher, chairman of Advanced Boardroom Excellence, told HR magazine that HR professionals need to consider why the function is not receiving the respect it deserves.

“HR needs to look at itself quite critically to examine why that contribution is not recognised when many of the central issues facing boards fall firmly within the HR areas of expertise and specialism; namely succession and development, culture and tone, remuneration and strategy, not to mention resourcing of key positions,” she said.

“Given such a welcome agenda for HR and its talent, if HR is not having the desired impact within the boardroom it needs to look to the softer skills of influence, persuasion and impact. HR must place its specialisms in contexts for the business and couch it in business terms rather than HR speak. The HR directors who do this are considered invaluable by their boards and receive universal respect within the business for their contributions. Those that come at the issues from a process and policy perspective do not." 

Pitcher added: “The recent demise of performance appraisal systems within many key organisations is a prime example of where process has stifled the original intent and business purpose.”