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How Can HR Change to Meet the Rest of the C-Suite’s Needs?

What does the rest of the C-suite want out of the HR department? A new research report from The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) seems to have the answer, as the majority of executives polled said they wanted HR to broaden its scope and help the rest of the C-suite make strategic decisions. With almost 500 executives responding to SHRM’s survey, 26 percent of non-HR leaders said they wanted their companies’ HR department to become more of a player when it comes to business partnering.

Changes on the horizon
Besides bringing HR to the C-suite decision-making table, 18 percent of non-HR executives agreed their enterprises must focus more on quantitative metrics and analytic tools instead of qualitative ones.

While CEOs want HR to assist in making more strategic decisions that will affect the whole of the company and its workforce, the majority of the leaders polled said they planned to make big changes to the kind of work their HR department does. Most of the executives see these developments occurring to HR in just 10 years.

Twenty-six percent reported they wanted to outsource the usual transactional and paperwork tasks that currently fall on HR’s shoulders and 16 percent indicated they planned to move some HR work to line managers.

This means the rest of the C-suite wants HR to step up and focus more on talent management and acquisition, instead of putting a lot of its emphasis on employee engagement. In fact, C-Suite Network noted as the economy improves, company executives will call on HR to help develop, groom and transition talent.

“CEOs want HR to assist in making more strategic decisions.”

Finding the disconnect
CEOs and chief financial officers all agreed their business’s HR personnel are vital to the overall success of their companies. While both heads of HR and non-HR departments agree they must work together to develop a solid business plan and outlook for their companies, a disconnect occurs when it comes to what issues each department prioritizes.

HR leaders told SHRM maintaining employee engagement with the company was their top challenge. However, the rest of the C-suite said keeping high-performing staff members from jumping ship was their No.1 problem. Retaining top talent came in fourth place under HR challenges while employee engagement failed to make the top five for the rest of the executives.

This disconnect between priorities should be a wake-up call for the whole C-suite to meet and find a consensus so all departments can get on the same page.

Embracing change
The conflicting list of challenges shows HR departments will more than likely need to adapt and change to fit the rest of the executives’ requirements. They can do this by staying on top of staffing needs and numbers and working with the CFO to ensure they get maximum productivity from the company’s staff.

Enterprises looking to work efficiently and effectively in the new year need their HR teams to become more business minded and join the rest of the executives when planning for the future. However, that can be near impossible if the department must devote large chunks of time and energy to payroll, benefits and employee engagement paperwork.

An HR department can take on the big, company-changing tasks it needs such as employee retention and finding the best people for job if it outsources the time-consuming paperwork to an HR Business Process as a Service or HR BPaaS. Doing so, gives HR the chance to look at its company’s bigger picture instead of being too busy to join the rest of the decision-makers at the table.

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