A quarter of HR directors say their own HR function is ineffective

Just over a quarter (26%) of HR directors describe their own HR function as ineffective, according to a survey of HR leaders across the public and private sectors.

Thirty-seven per cent of HR directors also say the purpose and values of their department are poorly defined, according to the survey of 67 HR leaders by Orion Partners, a management consultancy specialising in HR and talent. More than half (54%) of senior HR professionals surveyed said that there are no mechanisms in place to evaluate the effectiveness of HR.

“If business purpose and values aren’t clearly defined, it is difficult for HR leaders to communicate their vision, and that stymies the ability of the department to implement an effective strategy,” said Jane Chesters, a partner at Orion.

“An HR team can only be clear and consistent in their purpose if they know what they are trying to achieve. Many do not.”

The study also found that more than half (54%) of senior HR professionals admit there are no mechanisms in place to evaluate the effectiveness of HR. And more than two-thirds (70%) say decision making is not supported by robust management information.

“Business strategy and people strategy are one and the same thing – a coherent people strategy should always be aligned to the business strategy, but in many cases, that isn’t happening,” said Chesters.

“The impact and influence of an HR leader at the top table of a business is often determined by what extent they are seen as ‘a business-first person’. If they struggle to define the purpose of their own department and how that relates to the aims of the business, their influence at the top table is diminished.”

The research is based on the views of the HR leaders in some of the UK’s biggest organisations, with a combined total of 1.1 million employees.

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