Image problem for HR

HR lacks foresight, influence and credibility, according to research
released last week.

Roffey Park’s survey of 400 line managers shows six out of 10 believe HR to
be reactive rather than proactive. Four out of 10 believe HR lacks credibility
and a third claim personnel professionals are not influential.

Only a fifth of line managers feel that HR adds value to the business. Those
positive about HR’s role believe the most valuable areas of work include
supporting cultural change, organisational cohesion, training and development,
performance management, benchmarking and change management.

Commenting on the criticisms, Marijke Cazemier, HR business partner at
Inmarsat, said: "Our image problem is partly due to the branding of HR,
but is also because a lot of the work we do – such as employment law – line
managers don’t get to see.

"It is also due to the work’s unpredictability and its immeasurable
nature. I think HR is increasingly proactive and responsive to the needs of
business."

Personnel managers list their main priority in Management Agenda 2002 as
aligning HR with the business agenda, largely by restructuring HR and
developing more consultancy-style relationships with line managers.

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