HR Management & Compliance

What Is HR’s Image to Management?

Two British studies show a massive disconnect in what HR and line management think of each other. What do they think? Well …

In our search to bring you stories of interest, Daily Advisor editors read HR reports from around the world. We find most of what we need right here in the U.S., but occasionally there’s an international story that just cries out to be shared.

Today offers such a case… two cases, actually. Both involve surveys done by the British magazine, Personnel Today. The studies had to do with what HR people think of the senior execs they work for in the 937 organizations (or organisations, as the British spell it) surveyed. What do they think?

In a word, not much.

Only 8 percent of the HR people described their leadership as “extremely talented.” Of the rest, 45 percent thought their company’s execs could cut it, with the proper development, no doubt provided by HR. Meanwhile, 14 percent, or about 1 in 7, were hopeless, according to the HR professionals. “Devoid of any leadership talent, whatsoever,” is how the report put it.

The greatest areas of deficiency were interpersonal and communication skills. Sound familiar?

Now, before any of you start demonstrating your delight that others in the world feel as you do, you need to hear, as the radio commentator Paul Harvey puts it, “the rest of the story.”

The View From the Other End of the Building

That’s because Personnel Today also published a survey of what line management thinks of HR. And what do they think of their HR colleagues?

You guessed it. Not much.

Where 45 percent of HR managers thought their departments would be well regarded by their colleagues in other disciplines, in fact, only 20 percent of those colleagues had any respect for their HR departments.

Similarly, where 60 percent of HR people felt their operations were effective, only 20 percent of other managers shared that view. The magazine didn’t say what the other 80 percent said about HR. There were a few more tidbits they did report, though:

–Women seem to value HR more than men.
–HR is more appreciated in private business than in the public sector.
–The longer the employee’s tenure, the more HR is respected.
–The bigger the company, the less its managers think of HR.

Although British businesses have differences from their American counterparts, there’s a lot that’s the same when it comes to HR. Our reading of their literature reveals the same issues that you face … recruitment, retention, equal opportunity (Great Britain just passed it’s first age discrimination law), and as you now know … getting respect from the executive suite.

Do you face this kind of gap at your organization? How can it be bridged? Use the Share Your Comments button and let us know your thoughts.