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HR in Central Role in Fortune 1000 Companies


"...evolving role for HR is simply to be viewed as an integral part of top management in major companies."


"...it is viewed as essential that those in HR deepen their understanding of the company's business and financial aspects to support their increased strategic involvement."





NEW YORK -
A recent Fortune 1000 survey reveals shows the HR function plays a pivotal role in major companies. There is support among HR Heads, Top Executives and Outside Directors for increased HR involvement in achieving the company's strategic objectives. Further, it is viewed as essential that those in HR deepen their understanding of the company's business and financial aspects to support their increased strategic involvement.


The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Human Resource Services, Inc. over the period of July 27 to November 2. Interviews covered 224 HR Heads, CEOs and C-suite executives, and Outside Directors to ensure a cross-section of views on the HR function.


Findings of the Survey indicate that workforce analytics are of increasing importance. These analytic tools are still in the early stages for many companies, according to the Survey, but can be used to enhance talent management, performance charting and succession plan readiness, and obtaining data to identify future trends.


William Zinke, President of HRS, stated that: "HR analytics will be used to a substantially greater degree to increase workforce performance and to support strategic workforce planning, as well as in many other areas."


In the "More Advanced Companies" (MACs), limited to 15% of the total companies surveyed and selected on the basis of established criteria, 88 percent of the HR Heads meet with the CEO to ensure alignment of the HR strategic plan with the corporate strategic plan versus 61 percent of others; the same percent of MACs also report having a database or other ways for tracking the planned retirement of people in leadership and mission-critical roles to ensure that successors are in place versus 43 percent of others.


Meanwhile, 68 percent report they are developing creative programs to meet the needs of different generations versus 31 percent of others.


However, the Survey results indicate that large companies are not paying adequate attention to the impact of an aging population on strategic workforce planning.


Most do not have phased retirement programs for older workers who can continue adding value, or systems to transfer or capture the business intelligence of people in leadership and mission critical roles prior to retirement. Additionally, only half report having a database that contains information on when such people are planning to retire.


HR Heads are more likely than Top Executives to report that the strategic workforce planning in their company is effective in ensuring that they have the right people in the right place at the right time to support the achievement of strategic objectives.


When asked to identify what can be done to make workforce planning more effective, Top Executives show even more support than HR Heads for the following initiatives:

holding periodic reviews of succession plans and successors for top positions;

conducting periodic reviews to ensure adequate bench strength for top positions down to desired levels;

reviewing training and development programs to ensure that successors will be fully qualified when needed;

and reviewing the adequacy of development programs for high potentials.


It is notable that, among the MACs, 76 percent believe that the Board should be involved in reviewing the entire succession planning process versus 43 percent of others.


Mr. Zinke further stated that "there was a time when HR wanted 'a seat at the table' in top management, then to be viewed as a business partner, and more recently as a strategic business partner. The Survey makes clear that the evolving role for HR is simply to be viewed as an integral part of top management in major companies."


About the survey
This survey was conducted by telephone and online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Human Resource Services, Inc. between July 27 and November 2, 2011 among 224 HR Heads, CEOs and C-suite executives, and Outside Directors of Fortune 1000 companies. For complete survey methodology, please contact wzinke@hrshrs.com.





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