Stay informed and ready to meet both everyday challenges and long-term planning and policy-making goals, with focused news, practical information, and strategic insights on all HR-related...
Oct. 27 — Human resources professionals might not always be satisfied with their level of influence over business decisions, but new research reveals that HR often has the ear of high-level company executives.
Half of top HR officials—such as a vice president or director of human resources—report directly to the company’s chief executive, according to Bloomberg BNA’s “HR Department Benchmarks and Analysis 2016-2017” report. At 20 percent of organizations, the head of HR answers to the chief operating officer or a senior vice president, the survey found.
Furthermore, seven in 10 surveyed HR professionals characterized their departments as fully (30 percent) or substantially (40 percent) involved in key business decisions, the report said.
That perceived influence was most commonly reported by top HR personnel, while rank and file HR professionals were less sure their department had a seat at the table. “This indicates that HR likely does have a good avenue for influence, but that HR personnel who are not at the top of their organization may just not be aware of it,” Molly Huie, manager of survey reports for Bloomberg BNA, said Oct. 27. “Increased communication within the HR department could help in this area.”
The report, released Oct. 26, is based on a survey of over 550 HR professionals representing a broad cross-section of U.S. employers.
This year’s benchmarking report for the first time asked survey participants about their performance management programs. The report found that almost eight in 10 companies (77 percent) have formal performance management programs, and three-quarters (76 percent) of those say they have updated their program in the past three years.
“Perhaps not surprisingly, performance management programs that had recently been updated were rated more positively than older programs on characteristics like being an effective use of time, being clearly communicated throughout the organization and encouraging employee engagement,” Huie said.
However, she said, nearly half of the respondents who said they had already updated their program within the last three years also indicated they planned to update again this year. “This could indicate a culture of supporting change and being on top of trends, or the corollary for programs that haven’t been updated—organizations could simply be happy with their program as it is, or they may not have the time or resources to support that kind of change,” Huie said.
The median ratio of HR staff to total employee headcount climbed to an all-time high of 1.4 full-time equivalent HR employees for every 100 workers in 2016, surpassing the previous record high of 1.3 HR staff members per 100 workers in both 2014 and 2013, the report said.
Managers, professionals and technical employees make up the “lion’s share” of HR staffs, constituting an average of 77 percent.
Roughly three-fifths of current HR department staffs (62 percent) include at least one specialist—an executive, professional or technical HR employee devoted to just one or two functional areas, the report said. The most common areas of specialization—benefits, employment and recruiting, training and development, and compensation—reflect HR’s core duties and responsibilities, it said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Genevieve Douglas in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org
The HR benchmarking report is available for purchase at http://www.bna.com/hr-department-benchmarks-p6727/.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)