HR At the Table

For years, many observers of HR have discussed what it would take for HR to "get a seat at the table" with the Big Boys, i.e. the CEO, the CFO, the head of Sales & Marketing, the head of Operations/Manufacturing, etc.

In last week's HR meeting, the presenter Greg Taylor had a compelling answer: It's about strategic decision making.

Just as the CFO is at the table to help the CEO make strategic financial decisions, and the head of Sales & Marketing is there to help make strategic product and service decisions, the head of HR needs to help make strategic human capital management decisions.

Hmmm. Is that what HR people say that they are good at?

Not according to a survey by Sunil J. Ramlall of the Department of Management at Minnesota's University of St. Thomas and summarized in the May/June 2006 issue of Performance Improvement journal.

108 HR generalists, specialists, managers, directors and vice presidents said that they were good at things like:

- delivery of HR service
- technical HR competency
- change management

Certainly these are important and valuable.

However, survey participants did not indicate strengths in strategic contribution, accounting, marketing, and metrics. The very sorts of things they need to be "at the table" where strategic decisions get made.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 10/23/06

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