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47% of companies have HR Director on the board our survey shows

03 May 2013 #Employment


This April we carried out a survey in association with GB Management Coaching Ltd. Gail Brown, the Managing Director and one of our Forbury HR Consultants, specialises in helping HR professionals fast track their career and reports on the findings of the survey.

The survey looked at the influence of HR in organisations, the value of employee engagement and how well talent is being managed.

The headline results are:

Influence of HR

  • 90% of organisations consider HR needs to have an input onto the strategic making process and yet only 47% have an HR director on the board. Amongst FTSE300 companies, the figure is 0.8%!  A contributory factor may be because only 31% of organisations report  having a clear career path for HR professionals.
  • Disappointing, but not surprising, 42% of organisations feel that the HR function is not valued and recognised as contributing to the bottom line. Some of the reasons put forward for this are that others perceived the HR function to be:
    • An overhead and a ‘necessary evil’
    • Purely an administrative and supportive rather than strategic function
    • Lacking in business and commercial acumen.

Employee engagement

  • 70% of organisations have carried out an employee survey in the past 5 years and 69% intend to continue with the surveys. Interestingly,   more managers ( 58.3%) than employees (46%) find  the surveys to be of value. 53% of organisations say that the information contributes to the overall success of their organisation and 46% say it improves organisational performance.

In terms of achieving high employee engagement the most significant barrier is considered to be the lack of open, honest and effective communication. This is closely followed by the need to improve management and leadership skills.

Talent Management

  • On the job training is carried out by 93.8%of organisation , 81.3% carry out internal and external training with 75% of organisations favouring accredited training. E learning (at 31.3%) ranks the lowest.
  • 25% of organisations say that their talent management activities are effective ( 19%) or highly effective(6%),  the remaining 75% don’t  evaluate or don’t know.  This may be partly attributed to 80% of organisations not having a clear definition of talent management and 63% of organisations not having a strategy for implementing, or method of evaluating, their talent management activities.

The results of the survey show that it is not easy to demonstrate the overall value of the HR function or  specific initiatives. Although locally 47.4% of organisations have an HR director, in my view, the profession still has a long way to go in being valued and gaining the recognition it truly deserves.  I remain curious ‘If people are an organisation’s the greatest asset, why are there so few HR directors on the board?’

Finally, thank you to all those that contributed to the survey and we hope to see you at the launch of our HR Forums and Master classes later in the year.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at employmentunit@clarkslegal.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.

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