I recently read What you Like about your Job, an article published in HR Magazine sharing the results of a survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), which explored HR professionals' job satisfaction levels and the contributing factors. The survey revealed that the majority of senior-level HR executives identify the opportunity to do strategic planning for their organizations and communication between them and senior management as two key elements affecting their job satisfaction.
The article goes on to say that less than half of the HR professionals surveyed feel “very satisfied” with the above mentioned areas.
In a past blog post, I referenced an article by Human Resources IQ contributor Brad Powers, in which he cites two causes of why HR may not have a seat at the boardroom table when it comes time to make decisions about the organization: 1) HR is often viewed by the CEO and executive team as a supporting role instead of a partner, who can offer the organization advice and counsel, 2) HR hires HR experience, who are accustomed to being viewed in a support role and will be less credible and comfortable engaging in operational advice.
However, as Cathy Missildine-Martin expresses in her most recent blog post Here we go again… More Haters, HR has come a long way in the last few years and many C-level executives are failing to recognize and respect the changes HR professionals are making. She goes on to cite some examples, such as HR leaders becoming more metrics savvy, embracing technology and getting more involved in organizational strategic discussions.
The question is: For HR professionals that are not feeling “very satisfied” with the elements that matter most to them about their jobs, how can they improve communication with senior management, become more involved in strategic planning for the company and get the respect from the C-suite they deserve?
I agree with Cathy that HR is heading in the right direction but still has a long way to go to being viewed as a partner and consultant in the organization rather than just support. While HR is making huge strides in tracking metrics and reporting on them, there still seems to be some uncertainty in the HR community about what HR metrics are most valuable and what they tell you about your organization – not surprising considering it’s a relatively new discipline for HR.
Employee engagement, turnover, ROI and performance metrics seem to be the most consistently tracked HR metrics. But are those painting the full picture of what’s going on in an organization’s workforce? Do HR leaders have metrics to draw conclusions on why employee engagement is low or employee turnover increased in Q2?
When HR leaders can provide senior management with compelling evidence of the root causes of the metrics they provide along with an action plan to lead change in the organization, I think the executive team will no longer view HR as support but as advisors to consult with on organizational change and strategic planning.