The Global Manufacturer

How the Fortune 1000 Views the HR Function

Are your human resource managers helping your company achieve its strategic goals? A new survey of HR heads, top executives and outside directors found broad support for HR strategic involvement at major companies.

At the top 15% of the Fortune 1000 companies responding to the survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for Human Resource Services Inc. (HRS), 88% of the HR heads meet with the CEO to ensure alignment of the HR strategic plan with the corporate strategic plan. That compares with 61% of the other firms.

For this 15% referred to in the survey as "More Advanced Companies," 88% 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% for the other companies.

At the more advanced companies, 68% say they are developing creative programs to meet the needs of different generations versus 31% of the others.

But the survey found 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. Only half report having a database that contains information on when such people are planning to retire.

When asked to identify what can be done to make workforce planning more effective, top executives showed support 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.

Commenting on the survey findings, William Zinke, president of HRS, said "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."

TAGS: The Economy
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