HR performance: poor with little prospect for improvementNews added by Benefits Pro on March 25, 2014

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By Dan Cook

The job of the HR professional is becoming increasingly difficult, and neither those in the C-Suite nor the HR people themselves are happy with the work being done.

That’s one of the major takeaways of a detailed survey, based upon more than 2,000 interviews, by Deloitte Consulting.

Focusing on human capital management trends, Deloitte found that companies with a global strategy believe their HR teams are not up to the challenge of succeeding on a global scale. Sharing the blame for talent shortfalls, the executives interviewed essentially agreed that the old HR model is broken beyond repair, but a new, effective model has yet to emerge.

Putting things back on track will take quite a lot of work, Deloitte said.

“Given the radical shifts in demographics and technology, doubling down on the human capital practices of the past will not be enough to get the job done,” said Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, part of Deloitte Consulting LLP.

“The research shows that organizations should re-imagine their approach to engaging people and move to re-engineer many of their HR practices. Attracting top talent has become a serious competitive issue that demands attention at the highest levels of the organization.”

Deloitte cited three major challenge areas for human capital managers:
  • Leadership development (cited by 86 percent as No. 1);
  • retention and engagement (79 percent);
  • reskilling the human resources function (77 percent).
On leadership development

“Developing global leaders is the top issue facing these organizations, yet only 13 percent of respondents believe they do an excellent job in providing leadership programs across all levels,” Deloitte said in a news release about the survey. “Sixty-six percent believe they are ‘weak’ in their ability to provide leadership programs for Millennials, and about half (51 percent) have little confidence in their ability to maintain clear and consistent succession programs.”

Far too many companies are attempting to reinvigorate obsolete talent management systems that don’t solve their problems for the long-term, Deloitte said.

Instead, companies should be harnessing online resources and intechnology, and the changing nature of work itself,” Deloitte said. “In fact, more than one-third (34 percent) of the respondents report that their HR and talent programs are just ‘getting by’ or even ‘underperforming.’
“Moreover, less than 8 percent of HR leaders have confidence that their teams have the skills needed to meet the challenge of today’s global environment and deliver innovative programs that drive business impact.”

Forty-three percent of respondents labeled their organizations as ‘weak’ in providing HR with appropriate training and experiences. Another 47 percent checked the ‘weak’ box when asked to describe how well prepared their HR team was to deliver programs aligned with business needs.

Jason Geller, national managing director for U.S. human capital consulting at Deloitte Consulting LLP, said he believes the survey results indicate that “reskilling HR teams is arguably the most critical mission for organizations today.”

Other key bullets from the survey include:

The overwhelmed employee: Sixty-five percent of executives responding to the survey rate the overwhelmed employee phenomenon as being an urgent or important trend, while 44 percent say that they are “not ready” to deal with it.

Developing leaders: Eighty-six percent of respondents in the Deloitte survey rate leadership as “urgent” or “important.” Yet just 13 percent say they do an excellent job in developing global leaders.

Corporate learning redefined: More than two-thirds (70 percent) of respondents surveyed see new learning methods, such as free online and mobile learning platforms, as “urgent” or “important,” yet only 6 percent say they have mastered the content and technology capabilities needed to make online learning accessible and compelling for their employees.

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