HR still only a ‘messenger’ of corporate strategy

by Astrid Wilson27 Aug 2012

A lack of involvement in developing corporate strategy means that HR continues to be a messenger rather than core contributor to business, and the result is a significant misalignment between employee and business objectives, new research has found.

A UK-based study of high-level HR professionals and business managers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development revealed that in three quarters of organisations, HR’s input was not sought when devising business strategy. Rather than being consulted on setting company goals, in 57% of cases, HR’s role remains largely limited communicating the decisions.

The result of locking HR out of the decision making process has dire consequences for organisations.

In strategies where no HR input was sought, the plans of just one in 10 workers were totally aligned with those of the business, while more than half had aims which were only partially in sync or not at all. “The research highlights the endemic problems within modern corporate HR functions which, despite their best endeavours over the last decade or so, aren’t actually aligned with business when creating corporate strategy,” co-author of the report, Marc Bishop from HRplus said.

Other key findings included:

  • Seven out of 10 respondents said one reason for the misalignment of personal and organisational objectives was the lack of reference made to the issue by managers.
  • A further 86% cited an inability by those managers to help employees understand what success looked like.
  • 86% of respondents said top-down budget limitations meant above-the-call-of-duty performance wasn’t adequately rewarded, and 30% said there was a lack of performance-based reward mechanisms in general.


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