Only 31% of HR professionals in Asia-Pacific feel that senior management is always supportive of their department’s needs. These results stem from the 2015 APAC HR Report, which surveyed over 3,000 high-level individuals across the region. Of the remaining respondents, 62% said there was room for improvement with greater support given while 7% said that management failed to support their initiatives at all.
While these figures remained relatively consistent across the region (with New Zealand having the highest rate of satisfied HR teams at 38%), the statistics varied significantly when breaking them down over company size. In fact, it was found that in organisations of less than 100 employees, only 5% of respondents said that senior executives offered high levels of support for their initiatives.
There were a number of reasons stated for these results, all of which were supplied by the HR professionals surveyed. Time and cost seemed to be a common theme across the board. “[Senior management] claim to be supportive and interested but when it comes to taking action or allocating resources/budget, the HR initiatives become less important than other pressing client or business development issues,” one OD director from Australia wrote.
Conflicts in the perceived nature and benefits of HR seem to be another reason for the lack of support. “HR initiatives are often viewed as a nice to have [versus] need to have. Support in the form of resources and drive cannot often be depended upon as customers are our priority and sometimes meeting customer expectations can come at the expense of forgoing certain HR initiatives,” one CHRO in Singapore said.
Lastly, support may be there while simply taking time to nurture. “Timing and readiness for change … are always factors to how receptive senior management support is. Influencing takes time. Planting the seed to give time to digest before expecting a decision is crucial for successful change/implementation of HR initiatives,” a New Zealand HR director stated.