‘People issues’ are getting hotter, but execs take a dim view of HR

A global survey of 531 business executives finds that 85% see “people issues” as vital to their businesses today, and that figure goes up to 88% over the next three to five years. The study was done by Deloitte Consulting and The Economist Intelligence Unit. The top “people issues” cited by the respondents:

  • leadership development
  • creating a high-performance culture
  • talent management
  • training

But there’s a real perception gap between business executives and HR leaders, says the study co-director Jeff Schwartz, in an interview with Workforce Management magazine. Schwartz says: “Even though they both see people issues as vital, the executives don’t see HR and HR leaders as driving the people agenda in business today. When you ask them how HR is doing, barely 4% describe their company’s HR as ‘world-class’ … and only 23% believe that HR currently plays a crucial role in strategy and operational results.”

Schwartz says HR folks need to spend more time helping the business succeed, and less time on the operational “dial tone of HR.” The good news is that 88% of the survey respondents expect that HR will indeed become a more strategic function in the next three to five years.

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