Should HR have a seat at the strategic table?

HR has come a long way from being an administrative center to a strategic business partner since its inception. However, widespread doubts about HR’s contribution to organizational performance has rendered it the reputation of being an overhead and compliance driving department only. According to Deloitte's 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, HR practitioners graded themselves a C (2.0 on a five-point scale) ineffectiveness while non-HR practitioners grading HR a C- (1.8 score). 

This goes on to show that there is a gap between what is expected (a strategic and business transforming role) and what is being delivered by HR. But an organizational champion and business partner role is required out of HR today more than ever due to the following reasons:

· HR matters more than ever now: In the KPMG CEO Outlook 2017, 74 percent of CEOs said that their organizations are placing greater emphasis on trust, values, and culture in order to sustain their long-term future and businesses are increasingly looking to hire more specialized talent in the years ahead considering it as a primary long-term competitive advantage. With CEOs having identified these drivers for business growth, it is high time for HR to step up and drive these initiatives from the forefront rather than being back-end support. Businesses want HR to don the strategic hat now more than ever as the champions of cultural change and Talent management.

· Talent-driven Businesses: Deloitte's 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report suggests that virtually all CEOs (90 percent) believe their company is facing disruptive change driven by digital technologies, and 70 percent say their organization does not have the skills to adapt. In an era where technology is posing a challenge for traditional job roles due to increased automation and AI, new skills and continually learning talent would be the hedge of growth for all businesses. That puts attracting top talent and ensuring their constant development through learning at the center of business strategy. HR is a part of the strategy formulation can ensure that businesses are ready for a stealthy future.

· HR’s new role: In the new economy, success will be based on organizational factors such as responsiveness, agility, learning capacity, and employees. Successful organizations will be those who will be leveraging these factors through effective change management. An area that falls under HR’s ballpark, however, has been given less importance due to its administrative role so far. This will require participation right from the executive level where a lot of trust and power is invested in HR.

All these dots can be connected to mean that HR is no more just a business enabler but business itself. Organizations have increased expectations from this long-existing function and in order to deliver them, HR needs a strategic outlook and more so, a seat at the strategic table.


·      Deloitte's 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report

·      KPMG CEO Outlook 2017 report