Communication failures are a major problem for UK HR departments

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Nearly a quarter of business leaders (22 per cent) have stated that HR departments across the UK are failing to communicate, according to research carried out by jobsite CareerBuilder.co.uk. The survey, carried out amongst 194 business leaders, also found that 25 per cent reported that their HR department can, at times, over-communicate.

“Human Resources is an important contributor to an organisation’s overall success,” said Tony Roy, President of CareerBuilder EMEA. “While business acumen has long been part of the HR job description, the financial hit companies took in the latest downturn has amplified the emphasis CEOs are placing in this area. They’re paying closer attention to the return on investment for HR initiatives and how that return ultimately impacts the bottom line.”

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The findings also revealed that business leaders consider it important for their head of HR to have an MBA to better correlate HR functions and programmes with overall business performance. One-third (33 per cent) want HR to present programmes or initiatives as a business plan. Sixteen per cent want to see the projected return on investment for each HR initiative.

To improve the overall function of HR departments, the report suggested that businesses should;

•Focus on solutions. Business leaders said they want to hear ideas whether it’s to establish a new strategy or resolve a dilemma. When asked about the type of information they absolutely don’t want to see, 61 per cent pointed to communications that present problems without solutions. The same amount reported they don’t want to see anything touchy feely information while 17 per cent said they don’t want to see anything that isn’t related to cost, revenue or the bottom line.

•Know the customer. Business leaders said they expect their HR department to be in tune with who their customers are and what they want. Thirty per cent of business leaders reported that their HR department is not knowledgeable enough about their client base.

•Get the inside perspective. One of the most important things HR provides to senior executives is insights into what employees are thinking and their performance level. Thirty-nine per cent of business leaders would like to see more feedback in regard to employee satisfaction. Thirty-seven per cent want to know which employees specifically are exceeding their goals.

•Be flexible. gility is key for business leaders. Nearly half (49 per cent) of business leaders reported their HR department can get too caught up in policy and process and pointed to the need for more flexibility.

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