As the traditional role of HR continues to evolve, one thing is clear – HR wants a more strategic role directly related to the business.
That was the key finding of a new study by BambooHR, which polled more than 1,300 U.S based HR professionals to gauge how they spend their time versus how they think they should be spending their time.
The report found the biggest perceived threat (29%) to an HR professional’s productivity is employee management, which included answering questions, resolving issues, employee recognition and discipline. More than seven out of 10 (71%) of HR professionals also stated they spend a lot or most of their time on such employee management issues.
This was followed by spending time on company compliance issues (54%), and recruiting (42%).
“HR professionals want to play a more strategic role in the company; they see their role and value as extending beyond minutiae like employee paperwork, payroll processing and routine trainings,” the report stated.
“They want to own the role of managing and overseeing company culture and would like to be more involved in activities such as workforce planning.”
In fact, workforce planning (40%) was also the number one task these HR respondents said they would like more training on, following by professional development (34%), and managing and overseeing company culture (32%).
Generally though, HR professionals are well trained. More than eight out of 10 (82%) of respondents have attended HR-related trainings in the last 12 months, and 67% spend an hour or more educating themselves on HR updates weekly.
The survey repeatedly stressed the need to overcome the gap between what the HR function is perceived to be, and what it actually wants to become.
“HR professionals overwhelmingly feel like it is management’s responsibility to make sure employees are happy in their jobs (65%) and that they are being productive (82%), rather than those tasks being the responsibility of either HR or other employees,” the report stated.