When it comes to overall performance, not only do HR practitioners say they are unhappy with themselves, but business leaders are also uninspired by their achievements.

According to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2014 report, 34% of more than 2,500 business and HR leaders in 94 countries around the world believed their overall HR and talent programmes were “underperforming” or just “getting by”.

This was a 3% drop from last year, but still means respondents have graded themselves the equivalent of a C-.

The report also found 10% of respondents graded their HR and talent programmes an F, compared to the 5% who graded it an A.

“While this is not intended as a criticism of HR in general, it does reflect how challenging it is to build a world-class HR function and how far companies believe they are from this goal,” the report said.

Just as worrying were companies’ modest plans to invest in HR this year.

Deloitte found only 34% of companies plan on increasing their HR investments over the next 12 to 18 months, while 39% – the largest segment – said they expect it to remain the same. The percentage of companies which indicated a “decrease” or “significant decrease” was 8%

However, Deloitte remained upbeat, and said while this year should see a general growth in spending on HR of 1.32%, “it is positive, indicating that companies are recognising the need to invest in human capital and the value derived from those investments”.

The report also found companies and HR professionals who have graded themselves as “excellent” were those who had a strong focus on urgent human capital issues.

[ALSO READ: Leaders’ 10 most urgent HR issues]

“These findings suggest that top HR teams are even more focused on certain business and talent priorities, including leadership, talent acquisition, delivering a high-performing and highly engaged workforce, improving the HR function, and building analytics capability, than most companies’ HR teams,” the report said.

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