Productivity Goals Should Extend to HR

Last Updated Mar 28, 2008 2:21 PM EDT

In tough business climates like the one we're in now, productivity is a major company goal. But we tend to view it purely on a team or personal level. In fact, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management finds that only 20 percent of HR executives view boosting productivity as a priority related to their function.

If you're like most managers, you don't spend much time in planning meetings with members of your company's HR department. So it's no surprise that forty-two percent of top-level HR executives reported to SHRM that they felt they had less influence than their executive peers, and 91 percent wanted to strengthen relationships with those peers. The study draws a connection between this subservient role that HR executives play within a company, and the disconnect between HR goals and the company's strategy and productivity goals.

So how can we bring HR into the huddle on building productivity and other crucial company goals? The report offers a few suggestions:

  1. Getting HR involved in the early-stage meetings on strategy, productivity initiatives and implementing change.
  2. Linking more of HR goals to productivity and strategy rather than growth and retention.
  3. Take a long view on future employee skill requirements, tying hiring to strategy.
  4. HR should spend more time learning about the role of each team within the business.
  5. Management and HR execs should spend more time communicating and creating shared goals.
  6. HR should partner not only with IT and audit (three groups thought of as 'support functions'), but with operations and sales.