During that last 25 years of HR, one of the big aspects has been, and continues to be that Human Resources wants “a seat at the table,” meaning its leaders are getting invited to major decision-making meetings with a revenue focus. Traditionally, HR leaders are not invited to such meetings, because oftentimes the more senior, bottom-line-focused executives do not think of them as people who add monetary value to the business.
Luckily for all of us, this is starting to evolve. You’re seeing it change at more in forward-thinking places such as Silicon Valley, but smaller upstart companies are coming to scale with HR periodically in one of those “seats at the table.”
But now there’s another problem: people that are interested in, and came up through HR, traditionally don’t have as strong of a business background. They may understand how to balance a budget, but they tend to not be as strong with fiscal responsibility to the business (and Board)… or how to prove their value.
As someone who has their MBA in an HR-focused program and after comparing notes with someone who did a different graduate program focused on HR at a top-three school, graduate learning for HR still isn’t focused on the right things. If we were asked to focus on revenue plays, compound growth, or even statistics and data analysis… everyone would break out in hives.
Point being: often HR people aren’t thinking along the same lines of, or using the same vocabulary as, more conventional business leaders or leaders in different departments.
In 2015, via a SHRM study, there was a 7-percent drop in how other executives viewed the role of HR in their companies. Even as more HR departments want that “seat at the table,” it seems as though HR’s reputation is moving in the wrong direction.