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Confusion in the Executive Suite – Human Resource Management

Confusion in the Executive Suite – Human Resource Management

According to a study by management consulting firm Horvath, employee-related topics make up nearly half of board meetings. Pressure for action is growing, but implementation is lacking. In the majority of companies, more than 40 percent of board meetings are already covered by employee-related topics. The list of business areas discussed ranges from improving and communicating corporate culture to improving employer attractiveness to better organizational entrenchment of HR issues. This is the result of a survey conducted by the management consulting company Horváth among 170 decision-makers from large companies (with sales of more than 500 million euros) from the industrial and service sectors in the DACH region and the USA.

Almost all topics are urgent

The survey also made it clear that there are hot topics at every turn when it comes to personnel issues: Participants were originally supposed to identify a meaningful order of priorities in the 14 employee-related business areas that were queried about. However, all topics were rated as urgent by at least 85% of those surveyed, according to the study authors: “We were very surprised by this finding, as we not only surveyed senior managers from the HR field, but across different Jobs. Heiko Fink, partner and transformation expert at dHorváth. “Maybe we could have expanded the list of topics even further, and the priority would not have declined.”

It’s not just the long list of urgent HR issues that is a problem. What is even more worrying is that the majority of companies do not have a strategy to address this emergency. On average, according to the survey, solutions development projects are currently being implemented in only one out of three companies in the areas of activity surveyed. The implementation rate in none of them reaches 40 percent. Even board members complain that their company invests too little in HR issues (77 percent). “The study reveals that there is a great deal of uncertainty about how to systematically divide, prioritize and implement the huge topic of people,” Horvath expert Heiko Fink explained.

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Christina Petric-Lohr is responsible for the journal’s research and teaching division as well as recruitment and employer branding topics. She also writes and conducts research on transformation, change management, and leadership topics, and is responsible for editorial planning for various HR publications.