This article is featured in Michigan HR Connections Magazine.
As organizations see the increasing benefits of investing in human capital in
today’s post-recession candidate marketplace, senior Human Resources leaders are being held accountable for finding new ways to find and retain top performing talent, develop a company culture and strong employer brand, and track the analytics behind emerging people strategies and metrics.
While senior HR leaders are asked to juggle a multitude of shifting responsibilities, this expectation is not in keeping with the training and development opportunities provided to such leaders.
A report recently released by Korn Ferry found that more than half of organizations surveyed do not offer HR-specific leadership development programs. When these programs are offered, participants noted that the training was not as “rigorous” as what is provided to leadership within other functions in the organization.
In this way, senior HR leaders face an erroneous and dangerous assumption – that senior-level professionals reach a certain point in their growth and can develop no further. Because of this assumption, senior HR leaders plateau, and are thus not provided with further opportunities to expand their minds, talents, and skills, and pass along new ideas and visions to the team.
A lack of focus on training and development HR is not new, but is an issue that must be addressed in order to keep the function relevant in today’s technologically advanced industry. According to Workforce Magazine, 36% of organizations still have no budget in place for improving or sustaining their HR function at all.
What must be emphasized this year and moving forward is the need to provide senior HR leaders with the development programs and opportunities that are provided to other teams. While HR leadership has become more strategic in recent years, there is still an apparent gap in opportunities for training at this level.
This disconnect can be particularly challenging at a time when many organizations are retooling their HR functions, expecting HR leaders to contribute to data analysis, analytics, technological advances, and increasing globalization.
As more businesses invest in HR technology training – according to SHRM, HR technology system investment is expected to increase exponentially – organizations may benefit by pairing leadership development with these programs.
According to a recent report by SHRM, “technological savvy” is one of the top 18 core senior HR leadership competencies when surveying professionals across the globe regarding what they would like in a senior HR leader.
By training HR leaders in ongoing technological advances, such as social sharing tools, modern payroll systems, cloud data, mobile, and automation software, teams will be able to reskill for current and future HR advances from the top down. Modernizing these core HR technologies through senior leadership training can streamline service delivery for the entire organization.
It is crucial that those responsible for overseeing the support and development of employees are sufficiently trained in today’s tools and technologies necessary to successfully do so.