HR Insights 2 min

The State of Strategic HR [INFOGRAPHIC]

January 12, 2016

A recent survey identifies what is preventing us from mastering strategic HR

2015 was a big year for the concept of Strategic HR. We discussed strategic HR like never before, and it has crept into the forefront for more businesses now than ever before. In short, companies are grasping the concept of strategic HR and desiring to implement it into their business. They just aren’t doing it … yet.

According to a BambooHR survey of more than 1000 current business leaders (HR and non-HR), the majority of respondents feel that it is important to implement strategic HR practices. And yet, more than 72 percent of HR professionals revise and adapt their HR strategy reactively instead of proactively, indicating a significant lack of strategic HR.

And consider this: Only 27 percent of HR professionals work with the corporate board on business strategy. For strategic HR to take a foothold in a company’s ongoing efforts, it is reasonable to believe that their strategic efforts must match up with the overarching strategic efforts of their company—which come from the top.

So, what, exactly, is keeping HR professionals from proactively creating strategies to support long-term business goals and outcomes (besides not working with the corporate board)? Among other things, a lack of resources (e.g. budget and tools) is apparently a serious obstacle.

Here’s the bad news. Only 18 percent of HR professionals say that the executives in their organizations provide HR with the complete support they need to be effectively strategic. This is likely an indication of low buy-in, but it might also hint at other problems. Here are the resources HR professionals believe they need more of:

HR resources

Here’s the good news. Management agrees they aren’t providing HR with the support and resources they need to be strategic. Only 13 percent of non-HR management agrees that HR is given all the support they need. This confession indicates that, budget-willing, they are open to increasing HR resources.

Frequently, business leaders don’t think of HR as a strategic partner because they don’t yet act like one; and they don’t act like one because the company leaders don’t give them the resources to be able to; it’s essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy. A great groundskeeper can’t be expected to beautify a lawn when all they have is a pair of old-fashioned hand shears.

And so it is with HR. Without the necessary resources, HR will be stuck between wanting to master strategic HR and actually mastering strategic HR. But since executives recognize they aren’t doing enough, the time to ask for (and ultimately receive) more resources is now. 2015 was the year strategic HR came to the forefront of business leader’s minds. 2016 can be the year they do something about it!

The following infographic goes over the survey findings in detail, including the resource shortage and other roadblocks standing between HR and strategic HR. Enjoy!


Download the PDF here.

HR insights delivered to your inbox.

Get caught up every month on all things HR. Don't worry, we promise we won't spam you.

Bryson Kearl

Bryson Kearl is an HR content creator at BambooHR. His role enables him to study HR's impact on organizations, and he is a diehard believer in the vital role HR plays in building company culture to achieve overarching business objectives.