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Is your HR team better than Google?

Helen Mayson

Google better than HR teams

New research reveals that 41% of managers think Google is better source of information than their own HR departments

The relationship between line managers and HR departments is becoming increasingly strained, with many HR teams suffering cuts that are increasing their time spent on day-to-day enquiries and reducing time for strategic thinking, says global management consultancy The Hay Group.

Their research, with 250 HR directors and line managers in the UK, shows that 68% of HRDs think dealing with enquiries from line managers takes up around a third of their time, while 38% believe their teams spend too long ‘hand-holding’, which prevents them from acting more strategically.

The majority (94%) of teams had seen cuts to the number of people in the department due to company cost-savings, while 50% of managers believe they don’t have the correct level of support they need from their HR teams.

David Smith, consultant at Hay Group comments: “At a time when HR departments are already stretched, many are struggling under the additional weight of frequent enquiries from managers – from questions about pay and recruitment to development and process.

“Building a stronger alliance with line managers is therefore a key concern for many HR Directors, as they strive to adopt a more strategic role in business.”

Almost half (4%) of line managers find that their HR team is slow to respond to requests and a further 40% feel that HR actively block them from making decisions themselves, slowing down their jobs. There were some strong feeling about the convoluted approach to recruitment and resource planning too, with 58% of managers feeling that processes in place in their organisations are inefficient.
 
As a result, 41% would rather open Google in their web browser to find the answer to their question than go to their HR partner.

 “HR policies provide a strong framework for managers and their employees to act in a way that supports the overall business strategy,” says Smith. “The challenge, as we can see from our research, is how to translate this meaningfully to the frontline without stifling or controlling.

“Activating the workforce by putting more information into the hands of managers is the answer to this challenge. By relieving the pressure on HR and harnessing new technology to give managers access to the information and support they require at their fingertips, HR will start to partner more effectively with managers across their business.”

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