Published by Alice Snell, on 06/02/2009
These are givens: workforce expenditures comprise the majority of expenses for many, even most, companies. And the Board of Directors is the most senior-level executive group addressing corporate operations and strategy.
Consider this troubling news: A survey conducted by Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. and the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business found:
Human Resources Executives Lack Representation on Boards
Although human resources are an increasingly important corporate asset, 78 percent of the respondents said that they have no HR experts on the board. Only 16 percent said their boards have a committee on human capital, while 75 percent said their boards have never considered having one.
In the context of current economic conditions, The Wall Street Journal article, Boards Are MIA for Workforce Decisions, further explains:
When asked whether the board receives information regarding human capital, the results at best are mixed. They get succession planning data for top management positions, but not about critical technical positions, or metrics on turnover, recruiting success and employee attitudes. Without these data, it is hard to imagine that directors can make informed decisions about how their organizations should deal with an economic downturn.Most boards have no members with a background in HR management. Thus, when it comes to answering key questions about the impact of a layoff, how to deal with survivors and whether the company is laying off the right people, most boards lack individuals who have expertise in talent management and workforce motivation.
Perhaps today’s talent-intensive organizations should revisit who’s on board?
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