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The HR Forum

There’s a big gap between what HR believes it should be doing and what it is allowed to do. HR must break down five major barriers to get to where it needs to be in 2015. Here’s how to do it.

There is evidence that human resources is finally earning a seat in the C-suite in some companies. Yet far too many HR departments, even those that have reached the top, remain stuck in the habit of acting as a support function, focusing too much on day-to-day administration, with little ability to think strategically and less permission from the business to do so.

The problem is no secret to HR leaders. A survey conducted by the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California reveals that HR professionals see a yawning gap between what they believe HR’s role should be and what it actually is.  But they don’t necessarily have the time or encouragement to do anything about it.

Even companies that establish the position of chief human resources officer may be paying only lip service to the idea that people are their most valuable asset. It’s up to HR to maximize employees’ worth and, by extension, HR’s own worth. Simply having representation at the C-level isn’t enough to do that.

To leverage its seat at the top table, HR needs to tackle the bad habits that keep it thinking small. Here’s where to start.

Bad habit 1: Thinking short term

Bad habit 2: Clinging to old career concepts

Bad habit 3: Confusing training with learning

Bad habit 4: Being isolated from the business

Bad habit 5: Limiting HR’s constituency to full-time employees

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