Survey: HR Undergoing Major Changes

January 10, 2006 ( - Nearly all of the HR departments at more than 100 of the nation's large corporations are undergoing change in operations, adding self-service technology, or adding personnel development initiatives.

A news release from Fidelity Investments, which also offers a variety of human resources services, said that its recent survey found that 97% of HR units were remaking fundamental parts of themselves. Fidelity said that by making the changes, HR executives reported that they were much more likely to be able to influence corporate strategy rather than simply being an administrative recordkeeper.

“It is well understood that there is a direct correlation between employee behavior, customer actions and business results,” said Guy Patton, president, Fidelity Human Resource Services, in the news release. “As such, an increasing number of HR organizations are being asked to help boost corporate performance.”

According to the Fidelity study, over the last two years:

  • 86% of survey respondents said they are in the process of completing, or have completed, improvements or upgrades to their HR operations by centralizing, standardizing or upgrading HR processes or systems
  • 75% indicated that they have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, self-service HR technologies, by either insourcing or outsourcing benefits or HR administration
  • 82% reported working on rolling out talent management initiatives, such as succession, retention and/or career planning.

An additional 70% reported managing integration efforts related to mergers and/or acquisitions, while 34% indicated that they had been working on implementation of global workforce plans to facilitate managing multi-cultural issues or global compensation and benefits.

Despite the often significant challenges, however, the majority of HR executives (90%) reported that improving or upgrading HR operations brought value to their companies. An additional 85% advocated the implementation of self-service HR

technology, and a smaller number (68%) reported that talent planning initiatives are providing solid return on investment.

The survey was conducted for Fidelity Investments by Richard Day Research, Inc. of Evanston, Illinois. Data was collected between September 6, 2005 and October 14, 2005 via a phone and/or e-mail questionnaire sent to large, US companies with more than 10,000 employees.