Does who HR reports to in the organization have a lot of meaning? Many people think it does, and here's what one of my readers thinks it means. Take a look and let's talk after the jump:
--HR reports to COO: people are our building blocks; urgent resource needs for delivery of product or service, tactical.
--HR reports to CFO: people are our biggest expense; headcount is a dirty word, bottom-line.
--HR reports to GC: people are our biggest liability; why-we-can’t policy administration, risk aversion.
I like the list - a lot. But it's not absolute - one of the best direct reporting relationships and the most support I ever had was when I reported to a CFO. I'd venture a guess to say that the reporting relationship that's set up has more to do with the value the CEO places on HR than it does how the entire org views HR. After all, reporting to a COO of CFO doesn't have to be a death sentence for HR - you can do cool things and having access to the guy/gal who controls the purse strings (CFO) can't be all bad, right?
One thing I totally agree with is the General Counsel thing. Let's get out there and limit some risk, people! That's probably not fair, but it seems like the least progressive place to be...
So I leave you with this question - would you rather report to a CEO who goes through the motions or a COO or CFO who gets it and is fully engaged? Hit me in the comments with what you think.