One of the most vexed questions for HR practitioners is how to prove value added through the HR contribution. Here, Professor Andrew Mayo challenges the assumption that tying HR’s contribution exclusively to bottom line outcomes is either desirable or feasible. He proposes instead an alternative, more realistic way of assessing value added by HR/Training activity to other strategic outcomes for the organisation.

One of the most vexed questions for HR practitioners is how to prove value added through the HR contribution. Here, Professor Andrew Mayo challenges the assumption that tying HR’s contribution exclusively to bottom line outcomes is either desirable or feasible. He proposes instead an alternative, more realistic way of assessing value added by HR/Training activity to other strategic outcomes for the organisation.

It is nearly 20 years since Dave Ulrich introduced the concept of HR as a “strategic partner” with the business in which it was placed. Much confusion has arisen since in the interpretation of the word “strategic”, but it has been embraced by HR functions around the world as something about making a positive contribution to the organisation, something beyond providing an administrative and compliance service. Yet for many, it is a struggle to demonstrate visible and credible links between HR practices or initiatives and measurable business benefit.

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