The Counsellor: HR head should justify L&D budget for HR team
I am the L&D head and we are currently in the process of allocating the L&D budget for the new FY. While allocations have been made for all the functions, as in each year, there have been no allocations for the L&D needs of the HR team. I know there is a need to focus on L&D of the HR team, especially with the changes taking place in the HR industry and in HR’s role in business. However, I am not able to convey the same to my management. Please advise me on how I can put forward the right proposal to my management to see this need? Is there a way I can justify the business implication for the same, and also what is an approximate amount per person that can cater to such a need?
First and foremost is that, is your belief shared by the HR head of the company? Does he/she also believe the need for a separate budget for the HR team’s development? The budgets are created to serve specific business needs. If your HR team has developmental needs, these needs have to be spelt out, the competency gaps have to be identified and the management has to believe that appropriate developmental interventions have to be planned for this team. As head of L&D, are you well connected with the HR head, and have you jointly articulated the current needs, the gaps that need to be bridged and the futuristic development that must happen. All this has to be aligned to the company’s business plans.
Let us get it right. The responsibility and accountability to develop the HR team is that of the Head of HR of the company. As L&D head, your role is to facilitate and support this process and ensure things get done as expected. Championing for the budget to develop the HR team is therefore the responsibility of the HR head. If you are not able to convey to the management the need for separate allocation of the budget, this could be due to your assumptions of the development needs being wrong or may be the budget truly does not exist and therefore, less critical items as per the judgment of the leadership will get least of the priority. You just need a strong business case.
Your other question: what should be the approximate amount per person? There is no formula or thumb rule for this. It all depends on what the current capabilities of the HR team are and what are the gaps. These are determined by current performance levels as well as future expectations of the management as per the business plans. Can these gaps be bridged through internal development efforts or by hiring the right people from outside? Multiple factors such as quantum (volume) and the quality of the developmental solutions that are crucial for business success, will be the determinant of the budgetary needs.
Vivek is a Senior HR professional with over 35 years of experience, ranging several leadership positions, in India and abroad. He leads his consulting practice since 2003 and presently works as a Strategic HR Advisor to Reliance Industries, and is also an independent Director on the Board of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. Prior to this, he was based at Singapore for several years where he was Director HR - Operations at Hewlett Packard for the Asia Pacific Region.
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