Basic instinct should remain at the top of the HR agenda

Is HR losing touch with its basic skills (Personnel Today Just the Job, 2 August)? Having been involved in HR for about 25 years – all of it in manufacturing/continuous process industries – I can honestly say that I dare not lose touch with the basic skills that I have gained over the years and that have taken me to a position of senior management.

Most companies I have worked for have been medium-sized traditional manufacturing units either unionised or non-unionised. The key for me has been the ability to communicate and engage with people at all levels of the business.

My influencing skills and the gravitas I have earned are a direct result of the gritty environments I have operated in (and continue to do so) and the knocks and scrapes that these bring. No textbook or strategic plan can provide this. You have to get down and get your hands dirty, but still be smart enough to wash them before you take your seat in the boardroom for biscuits and the wider business issues.

Margaret Rayment
HR advocate
Silberline

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