Business understanding is starting point for progress

HR’s credibility has to start with a clear demonstration and a deep understanding of the business and a willingness to contribute to business decisions – not just to decisions about people.

Of course, the basic services – such as pay, absence, recruitment and avoiding tribunals – must be robust and effective, or the HR team will always be seen in a negative light. This can be particularly true in larger organisations, many of which are changing the way HR services are delivered, and placing greater responsibility on the line to manage such issues.

In such instances, HR can enhance its reputation by taking a strategic approach, ensuring the organisation’s people practices help to improve – not hinder – organisational performance by providing relevant workforce information (for example, on skills or staff turnover) to assist in strategic decision-making.

Ian Wilder
Corporate Investors in People project manager, Ministry of Defence

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