HR should move to the frontline for more impact

HR
should move away from the centre of business and spend more time at the
frontline to increase it’s effectiveness, one of the UK’s top enterpreneurs
claims.

Tim
Waterstone, speaking at Personnel Today’s HR Directors Club at the Tower of
London, said there was nothing more important than HR, but the function should
be ‘out there with the people doing the job’, not bogged down in bureaucracy.

The
founder of Waterstone’s bookshops said HR should be decentralised to develop
managers and staff, and to ensure employees are given responsibility and are
excited by their jobs.

"You
should make it clear to staff that working life can be an extraordinary
experience," he said. "I believe intensely it is a privilege to
empower people to take responsibility."

He
warned that leadership should be characterised by lightness of touch to avoid
staff being over-managed and under-led, and said a secure financial system
would protect the company and its workers, while still encouraging them to
innovate.

He
added that Waterstone’s had only ever needed to place one recruitment advert,
as its reputation for having an intense desire to win attracted staff.

The
Personnel Today HR Directors Club is supported by six organisations offering
services to the HR profession: Arinso, DBM, DDI, PricewaterhouseCoopers,
PeopleSoft and Xchanging.

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