CIPD 2013: HR at an inflection point, says Peter Cheese

HR needs a new way of thinking to shape the business agenda of the future, according to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) chief executive Peter Cheese.

Opening the institute’s centenary conference in Manchester, Cheese told 1,600 delegates that the profession must understand the future HR operating models in order to create better organisations for the future: “The world of business is transforming. The recession and the banking crisis that triggered it, combined with a multitude of high-profile crises in organisations across the public and private sectors, have changed the game.

“The questions that business leaders in both the public and private sector and in all sizes of organisations are looking to answer are those of people management and development: how to restore trust; build employee engagement; tackle skills shortages; and help solve economic and societal problems like youth unemployment and issues surrounding fairness in pay and reward,” he said.

Cheese explained how the CIPD is developing a framework for HR that would draw on both data and science to help provide insights on the trends that are shaping organisations. He wants HR professionals to be armed with insights to give them the confidence to innovate, underpinned by a deep understanding of people, values and ethics.

He said: “It is in many ways simple – relying on a deep understanding of the changing real-world context in which we operate; informed by a real understanding of the science that shapes the inner behaviours, motivations and learning of the people we employ.”

HR must work closely with other business disciplines to provide better measurement and insight in order to improve performance and outcomes, Cheese told the conference, adding: “We’ll be working to develop those four core elements of our model over the next year, building on discussions we’ve already started with leaders in our profession and thought leaders beyond it, here in the UK and around the world.

“This will include working with HR thinker Dave Ulrich on a piece of work that will go ‘beyond Ulrich’.

“Get this right, and we truly can become the champions of better work and working lives, benefiting not just individuals and organisations, but also the economies and society in which we operate.”

The CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition takes place today and tomorrow in Manchester.

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