As organisations grapple with a changing economy, HR needs to support organisations to act responsibly, deliver purposeful work, and be transparent about their views and aims, CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese has said.
Opening this week’s CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE) in Manchester, Cheese said there is an opportunity for HR to contribute to responsible business agendas and to drive the idea of priciples-driven and purpose-led organisations.
He highlighted the recent CIPD people profession survey that found 73% of HR professionals felt they contribute postiviely to their organisaitons’ performance.
“But what about the other 27%?” Cheese said. “We know that we’re at a critical juncture where we need to understand business performance.”
He said that HR needed to work collaboratively with other functions, and should champion the benefits that flexible working and greater inclusion can have on business performance.
The HR profession
He said the recruitment and retention crisis has forced HR to think more long term and consider candidates’ changing preferences.
“[The skills crisis] is not going to go away, because of the nature of the skills we need in our jobs is changing at a rapid pace,” he said, referencing the impact that automation has had on the economy.
He said that economic and politcal uncertainty, the war in Ukraine, Brexit and labour market challenges meant that buisnesses were operating in extraordinatory times.
CIPD ACE 2022 keynote speaker ITV’s political editor Robert Peston said the current “chaos” was unlike anything that many professsionals have ever lived through.
He said the UK is likely to see a “shallow recession” for at least two years, where any economic growth is likely to be limited.
“Inflation is a cancer and it is important that we get it out of the system,“ Peston said.
“My current assumption is that [inflation] is going to be more like 4 or 5%, rather than the 2% than the Bank of England currently expects.
My current assumption is that [inflation] is going to be more like 4 or 5%, rather than the 2% than the Bank of England currently expects” – Robert Peston, ITV political editor
“I wouldn’t assume that it’s going to be back to 2% in a couple of years…We should not underestimate that its going to be a tough time in the meantime.”
Peston added that the UK is unlikely to see a deep recession. “I think it would broadly feel like we’re bumping along with no growth…But there is always a recoveryand those businesses that do best are those who have invested in people, kit, and operations.”
Peston warned that any changes to employment law promised by the government could potentially be shelved as governments tend to “live hand to mouth” during times of chaos and uncertainty.
CIPD is set to launch its new code of conduct and ethics, which Cheese said was the “absolute bedrock”, along with its profession map, to what the CIPD understands the HR profession to look like.
It has also recently launched the CIPD Trust, which offers support for those from disadvantaged backgrounds to access work.