HR needs more business training

HR
must have more business-specific training and spend less time on administration
if the function is to play a more central role in corporate affairs, according to the new senior
HR business partner at Barclays Private Bank.

Michael
Emmerson said HR professionals should have access to more businessrelated training to help
them understand the workings of companies:
"As a function,
we have to play a much more strategic role. In the past, it has been functional HR training but there is now a need to think more carefully
about how people are going to get this commercial awareness without proper
training."

Emmerson,
speaking at Penna’s HR professional relationship with the business forum, said
there was currently no academic solution to help HR get more involved in
business.

"There is no training available to
HR directors to get this commercial awareness. HR is an evolving function and
has only just caught up with what was happening in business a few years ago, but
now everything has changed so you always have to be learning," he said.

He
went on to say that more companies should look at allowing HR to pass on some
of the administrative burden to become more strategic and commercially aware: "The range of things that
HR does as a discipline is huge and the time available to do the strategic
stuff needs to be increased. At Barclays we have a team to do a lot of the
administrative stuff and that leaves more time for HR to become a business
partner."

By Ross Wigham

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