Most HR professionals simply do not understand the concept of organisational strategy, according to Vicky Wright, president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
“There’s a big issue about whether the HR function can deliver on strategy. Why is it that a lot of HR people just don’t seem to get it [strategy]?” Wright asked delegates at the CIPD’s annual conference.
“Strategy is a mix of the creative and the analytical. It’s about the big picture and the numbers. We’ve got to be able to look at the numbers these days, not just the people,” she said.
Neil Roden, group HR director at Royal Bank of Scotland, said HR needed to be able to cope better with conflict management to get its issues on the agenda.
“You have to be able to tell your CEO that something is a bad idea and explain why,” he said. “You have to be happy with conflict and be able to have a violent disagreement with managers. If you’re not willing to engage with conflict, you’re going to be compliant.”
Roden said HR had to be able to use organisational data more effectively and convey it in a clear and concise way. “I do not understand HR’s phobia about data. We can use data to get HR issues on the agenda,” he added.