Public-sector HR valued by leaders

Local government HR professionals feel respected by leaders

Public-sector HR teams are held in high regard by their organisations’ leaders who listen to and act on their advice, according to new research.

HR in the Public Sector, the first annual HR trends survey conducted by the Public Service People Managers’ Association (PPMA), found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of public-sector HR professionals surveyed said their input was valued by leaders in their organisation.

Two-thirds (67%) said their leadership teams saw HR practitioners as strategic partners and HR strategy is developed by a head or director of HR in nine out of 10 organisations.

The HR strategy for the next two years has already been set in 47% of organisations while 38% are currently putting a strategy in place.

But HR practitioners in the public sector did voice concerns over a lack of resources. Around half of those surveyed said that either the size of the HR budget (49%) or the HR team (51%) was inadequate to do the job and 70% expected the HR budget to fall in the year ahead.

Four in ten (42%) said they expected to move to a shared-services model with other councils and around a third (35%) said they would be supporting other public bodies.

PPMA president Barry Pirie said: “It is fitting that at the end of the 40th year of the PPMA, people managers in the public sector are held in such high esteem by leaders and more widely within their organisations.

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“Our research provides clear evidence that today HR and OD professionals are the change-makers who are playing a critical role in helping public-sector organisations reshape and adapt for the future.”

But Pirie warned there was still work to be done. “As resources shrink and the nature of public-sector organisations change, HR needs to change to meet new and emerging needs. This means being creative and proactive in demonstrating how we can do things differently and provide the same high-quality leadership and support around the way we manage our people.”

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