Survey reveals HR is crucial to global markets

Companies which are still using outdated HR policies will fall at the first hurdle in the highly competitive global marketplace.

A survey of nearly 300 senior managers published this week urges firms to embrace the new ways of working or fail to meet the challenges posed by globalisation.

Industry consultancy the Bourton Group said flexibility is the watchword for these companies.

Bourton’s managing partner James Bentley said, "There is intense competition for good people and they are not going to stay with organisations which stick to rigid hierarchies and use moribund HR policies."

But whatever their worries on the exchange rate, 85 per cent of UK business leaders see globalisation as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Only a quarter of those surveyed believe they have enough staff who speak foreign languages and although a third admit they need more, they have no plans to address the issue. And the respondents admit that key skills will be difficult to retain as a more nomadic workforce evolves.

More than three-quarters of those surveyed expect growth to come from mergers or acquisitions, either globally or in Europe.

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