Thought leaders plan HR’s future at Personnel Today HR Directors Club event

What will the HR profession look like in the year 2020? What key skills will be needed by practitioners? Will the HR function still exist in a recognisable form?

The Personnel Today HR Directors Club is holding a thought leadership dinner on 5 June on this subject. The event will give leading HR directors the chance to contemplate what the future holds for the profession.

To kick off the debate, Personnel Today asked leading HR professionals how they think 2020 HR will look.

Sarah Ward, group talent development leader, Royal & SunAlliance

“By 2020, HR will have transformed from a function into an essential leadership capability that can feature strongly on any credible leader’s CV. Operational and transactional HR will be managed through greater use of self-serve.

“HR leaders will have to demonstrate longer-term thinking, with significantly more board presence. HR will play an increasing role in the international workspace, and this will require increased agility and open-mindedness in how we work across boundaries to enable people to be ‘fabulous’ in their roles.”

Jayne Lewis, head of people strategy and design, Royal Mail Letters

“HR’s role will be enabling business transformation and changing the way people and organisations work.

“HR professionals will be proficient at understanding and partnering with the business – initiating, driving and facilitating change. HR will not be involved in transactional processes – these will be managed in the line or outsourced. The day-to-day focus will be on increasing productivity and performance coaching and development and effective resource planning and developing ways of attracting and retaining key talent.”

David Evans, head of HR, EDF Energy

“HR has extended into the world of ‘citizen leadership’, due to the wider influence of Europe, the diverse nature and mobility of its workers, and the [changing] legal and regulatory framework.

“HR’s brief will be extended to include sustainability, corporate responsibility, human rights and the need to compete for skills on a world stage.

“There will be more employment legislation, revisions and amendments to existing laws, creating an opportunity for HR to provide value for money by offering advice that is on a par with employment lawyers.”

The ‘2020 Vision for HR’ event takes place on 5 June at London Zoo in Regent’s Park.

Workshop will evaluate strategic role of HR directors and how to expand influence

The next Personnel Today HR Directors Club workshop, in association with HR services supplier ADP, will examine the sector’s strategic objectives with reference to the Ulrich evolution of HR model.

The workshop will explore how HR can move from its current position to one of more influence and respect, and will give tips on how to overcome obstacles.

Martin Sawkins, HR director at the AA, will give first-hand insight into how HR has effectively achieved recognition and status within his organisation.

The regional event takes place on 17 May from 6-9pm at the Lowry Gallery in Manchester.

Smoking ban workshop

A workshop in June is relevant for all HR directors grappling with the no-smoking legislation due to come into effect on 1 July.

‘Puffed out: What the smoking ban means for HR’, run in association with law firm Hammonds, is about the legal and practical obligations of the new law.

It will outline the obligations on employers and provide practical guidance on implementing changes, including lessons from the Scottish experience, and advise on how to deal with employees who are resistant to the changes.

The event takes place on the evening of 14 June at the RAC Club in London.

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