UK backs policy words with action

UK employers are more likely to have written HR strategies than most of
their European counterparts, research shows.

Current UK levels of formal strategy development compare favourably with
European counterparts, according to a survey by Cranet.

The leaders in developing formal HR strategies include Sweden, the
Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, and the UK (see chart).

Well below average are Germany and Austria, with only three out of every 10
workplaces having written HR strategies.

HR strategy development involves a combination of developing a written HR
strategy in line with the corporate strategy, as well as developing specific HR

Looking back over the last decade, UK organisations have seen the level of
written mission statements steadily rise to 83 per cent.

However, using these figures as a benchmark, it is evident with only 61 per
cent of UK organisations having a written HR strategy that they have not
embraced this element of formal strategy development to the same extent.

A further formalisation of HR strategy is the development of specific
policy, which in turn acts as formal guidelines for practice.

In the UK, the areas most commonly addressed with policy are equal
opportunity/diversity at 88 per cent and training and development at 83 per
cent, followed by recruitment and selection reaching 77 per cent.

This should be particularly encouraging to those organisations working to
further the management of diversity in UK workplaces, which have generally
argued that formalisation is the first step towards progress.

In comparison to the UK, organisations in other European countries are
generally less likely to develop written policies for HR.

However, specific leaders in policy writing include the Netherlands, with
the highest proportion of organisations with written HR policies for pay and
recruitment, and Sweden for equal opportunities.

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