Building a Profession for the Future #cipdnap15

visual minutes

I’m at the CIPD Northern Area Partnership conference.

Every year, eight branches from the North of England get together and host a two-day event, organised entirely by volunteers.  There is usually a great line up of speakers, a wide range of workshops to choose from and, my own particular conference essential, quality sweets at the exhibition stands.  If that isn’t enough to tempt you to a future CIPD NAP, we also have a gala dinner in which there is wine and dancing.  And wine.

This year, our theme was ‘Creating Amazing Workplaces’.  On Saturday, Peter Cheese is addressing the conference, talking about building a profession for the future.  So here is my live blogged summary of what he had to say:

There are key themes shaping the future of work. Economic change. Technology and digital. Workforce and demographics. Different ideas about work and life and balance. Different ideas about who is a leader and a role model. New norms arising in the world of work.

At the same time, Scientific Management is alive and well.  Low paid work that lacks empowerment and purpose. Jobs that lack meaning. We are still using old models at work like the change curve and dated methods of recruiting.  We still have policies telling everyone what to do like they are children not adults. It is time for change. It is time to challenge our fundamental ideas about what work is about.

Where is the HR role in all of this change? Simply, it is an opportunity for us.  We have to drive value from HR.  In most organisations the cost of HR 1-3% of cost base, but we still find ourselves trying to reduce or justify the cost of HR.

It is time to go back to our roots, the very heart of HR: people. We talk of neuroscience and positive psychology and wellbeing. Understanding human and organisational behaviour.  How we make decisions and judgements. These subjects are gaining more interest and prominence. The truth is we have known some of this stuff for decades – we just haven’t acted upon it.  We certainly have known this stuff in our profession – this is after all where the CIPD began.

This is all the stuff that HR needs to do, think about, prepare for.

We need a profession for the future. This includes a base of knowledge, competencies and capabilities that HR professionals need to have. We need to keep our skills current and invest in ourselves. We need standards, metrics, career growth, learning, qualifications and recognition.  We need to build stronger HR functions.

To be a HR professional, it is all about identity, being socially and ethically responsibility, commitment, and situational judgement. We must continue to build our knowledge and put our imprint on all of these new ideas like neuroscience in order to fulfil our purpose: to champion better work and better working lives. There can be no bigger agenda than that.

Peter then quotes Gandhi. We need to be the change that we want to see.

It is time to go back to our roots.

You can find more blogs from the conference on our dedicated event blog or from event blogger Emma Browes.

If you’d like to come along to the NAP conference next year, follow the twitter account for more details: @CIPD_NAP

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