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Independence is our strength – covering the issues that directly impact on those with the duty of directing human resources

June 2019 – Issue 176

HR strategy & planning
HR’s “alignment with the business” was dealt a sharp blow by CIPD’s mid-2018 research, which percolated a headline in its own publication, People Management (13 Jun 2018.): “Only Half of Organisations use People Data to make Business Decisions”. There is definitely no shortage of data, so does HR lack the capability to turn analytics into a compelling and credible story? If customer data is considered the most critical element of competitiveness, surely people analytics in the workplace is too? Clearly, the HR/business alignment cannot be taken as read. Unquestionably, people hold the key to future competitiveness, but if the representing profession is adrift of the driving agendas, a position of influence cannot be assured? With strategy and planning increasingly reliant on knowledge sharing, artificial intelligence holds the key, but with HR still in the digital foothills, new fields of strategic influence, such as; Hyper-Personalised Leadership, are an insurmountable summit. If HR’s new mantras are; “fearless listening” and “challenging the status quo” then CIPD’s headline is a wake-up call that must be heeded urgently. The question that needs answering in this issue is; what needs to be put in place so that HR reaffirms its position in core business decision-making in a digitally-driven world?

Developing Leaders
It’s taken organisations a long time to realise, but the most effective leadership teams are the ones most representative of an increasingly-diverse society. The force of change is irresistible; the flattening workplace, the erosion of hierarchical frameworks, the meritocracy, collaborative working and knowledge sharing, and a culture that demands flexible, experiential career agility, not rigid career ladder rungs. It is this revolution that will resign a blinkered mindset of what leadership must represent which has dictated for generations. So how should businesses capitalise? How can all employees be given equal opportunity to train and develop in an environment that is fully-inclusive? And how do leaders prepare the path towards the most inclusive and diverse leadership teams, not through forced quotas or positive discrimination, but organically, in a fair and equal culture? As AI and robotics look set to reconfigure the workplace landscape, ethical and mindful leadership will be key to the stewards of future change.

Business Transformation
Such is the pace, businesses which react to change will, without question, fall behind those that cause disruption. This defining factor shines a new light on business transformation and places predictive analytics at the fulcrum of the future. Digital is setting both pace and direction, and it is relevant to every business in every sector, because it categorially promises disruption to markets and operations, and it demands that businesses are prescient to agile adaptation and reinvention, before they are forced to change to survive. No business should covet and protect the status quo, it’s a salient reminder that once-loved brands are long gone and forgotten, because they failed to transform in time. So how can businesses be mobilised to be a moving part of disruption, as opposed to a reactor and casualty of change? How do employers plan to ensure the right skills at the right time, in a constantly shifting landscape, and what are the critical elements of business planning in a state of constant disruption?

Employment Law
During our 43 year EU membership, some 40 thousand pieces of employment legislation were introduced, which has revolutionised the status of employment and the employee/employer relationship. Whatever happens beyond March 29th 2019, the necessity for employment law to support an ever-shifting workplace agenda is an absolute imperative. In 2019, there are, as always, numerous important incoming pieces of legislation that directly impact employers and employees. In this issue, we are looking for expert opinion on: How businesses can prepare for the end of free movement for EU workers. What is the scope of “settled status” and, for employers reliant on EU resourcing, what will be the likely restrictions? Brexit aside, there are new rules on executive pay, the gender pay gap and ethnicity pay reporting. Employers also need to be aware of the national minimum wage rate increase and must prepare for changes in statutory family and sick pay rates, whilst preparing for parental bereavement leave and pay. Pressingly too, IR35 is set to be extended to the private sector in 2020 and, in the same timeframe, there are changes to employer NIC treatment of termination payments. Additionally, there are also guidance consideration including; the requirement to publish family-friendly policies and a duty to consider whether roles can be carried out flexibly. All this and it is also expected that there will further legislation in response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. In the wake of continued workplace change, what could this mean for the future of employment and operations? As with all of the subjects we’re covering in this issue, your synopsis for articles that advise and guide our readers, will be gratefully received.

As for all the topics we are covering in this issue, your expertise and insight will be gratefully received in the form of briefs outlining your proposed articles.

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