Celebrating the People Profession

by | 8 May 2023 | HR, Unleashing You

As people professionals we know we can have a positive impact on the experience employees have at work, and the collective impact employees have on organisational performance and outcomes. 

Changes in the People Profession

Those I have met, and worked with over many years, have shared the desire to bring about positive changes, often in challenging circumstances, and with paradoxes between desired routes and outcomes.

International HR Day on 20 May 2023 is the opportunity to recognise the profession, reflect and look forward.  I have seen many changes in the profession with my first roles in ‘personnel’, which then became ‘human resources’, and more recently we are seeing the emergence of the term ‘human capital’.  This is alongside titles that include terms like ‘people and culture’.   I got used to HR, and whilst I see the logic behind the term human capital, to me people, each as a unique individual, are so much more than ‘capital’ and is not a term I am likely to embrace

International HR Day 2023

International HR Day 2023 is about ‘Shaping the New Future’ with the recognition that the world of work is changing more rapidly now than ever before and the mix of demands, expectations, and outcomes gets ever more complex.

I expect the four key topics align with the experience of many in the profession:

  • Building a culture of trust
  • Equality, diversity, and inclusion
  • Wellbeing
  • Sustainable work

Each of these areas have distinct areas of focus but also many overlaps (if you were trying to draw this it would be a very complex matrix!) and show the breadth of knowledge we need to develop to be effective.  This is both a challenge and an opportunity.

Trust is imperative in any effective relationship; this includes our relationships at work and with our employing organisation.  It is necessary to feel psychologically safe, we want to see the organisation living its values, and leaders demonstrating authenticity, integrity and following up on words with aligned actions.  It is also linked to the effectiveness of employee voice and feeling able to speak up.  As people professionals we can influence and shape many of these elements.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion must be integral to every aspect of an organisation.  Going beyond the vital drive for real equality as the experience of everyone; to appreciating the richness and importance of diversity; with every person feeling valued and able to show up as their authentic self.  For many organisations there is a long way to go on this theme.

Wellbeing has risen up the list of strategic priorities in recent years.  As my area of particular interest it is understanding that all aspects of our health will influence how we show up at work, how we perform at work, and collectively organisational outcomes.  Every touch point of our experience at work influences our wellbeing. It is so much more than the ‘traditional’ view of wellbeing.  The other themes are examples of factors with the ability to have a positive or negative influence of our wellbeing.

Sustainable work is a more recent area to attract attention, alongside wider societal interest in sustainability.  In organisations it means not having a negative impact on people, the environment or wider society.  In the world of work it means we are developing people with the skills and knowledge that can adapt to the ever changing world of work.

Looking to the future

It is encouraging that the 2022 CIPD People Profession Survey found participants believed they made a positive contribution to their organisation, with clear awareness of the many opportunities to make an impact strategically. 

It is also important when considering these themes to understand what makes a good day at work will be unique for each of us. This again creates both challenge and opportunity. A career in the people profession is never going to be an easy career choice, but is a rewarding one.

To explore how coaching will help you develop your competence and confidence to deliver on this complex agenda please get in touch.

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