Hello PPMA members and friends

In the last two years I’ve seen the best of our HR/OD profession in supporting our organisations to manage and overcome the challenges thrown at us by the Covid 19 pandemic. How we have found innovative ways to engage our workforces and keep them focussed on producing and delivering in support of the communities and people that as public service organisations we serve.

As we move forward, we must get used to living with COVID-19 and our leaders are starting to look beyond safeguarding lives and livelihoods to set their sights on a more profound challenge: bettering them. We need to build on what we have already achieved and focus on enabling our organisations to achieve growth, sustainability and inclusion.

These 3 elements can be viewed from the perspective of individuals, so developing a growth mindset and learning organisation, whilst facilitating a sustainable model of supportive wellbeing to aid individuals and ensure that equity and inclusion is embedded in the culture and values of what we do.

However, they can also be viewed from a wider organisational perspective with a focus on what our workforces need to achieve to deliver for the communities and people we serve. So, creating a growth mindset and learning organisation needs to be focussed on developing the skills that the organisation needs going forward and ensuring performance outputs/outcomes are measured, monitored and assessed. We know that the world of work is constantly changing and that digital innovations mean that the nature of many jobs and roles will change or disappear and that many people will need to develop new skills if they are to remain employed and engaged, so we need to consider sustainability of our workforce through proper workforce planning based on data and evidence to identify the organisational skills and jobs and structures need for delivery.

Also, the way in which work is organised taking account of recent approaches to agile/flexible working where our organisations have embraced a stronger emphasis on work-life balance and different approaches to how, when and where work is done based on individual/team/service approaches to get the most effective and productive work, as opposed to one size fits all approaches that may have been taken in the past.

Interwoven with these key organisational props must be a focus on inclusion so that we are promulgating understanding and appreciation of difference and finding ways to address inequality through equitable opportunity and development and stimulation of inclusive cultures.

Finally, it is also possible to broaden out these concepts of growth, sustainability and inclusion into wider societal drivers that focus on growth of economies and jobs, providing sustainable systems of infrastructure, housing, transport etc. that support healthy living and environmental sustainability; and inclusion through the narrowing of inequalities among genders, ages, ethnicities, family backgrounds by health, living standards and opportunities for work/development.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic so why not leave a comment.

Steve Davies, PPMA President