Last week we were all sat watching the turmoil unravel in the British banking system never expecting it to turn into such an unprecedented global issue. As many of us help our organisations deal with the impact of losing money in the Icelandic banking collapse, it seems slightly ironic that just a couple of weeks ago both Stephen and myself participated in a CIPD roundtable discussion with a range of HR Directors on the impact of the economic downturn. I doubt that either of us expected the national situation to be so fast moving at that time!
Difficult as current times may be, they do present opportunities for us. Something very dear to my heart is the value proposition of the HR function. How better can we display value in current times than prompting strategic debates at the highest levels in our organisations on the impact of the economic downturn.
Whilst this may usually be the domain of finance departments, I believe that HR has just as big a contribution to make to the debate. The impact on morale, engagement, mobility of staff, pension fund implications, impact of energy costs and commodity costs on balance sheets, the need to achieve greater efficiencies to name but a few – all have significant HR implications.
In my own organisation, I’ve prepared a discussion paper for Cabinet on the key issues for informal debate. I’m happy to share this with others if it would be helpful. Sharing knowledge is something else we should do more of – I’m a great believer in not reinventing the wheel.
Stephen is back next week so I will be handing back over to him.
In the meantime have a relaxing weekend!