Letters

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Haveyou got an opinion on a global HR matter? Thene-mail your comments and views to the editor at: [email protected] issue of globalhr with its focus on the implications of a globalrecession for HR made me reflect on my experience of working on Richmond EventsHR Forums on board Oriana (UK) and the QE2 (US) earlier in the summer.Themain theme of both events was the globalisation of HR from both a US and UK perspective.Before boarding the QE2 in New York, Oscar Wilde’s comments regarding thedifferences between the two cultures sharing a common language but notunderstanding, came to mind.Onwriting up the notes following both events it seems remarkable to me that, infact, the similarities between HR in the US and UK, particularly in terms ofglobalisation, were striking.Thekey business issue for multi-national businesses, particularly in downturns inthe economy, is how to maintain competitive advantage by cost cutting but atthe same time increasing quality of output.  Forglobal HR, as with other business functions like marketing, the trick iskeeping the processes global but allowing national difference in areas where itis vital for business growth.Myobservations are that HR processes, particularly where they are “e”capable, are gaining ground often in partnership with companies such asStepStone. Other global HR issues such as; the global executive (that isrecruitment and retention issues), succession planning, leadership in newmarkets, implications of skills needs of business and work-life aspirations ofemployees, to name but a few critical HR business issues, are done in a very adhoc way or do not even have a strategic HR global approach.Itseems to me we need to balance more carefully the tempting e-HR capabilitieswith a more strategic approach to how the other HR issues mentioned above,interlace with “e” processes.PeterBarton, Managing Partner, People At Work Group, London, UKOnboard Iam rather afraid that Peter Hall answered his own question as to why there arenot many HR board directors, in his leader column that appeared in theSeptember issue.Inthe universe postulated by him, human resources knows the people better thananyone else, having taken them on, developed them and planned their futures.Line management, whom some may consider the correct owners and drivers ofemployee careers, presumably are sidelined.Havingthus usurped and alienated their peer management colleagues, HR then believesthat it will be welcomed to spend more time in the marketing or  operating departments – learning or givingthe benefit of its commercial expertise.Analternative perspective is that there are a limited number of meaningful thingsthat HR can contribute to business, and they don’t necessarily warrant having apermanent individual presence for more than a couple of years, and certainlynot a seat on the board. Try canvassing some directors and see how clearly theysee the role of HR in their own organisations!DenisW Barnard, CFOHr means business, London, UK LettersOn 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img

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