Annual HR Directors' Retreat: Strategic Human Resource Management: Back to the future with people management?

Past HR Network Event

23-24 May 2019

Event resources

View the slides (for HR Network members)


Session 1: Is Strategic Human Resource Management worth taking seriously?
David Guest

Session 2: The HR Division's Strategic Plan at LSE
Indi Seehra

Session 3: Health and Wellbeing: Employers and Delivery
Dame Carol Black

Session 4: Employee engagement - now more than ever
Nita Clarke

Strategic Human Resource and People Management
Duncan Brown

Related reading 

Strategic Human Resource Management in Practice: Case Studies and Conclusions - from HRM Strategy to Strategic People Management
Brown D, Hirsh W, Reilly P

Strategic Human Resource Management: Back to the future?
Armstrong M, Brown D

Engaging for success: enhancing performance through employee engagement (report available to download further down linked page)
MacLeod D, Clarke N

Britain's healthiest workplace (as discussed by Dame Carol Black)


Duncan Brown, Head of HR Consultancy, Institute for Employment Studies

Zofia Bajorek, Research Fellow, Institute for Employment Studies


Ed Griffin, Director of HR Consultancy & Research, Institute for Employment Studies

Professor Dame Carol Black, Principal of Newnham College, University of Cambridge

Nita Clarke OBE, Director, Involvement and Participation Association (IPA)

David Guest, Emeritus Professor of Organisational Psychology & HRM

Indi Seehra, Director of Human Resources, London School of Economics and Political Science

Event details

Thirty years ago, North American ideas of HRM strategy first crossed the Atlantic and the HR nomenclature was rapidly adopted, as the more boardroom-influencing advance from personnel management. But the two major suspicions with these ideas ever since then, amongst Academics, executives and trade unions, have been whether such ideas can actually be put into practice, or worse, whether they are just a cover for employee exploitation.

So today, after the post-financial-crash growth of zero hours contracts, pension and training cuts and what has been described as the worst decade on pay for 200 years, how should we interpret the increasing adoption of the People Management title for the function? Is employee wellbeing (where the profession started as the Institute of Welfare Workers, at a similar time of real pay decline) and the ‘employee experience’ really at the heart of contemporary models and methods for improving organisational performance through employee engagement? Do major skill and talent shortages represent major opportunities or major problems for the function? What does being strategic really mean in this technology-driven fast-moving world where speed and agility seem more important than long-term plans and projects?

With the latest academic research summarised, including our own study with CIPD, some excellent and varied case studies and lots of discussion and debate, our retreat aimed to stimulate delegates' minds and subsequently influence their policies and practices.