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

Thu 23 May 2019 18:30
The Old Ship Hotel, Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 1NR


At this year’s Retreat we will be considering and debating the current state and future of HR management and the HR function.


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 should, we hope, stimulate your minds and your subsequent policies and practices.