Your IT policy is ‘chasing away’ top talent, HR directors warned


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The biggest issue HR professionals face is their organisation’s IT policy, which risks driving away top talent, author and futurist Graeme Codrington said yesterday.

Speaking at the HR Directors Business Summit in Birmingham, Codrington told delegates: “The biggest issue you face is your company’s IT policy. It is going to chase your talented people away when the economy picks up.”

Codrington cited issues such as forcing people to use certain brands of phone or computer, refusing to let them bring their own devices to work due to security concerns and blocking staff from social networks like Facebook and Twitter. He predicted employees would become increasingly likely to leave for other companies due to these policies. 

“HR needs to step into the IT space and take control of IT,” he said. “IT is a service as much as HR is, so speak to the IT department.”

Codrington also urged delegates to become more proactive in recognising the forces disrupting the world of work. “Stop being reactive,” he said. “Understand the forces disrupting your industry so you can preempt the people requests of your senior leaders.”

He added that HR directors and managers should devote at least five minutes of their team meetings to discussing changes and possible disruptive forces. He said: “Ask: ‘what’s changing? What are the new rules? And how do we respond?’”

According to Codrington, the five forces changing the world of work are: technology, institutional change, demographics, environment and ethics, and shifting social values (creating the acronym TIDES). 

Embrace flexible working

Also speaking at the event was Jan Wood, HR director of office space provider Regus. She urged delegates to embrace technology and enable more flexible patterns of working.

“Flexible working is about achieving more in less time,” she said. “It’s making the most of the time people are productive.”

She warned against HR “dabbling” in approaches to flexible working, recommending a more embedded approach. “It’s not just about mums returning to work, it’s so much more,” she said. “Let people bring their own devices and they become more engaged and productive.”

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