· Comment

Change is in the air for HR

Nearly 50 years ago Sam Cooke first told the world A Change Is Gonna Come. And he wasn’t wrong.

Cooke was of course singing about the civil rights movement and this powerful anthem has provided encouragement to each generation since to continue to strive towards progress in the face of adversity. But deeper than that, it looks at the concept of change and its opportunities.

The UK is also in a state of change. In the space of a week, the nation saw both the birth of a new political era as Liz Truss became prime minister and the end of the Elizabethan age with the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II after 70 years on the throne.

As the leaves change colour and we dig out our scarves, we could be forgiven for wanting some respite from these seemingly once in a lifetime events. And it looks like the rollercoaster isn’t stopping anytime soon.

With a worsening cost of living crisis and predicted recession becoming almost guaranteed, HR will once again be asked to pull out its magic wand to make sure employees are happy, productive, fulfilled and not burnt out.

Meanwhile of course ensuring D&I principles run throughout the organisation; environmental concerns are addressed; wages are kept in line with inflation; retention is prioritised and employees are reskilled for the workplace of the future.

Is it possible HR simply has too much on its plate for all of this change? As organisations grapple with the seismic changes coming their way, it is inevitably being left to HR to figure out the best way forward.

So as change continues to gnaw at the once sturdy traditions of the workplace, remind yourself you cannot be all things to all people.

Know that if you stretch yourself too thinly, like an elastic band, you will snap.

Yes, it’s been a long time coming, but make sure you carve out some time for yourself during this bumpy ride.


This piece appears in the September/October 2022 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk.

To sign up to our upcoming webinar on how HR can protect its budget during economic downturns, click here