· Features

HR future leader of the month: Daisy Tidbury

HR magazine speaks to the future leaders of the function on what they think will shape it

What are your main concerns in HR today?

Keeping HR meaningful. HR delivers something different to administrative support, and I don’t believe this is sufficiently well-understood by decision-makers. We need to be at the forefront of any strategic business decision as there is always an impact on people. However, to be strategic we need to reinforce our status as a key enabler and not an obstacle. As practitioners we must make ourselves and our output indispensable. We should not allow process to override our personality.

What will become more important for HR over the next five years?

Retention. The RAF and wider MoD have seen significant organisational change in recent years, and there’s a clear differentiation between the expectations of new joiners and ‘the old and bold’.

This poses a leadership challenge for HR professionals as we play an essential role when it comes to communicating and effecting what can be unpopular changes. There is a fine balance to be struck between incentivising the retention of those with experience and extensive corporate knowledge, versus disenfranchising fresh blood by failing to create sufficient opportunities for promotion and career development.

What subjects will HR still be tackling when you retire?

Reputation management and skill deficiency in STEM specialisms, particularly among women.

For Generation Z reputational currency will be key; a survey of 600-plus Generation Z’ers by the Institute for Corporate Productivity found that 93% agreed that a company’s impact on society would affect their decision to work there.

In terms of STEM skill deficiency, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ Future Work report concluded that the demand for STEM skills will rise significantly beyond 2030 and will be fundamental in shaping the future global economy. The Royal Air Force will have to consider how it competes to attract qualified personnel in a future likely to be dominated by digitalisation.

What do you plan to do to change HR for the better?

Delivery is everything, yet HR has a tendency to fixate on its own processes to the detriment of delivery. HR leaders need to ensure that those working for them have a full understanding of the aims and objectives of the organisation in order to deliver a tailored, relevant HR output.

Daisy Tidbury is officer commanding HR flight for the Royal Air Force (Coningsby)