Letter from the editor: What's HR's goal?

How can HR help leaders be their best selves?

What’s the end goal for HR? What is the profession, at its core, trying to achieve?

I found myself debating these questions after an engaging conversation with a CEO and HR tech leader, who suggested that for his business – and maybe for all of us? – the dream is to enable self-actualisation. It sounds idealistic and woo woo, but it also makes sense to me. I find it fitting that a profession focused on striving for excellence has a mountain-peak improvement level in mind: a ‘best self ’ for all.

Read more: Why clever leaders must master the art of self-discovery

Back at ground level though, unsurprisingly, leadership is front of mind: a UK general election has been announced, not long after Scotland's leadership election, and council elections. Many of us are reflecting on what ‘best’ political leadership looks like. 

In our own organisations though, there are many ways that HR can help leaders be their best selves, even if those leaders are already in the C-suite. Much of HR’s focus is on training and supporting managers; that is crucial work. But C-suite leaders are arguably the ultimate managers, and the profession needs to support their continuous learning journey too.

To assist in this task, our cover story offers insights and practical tips on how HR can encourage C-suite colleagues to improve.

The improvement theme continues in our exclusive interview with Goldman Sachs’ former head of recruitment, who is campaigning for leaders within the investment banking world to do better, by rooting out life-threatening toxic practices.

How is your work within the HR profession contributing to the wider improvement cause? What kinds of transformation are you spearheading to help fuel success? Drop us a line to let us know, using the contact details here.

Charissa King is editor of HR magazine.


This article was published in the May/June 2024 edition of HR magazine.

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