· News

CIPD Conference and Exhibition: Don't bow to finance director's agenda, warns HR academic

HR departments should avoid being "sucked into the finance director's agenda", according to a leading academic.

Speaking at the CIPD Conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Valerie Anderson, principal lecturer in HR management at Portsmouth Business School, said the sector should encourage organisations to take a long-term view of the benefits of HR strategies.

"In some organisations ‘return on investment’ is a barrier to entry. HR is a long-term game; you can’t show achievement quarter by quarter. This is no straightforward recipe for measuring strategic impact. We shouldn’t be having to prove a return on investment, but a return on expectations.

Speaking at a session entitled ‘Measuring Strategic Impact’, Anderson discussed the importance of building an assessment evaluation framework and understanding how HR departments can measure strategy to identify how effective initiatives have been.

"We need to audit what we are doing, identify headline indicating actionable measures to look at the impact of HR," Anderson said. "We spend too long looking internally in HR. We need to look elsewhere in the organisation and outside it as well."

Anderson also discussed the importance of effectively communicating with those outside of the HR sector. "We need to start thinking about out skill set and work with other sources of information within the organisation," Anderson said. "The chances are this data is not with HR.

"Other sectors have their own jargon. What we need is a language that works for the organisation.

"We in HR have a subculture of modesty. We could do much more self-promotion."