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HR future leader of the month: Jodie Craig

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

What are your main concerns in HR today?

Staying connected to what is uniquely called for in the organisation.

We also need to be mindful of the increasing diversity of what is valued by our people. Regardless of the size of the business or team we are all individuals. It’s important to understand and respect each other’s values so that when the business hires, grows and rewards our people we are able to customise in an effective way.

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

The way people think about their work-life integration is changing. Multiple generations in the workplace at an assortment of life stages mean the diversity of expectations is vast. HR teams have the opportunity to partner with their organisation to explore and define roles that enable them to win with customers while also meeting these evolving expectations. This also plays into the role HR has in being part of creating cultures that serve the organisation.

HR teams are uniquely positioned to enable businesses to embrace the increasing pace of change. Seeing the opportunities in change at an individual, team and organisational level can have a huge impact on agility in the marketplace.

What subjects will HR still be tackling when you retire?

It’s all about people! There will always be perennial opportunities to better equip line managers to be the best leaders they can be, enabling organisations to attract and hire the talent they need to win, and recognising and rewarding people in a way that is meaningful. More and more, organisations are recognising the role that culture can play, not just to aid retention and win awards but as a unique contributor to the company’s long-term success. Developing a culture where people feel they can be themselves helps them to release their full potential, which in turn releases potential in the organisation.

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

I want to create business partnerships that make a real difference to the growth of individuals and organisations. Partnership for me is being part of the conversation, challenging the thinking and making great things happen. We have the opportunity to shed the outdated reputation HR has for ‘policing’ or ‘instructing’ the organisation and strive to be catalysts for change and facilitators for growth.

I prefer to partner with principles rather than a rulebook and will always encourage others to challenge long-established rules and practices that no longer serve a purpose.

I will advocate the simple but critical talents of listening, sensing and seeking to understand, so we can be laser focused on what is really called for. I would never approach the future or a present challenge with a cookie cutter.