· 2 min read · News

HR Guild reveals new future leaders programme


The HR Leadership Programme will give up-and-coming HR talent the skills to lead organisations

The Guild of HR Professionals has announced the launch of its first ever programme to support the next generation of HR leaders later this year.

The HR Leadership Programme is open to HR professionals from any discipline who are three to five years away from achieving a senior leadership position. The year-long programme will offer delegates mentoring sessions, masterclasses and networking opportunities.

Andrea Eccles, chief executive of the City HR Association and chair of the Guild’s charitable trust, told HR magazine that the programme offers a unique opportunity not only for future HR leaders, but also for senior HR professionals to share their expertise.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for specialists to gain insights into how HR leaders conduct their roles; they can learn about everything from mergers and acquisitions to cultural transformation,” Eccles said. “We want to provide HR leaders with the right interpersonal and technical skills to lead their teams into the future.

“It’s a really important milestone in implementing the values of community. It’s exciting not only for the delegates, but for the HR leaders who want to give back in a constructive way that will strengthen our profession.”

Apoorva Chandra, HR director, group head office at Prudential Africa and designer of the programme, said that it will provide delegates with a tailored, “day in the life” of an HR business leader experience.

“What differentiates us is the concept of fellowship; it’s a safe space where HR professionals from different sectors can come together and support each other both professionally and emotionally,” he said.

Chandra added that HR is perfectly placed, if equipped with the right skills, to help organisations navigate challenging future conditions.

He said he hopes the programme will offer an adaptable approach to leadership – crucial for tackling a rapidly-evolving world of work: “There is no fixed definition of leadership, but we really want to build a capable set of people in HR who have the intellectual and critical capabilities to provide the solutions to difficulties in business.”

A key focus will be developing a breadth of business understanding in future HR leaders, said Danny Harmer, chief people officer at Metro Bank and incoming master of the Guild.

“Typically the challenges people in HR face are gaining a strong commercial understanding, and how they align what they’re doing with a sense of purpose,” she said.

“Corporate governance is such a crucial topic at the moment, and we need to make sure that we understand things like remuneration and annual reports,” she added. “It can be very hard to gain exposure to that level of learning, but the people who stand out and become business leaders have that breadth of knowledge.”

Harmer also highlighted the importance of HR professionals understanding “the difference between compliance and bureaucracy.”

She said: “When a decision is made we need to ask ‘why are we doing this? Is it to protect data? Is it for shareholders?’ Programmes like the Guild’s will provide HR with the skills to genuinely change their organisations.”

The Guild of HR Professionals was officially installed in June 2015. Its remit is to advocate and promote the HR profession; help others into and through the profession; provide learning and personal growth through a common community and shared occupational beliefs; and promote ethical business practices to support the individual, the organisation, the relevant business sector and the City of London.

Applications to join the HR Leadership Programme are open until 30 June; it commences in September.

For more information visit www.hrprofessionals.org.uk