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Public sector HR professionals feel valued

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The PPMA found that 74% felt their input was valued by leaders, but budgetary constraints are a challenge

HR teams in the public sector are held in high regard by their leaders, according to research from the Public Sector People Managers' Association (PPMA).

The HR in the Public Sector report found that three-quarters (74%) of respondents felt their input is valued by leaders in their organisation. Around two-thirds (67%) said their leadership teams see HR practitioners as strategic partners.

The HR strategy for the next two years has already been set in 47% of organisations, while 38% are currently putting a strategy in place.

However, around half of those surveyed said that either the size of the HR budget (49%) or the HR team (51%) was inadequate to do the job. Some 70% expect their HR budget to fall in the year ahead.

The report also found that HR practitioners in the public sector anticipate the scope of the function and the way HR teams work changing. Four in 10 (42%) said they expect to move to a model of shared services with other councils, and around a third (35%) said they expect to be supporting other public bodies in the future.

Commenting on the report PPMA president Barry Pirie, who is associate director, people and business at Wiltshire County Council, described HR and OD professionals as “the change-makers who are playing a critical role in helping public sector organisations reshape and adapt for the future”.

But he added: "There is still much work to be done. As resources shrink and the nature of public sector organisations changes HR needs to change to meet new and emerging needs. This means being creative and proactive in demonstrating how we can do things differently and provide the same high-quality leadership and support around the way we manage our people. If we can do this I am sure people managers will continue to have a seat at the top table in public sector organisations.”