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Royles: HR must connect talent with customers

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HR must step out of the shadow of cost reduction and focus on connecting talent with customers, the most influential HR practitioner has warned.

Dean Royles, the top ranked HR Most Influential practitioner for three years running, said it was important HR focused on “connecting with purpose” to remain relevant.

“When we used to talk about HR being seen as a business function, for many people, they saw that as being a finance function, so there was an emphasis on the bottom right hand corner of the balance sheet and as long as that was in the black it didn’t really matter how we got there,” explained Royles.

“I think what the recession has taught us is that HR is in a business function. It’s about connecting with purpose. How do we provide great products and services? If we’re good at that then we make a profit.

“That is what I see as that opportunity, that reconnecting back into a business function, aligning those people and customer strategies so we can deliver those great products and services.”

Ceridian MD Doug Sawers agreed with Royles, adding that HR is in a unique position to nurture business connections.

“HR is about connecting colleagues and customers and being in the heart of the community,” Sawers added. “Most HR professionals are in that space psychologically to begin with and there’s opportunity to grow within that.”

Royles and Sawers also shared their views on honest and authentic leadership, and the opportunities social media can provide to connect employees to the community. 

Full video: Royles and Sawers discuss the changing dynamics of leadership