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Oakwood and CIPD at Dubai HR Summit and Expo

Oakwood MD Janine Bunning attends HRSE15 with CIPD's CEO Peter Cheese

What a fantastic week we had in Dubai for the HR Summit and Expo 2015. It was wonderful to meet so many HR professionals there. Thank you to everyone for making it such a productive and beneficial event.

The future of HR in the Middle East

I was particularly excited about the keynote speech delivered by Peter Cheese on the future of HR in the Middle East. It was a thoughtful and inspiring take on what is happening within the profession now and where our focus should be as we move into the future. A great deal of what Peter spoke about is close to my heart and I fully believe that there is valuable insight here about how businesses can ensure their future success.

Peter talked about the changing face of HR, and the impact this will have on recruitment and selection in the years to come. Generation Z will be looking at roles that do not yet exist today.  Whilst a large proportion of roles that we are familiar with now will start to disappear in the years to come, as technology advances and many more jobs can be done by computers and robots!

Peter stressed that it is essential that HR strategy is linked to the business strategy, and that analysing the context of how this needs to happen is paramount.

He emphasised that we must ensure an increased focus on how the organisation is structured and then look at the impact that this will have on the culture, values and ethics within the organisation.  Historically as an organisation matures and increases in size, traditionally this would result in more layers of hierarchy. More layers, means more managers, more rules and more regulations! 

Employee motivation

Employers then wonder why their employees are not motivated and excited to be there, it is like putting our people in a straight jacket.  In response to this, some larger organisation are now throwing away the rule book, and putting their trust into their employees, believing that they will do the right thing and behave in the right way having been given the opportunity to do this without a big stick! An understanding of neuroscience is important here to ensure that we understand both human and organisational behaviour if this model is going to work.

Performance management information

However, although we should be wary of too many policies and procedures that can cripple innovation and creativity, HR professionals do need to be far more aware of the metrics that they collect, interpret and use as a tool for future-proofing the organisation. This information is what gives us essential business and commercial insight. It's all about balance.

Organisations also need to be mindful that whilst we have always been taught to adhere to ‘best practice’, one size does not fit all when it comes to business and running organisations. The future of HR needs to be responsive and intuitive, championing ‘appropriate practice’, doing what is appropriate, what works best for their particular organisation and it’s people.

A great deal of food for thought here, Peter delivered an immensely interesting and thought provoking speech. I for one am definitely excited about the future of HR.

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Janine Bunning
MD, Oakwood International