HR industry urged 'to do the right thing, not simply do things right'


Major HR event hosted by CIPD Ireland and National College of Ireland about the changing role of HR in the workplace

24 November 2015

CIPD Ireland and National College of Ireland (NCI) hosted a HR leadership event on Tuesday 24 November in Dublin to address the future of HR in Ireland, after dramatic changes in recent years.

Speaking at NCI’s IFSC campus, Mary Connaughton, Director of CIPD Ireland, and Dr Phillip Matthews, President of National College of Ireland, addressed almost 200 leading professionals in the Irish HR industry about the challenges faced by the profession.

CIPD, the professional institute for HR and people development, and NCI as CIPD’s largest provider of accredited programmes in Ireland, called for the industry to take stock as it is currently at a significant point of change.

Mary Connaughton at Future of HR Event, NCI, Dublin, 24 November 2015

Mary Connaughton, director of CIPD Ireland, said: 'We are seeing growing interest in the development of the HR profession in Ireland. CIPD believes that HR now needs to take stock and evaluate if it is fit for purpose. The world of work is changing and so too must the role of HR'.

Her talk covered new CIPD research, which indicates that both business leaders and HR practitioners too often compromise their principles in favour of short-term commercial gain.

She commented: 'Business leaders and HR practitioners share the same ambition to do the right thing, but there’s a gap between ambition and practice – and that has to change'.

'Many organisations are experiencing significant changes, with erosion of trust and increasing targets and pressure being felt by many in the workplace. Talent management and retention are now key, both for firms and for Ireland, but workplaces are finding that there is not the flexibility to respond to employees and many managers and leaders are not sufficiently skilled to engage with employees on performance.'

'There are new questions about what is good business, and the need for principles based decision-making and greater transparency to increase trust in business.'

The event also called for a more principled approach to decision making in business, including a broader, longer term interpretation of commercial success, and greater consideration for all of a business’s stakeholders when making decisions.

As part of CIPD’s Profession for the Future strategy, the organisation wants to develop a set of principles for the profession which will put a greater focus on challenging organisations to 'do the right thing', rather than simply doing things right.

Dr Philip Matthews at Future of HR Event, NCI, Dublin, 24 November 2015

Dr Phillip Matthews, President of National College of Ireland, said: 'If an organisation wants to establish a more emotionally intelligent leadership culture, then surely HR itself must continually operate from a higher level of emotional intelligence than the culture it is trying to support'.

The college, which is based in Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre, has been a leading provider of HR graduates throughout its 60+ year history and is currently enrolling for a number of courses commencing in January 2016. These include the part-time CIPD Certificate in HRM and the CIPD Certificate in Employment Law and Employee Relations.

Gillian Dempsey being presented with the Best Student 2014/2015 award at NCI

During the evening, Gillian Dempsey was presented with the award of Best Student 2014/2015 in recognition of outstanding performance achieved on the CIPD Certificate in HRM programme delivered at the college.