Let’s celebrate the people management excellence we are going to need now and for the future

After the Stormont squabbling and the Ballyhoo over Brexit and the border, there is one constant in the future world we face. The issue is can Northern Ireland build the kind of future fit workplaces we need? Can we bring more people into the workplace as our population ages and our youth population and migration stagnates or falls. Can we develop well-managed and motivated people who are engaged and therefore productive, to go the extra mile we will need to win in export markets, or build efficient public services and to take on the big transformational change our society faces? We at the CIPD believe that we can - and that great people management is at the centre of doing that. There is no more important role in society than supporting the creation of skills, helping people to change, meet challenges and be productive. Top economist David Blanchflower in a forthcoming book “It’s the job market stupid” points to the need for better workplace development.

That's happening now in workplaces across NI. Yet it would be fair to say that very few people know about it. We tend to hide our light and take a step back. Well now's a time like never before to step forward. That’s why this year’s CIPD NI Awards will be celebrating people management excellence more than ever. We want to discover excellence and impact across every area of people management. We want to hear about how employers in NI are engaging their workforce because we know engaged workforces, driven by sense of purpose and connection to something bigger, drive better performance. With the many challenges we face, physical and mental as human beings at work, it also good to know about those organisations supporting wellbeing. Wellbeing is the wellspring to productivity. Workers who feel that their organisations help them to flourish are more productive than those who don’t. This connection between wellbeing and productivity was the theme of our highly successful Wellbeing Conference in November and our Scottish Annual Conference in March this year. We know that many organisations in NI are working on wellbeing and are making a great strides to support it. If you are one of them step forward.

Learning and development help organisations to change and to meet new opportunities. As the world changes we need people to learn continually. Robots and AI aren’t coming to take all our jobs either. There will be many jobs and more that will still need doing so we need to learn and collaborate like never before. Great organisations in NI are already doing this - we want to hear from you.

Talent management is about developing the best from your people and finding and supporting the unique capability which can propel your organisation forward. However you are doing it we want you to share and shout about it. Of course one of the key aspects of talent in any workplace is HR talent, so if you have a great HR student who really is making a difference and bringing insight and impact you need to recognise them. Why not put them forward for our HR student of the year award? 

Organisations face constant change and opportunity and that’s where great change management initiatives come in. Have you managed change in an impactful and transformational way? If so celebrate that change programme and put yourself forward for recognition.

Leadership is key to all this great people excellence. Do you know an HR leader who has been at the forefront of change and has lead it with values and impact? Know it? See it. Recognise it. Put that leader forward for the HR Director of the year. We know the value of individuals, of leaders and of teams but we also know the value of great professional advice. It can be specialist advice on technical capability such as psychometrics, or great counsel on issue like employment law, engagement or just a general helping hand which leads to improved organisational performance. If you recognise that capability recommend your consultant of the year.

So let’s recognise that the challenges and opportunities we face will only be solved by better people management. Let’s start recognising that excellence and celebrate on May 18th in the cradle of Northern Ireland’s industrial heritage of shipbuilding and engineering as we launch NI’s HR Profession into a new era of impact and effectiveness.

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