A case for change

We are proud that our purpose is to champion better work and working lives. We believe work can and should be a force for good. Not just for shareholders, employers or even just for workers, but for everyone, including the societies and communities they’re part of. When work is good, people are happy and fulfilled, businesses are profitable and productive, communities flourish.

The problem is, work isn't always a force for good:

  • In a survey of 10,000 HR and business leaders, one in three reported they have had to compromise their principles to meet current business needs.
  • Two fifths of organisations saw an increase in reported mental health problems in 2016.
  • A focus on short-term profits over long-term sustainability was a major contributor to the 2008 financial crash.
  • Scandals like BHS, Volkswagen and Sports Direct have created a crisis of trust, and a perception that businesses don’t care about wider society.

Putting HR and L&D at the heart of change

When it comes to ensuring that work is a force for good, our profession has an important role to play as the experts on people, work and change. That’s why we’re creating a new definition of what it means to be a people professional (and by that, we mean all those working in HR, L&D, OD and the many other disciplines) – setting out what we stand for in terms of the fundamental principles which represent better work and working lives.

Supporting our members to champion better work and working lives

Our new Professional Standards Framework will place those fundamental principles at its core. It sets out the knowledge, behaviours and impact which will help people professionals champion better work and working lives in all they do. Its ultimate goal is to create clear standards for HR and L&D professionals at every level, and to define an international gold standard for Chartered members.

Our journey towards a profession for the future

A question of balance

In recent years, business has weighted its focus towards short-term financial outcomes, often prioritising profits and shareholder value over people, their well-being and long-term sustainability. The future of HR is one where we can hold both business outcomes (like profit) and human outcomes (like well-being) in equal balance. That means understanding that long-term success relies on an interdependent relationship between businesses and people, and being unafraid to bring humanity into the conversations we’re having.

Hungry for more?

Read the key research underpinning our Profession for the Future programme of work:

View our infographic below, which reveals a gap between ambition and practice.

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