A recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) report found that effective management of change was branded as the top HR skill for survival. Keeping up with the pace of change has always been an issue for HR in general, but the downturn has accentuated this as business comes under unprecedented pressure to adapt to the global financial crisis.
As many stories that we've run over the past few months attest, HR can play a significant role in assisting organisations through the immediate short-term problems and challenges as well shoring them up for the long-term. A number of experts we have spoken to recently liken the downturn to a good workout at the gym: it's hard yakka and not a particularly pleasant experience at the time, but one which leaves you leaner, fitter and in better shape for your life in general. Everyone is pressed for time these days, so the exercise needs to provide the most amount of benefit in the least amount of time. This is a good thing, both in the gym and from an organisational perspective as an HR professional: it's about adding the most value in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
On another note about change, this is my last issue of HR Leader, formerly Human Resources magazine. As editor for more than eight years, I have seen a number of good changes within the HR profession, and my goal has always been the development of the profession. I would like to think that I have been effective in assisting this process. HR can and does have a valuable role to play within companies, and I sincerely hope that this continues to be the case.