SNAPSHOT2 min read

Video: Are people a company’s greatest asset? Part 2

Three people management trends to watch.

03/03/2023
Image of employees

Authors

Vicki Owen
Senior Content Strategist
Angus Bauer
Head of Sustainable Research
Katie Frame
Active Ownership Manager ESG

Transcript:

Vicki Owen: “So I’m actually just going to throw it to you to hear from you on what you think the top three trends are.”

Katie Frame: “This is, you know, hopefully a short term trend, but, you know, we’ll see how it plays out. But very much what we’re watching right now, particularly in the UK, is the ongoing cost of living crisis and the very real impact that is having on workers across the country.

“And of course it goes beyond just the UK as well. But that’s where we’ve been paying particular attention to this topic, really thinking about, well, who’s most impacted by this. And the reality is that tends to be the lowest paid workers.

“So we’ve been trying to engage with our UK retail companies to understand really what support they’re providing to workers right now, to address the challenges that they’re facing. And so that’s one of the things that I’d say is probably a shorter term trend, something that’s very immediate and that we’re trying to address now.

“I think longer term, one thing we’re seeing is this move towards thinking about human capital outcomes, particularly when we think about it from a disclosure and reporting perspective. And that can be things such as thinking about retention rates, promotion rates, real term outcomes in terms of culture. So how are employees feeling? Those are all the outputs from these factors that companies may be inputting into their human capital.”

Angus Bauer: “The third trend, because I know you asked for three, is really around from my perspective, strategic workforce planning. So this is about company approaches to managing their workforce through the cycle.

“So, simplistically, if a company sits there and says our financial strategy is to double cash flow, double free cash flow, over the next five years or boost our market share in North America, the next conversation they should be having is with their HR practitioners saying, okay, well, what are the key objectives that need to be hit to delivering that and what are the key roles that we need to make sure we have engaged, galvanised, enthusiastic people in to deliver those objectives?

“I once, I had a conversation about three or four months ago with a chief people officer of a global multinational brand who said to me, what’s funny to me is that, historically investors have never really thought to talk to people like myself. And it’s funny because no investor would buy shares or the credit of a company where they thought that the financial operation was suboptimal, where they didn’t believe the CFO was credible, or where they thought the financial controls in the organisation were subpar.

“And yet, the people function is really the catalyst that drives the development and evolution of an organisation. So this person’s point to me was, well, you know, if you’re so focused on the finance function, surely you should apply at least as much focus on the human capital function, the people function, because that is the engine room that will either dictate the success or the failed delivery of a given target.”

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Authors

Vicki Owen
Senior Content Strategist
Angus Bauer
Head of Sustainable Research
Katie Frame
Active Ownership Manager ESG

Topics

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