CIPD’s first conference dedicated to HR in SMEs

 

Moving from transactional to transformational people management practices is fundamental to the long-term performance of SMEs. That will be one of the key messages delivered during the CIPD’s first dedicated conference for those responsible for HR within small and medium sized organisations. The Conference, building on the CIPD’s research report, Achieving sustainable organisational performance through HR in SMEs, will focus on innovative approaches that can help move HR from an administrative function to the strategic function needed for sustainable business growth. The research, which identified a number of key insights applicable to those working in SMEs, found that process driven responses to people management challenges as a business grows may only provide short term solutions and may miss a golden opportunity to support the longer-term goals of the organisation.

The conference includes sessions led by experts from a number of successful businesses that have utilised HR practices in order to drive and grow their organisations. Sessions include:

  • Clive Hutchinson, Company Leader at Cougar Automation, will look at people skills, strengths and strategies to facilitate continuing growth.
  • Richard Lewis, CEO and Nikki Watters, HRD, from Interchange & Consort Hotels, Best Western Hotels, will explore the importance of HR’s link to the CEO and what expectations and priorities they may have for HR in their organisations.
  • Jonathan Bowers, MD, and Lawrence Jones, CEO at UKFast will discuss how to maintain organisational values and culture whilst growing the brand and people.

Other topics covered during the one-day event include reward management, people performance, legal compliance, recruitment and talent development.

Commenting on the new conference, Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, says: “More than two-thirds of the UK’s workforce are employed by SMEs. They are the lifeblood of the UK economy and are vital for jobs, growth, productivity and innovation. And we’re pleased to see so many SMEs recognising that good people management is fundamental to their long-term performance and growth.

“Many delivering HR in SMEs can find themselves sidelined into administrative duties and are not seen as core to the overall strategic direction of the organisations they work for. This conference will help address this by exploring business focused HR practices and providing practitioners with the tools they need to be a successful HR professional within an SME. At the CIPD, we want to ensure that we are supporting smaller enterprises, many of whom face the same people management challenges as larger organisations, but don’t have the HR focussed resources and capabilities. This conference will be part of a wider programme of research and learning outputs designed to help SME business leaders, HR professionals, and the consultants that support them.

“Whether an SME is newly established or experiencing growth or transition, the way that people are managed can play a crucial role in driving the long-term performance of the organisation. HR professionals in SMEs need to skilfully couple a deep understanding of the business strategy and the organisation’s values, with their own knowledge of people management opportunities and challenges. They need to deliver both of these agendas to truly deliver a strategic contribution to their organisation.”

 
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