The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Festival of Work kicked off in London earlier this month. Even among all of the talks and sessions about utilizing the latest technologies and how they affect HR professionals and their organizations, Andy Cook, CEO of Marshall-James and guest columnist for Personnel Today wonders why there isn’t more about employee relations on the agenda.
While learning how to spur creativity and growth by using AI and shared platforms seems to be what all HR professionals want to discuss, what Cook and other organizations and PEOs have found is there’s a shortage of candidates who have adequate employee relations and industrial relations skills. These are skills that are still needed in the workplace, and companies are finding out the hard way that those skills can be expensive and difficult to come by.
Cook’s solution is for companies and organizations to proactively develop ER and IR skills in their human resource staff. What Cook advises is that Human Resource Development needs to integrate both the technical skills along with ER and IR skills in a more holistic fashion. Agility in the marketplace depends upon not only relying on the wonderful things that AI and the latest technologies can bring to HR but also forge good relations within the business.
It is possible, in Cook’s view, that an HR candidate may have the technical training and know-how but might not have the experience of ER or IR. If that person can learn, taking a chance on that candidate or a “leap of faith” as Cook puts it can end up being very successful for those HR professionals and the companies where they work.