Home Office chief people officer: HR must hold businesses to account

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She should first put her house in order. People have been waiting for the out come of their immigration applications for over 16 months!!


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HR has a duty to make their voices heard on poor corporate behaviour, the Home Office's chief people officer said

Speaking at Perkbox’s event on HR’s role in leadership, chief people officer for the Home Office Paula Leach said that now is the time for HR to make the case for putting people at the forefront of their organisations.

“The responsibility of CEOs has shifted. It’s as much about ethics as it is making a profit. There’s an increased need for transparency; with stakeholders and lots of others from the outside looking into the behaviour of an organisation- not just at the outcomes,” Leach said.

“The problems we’ve been facing over the past year, such as the gender pay gap and sexual misconduct, won’t just go away on their own," she continued.

"You can’t work downstream; if you really want to change things you need to get to the core of the problem. At the moment people are high on the agenda, and if we don’t step up and show how we can help organisations – and we know we can help – then shame on us. If we don’t take our place at the table someone else will."

Leach went on to explain how HR professionals can use their experiences to steer businesses through dilemmas, and emphasised that they should demonstrate their worth here.

“We need to talk the language of the business, which is about data and analytics, and start thinking about how we can use the idea of responsibility in leadership to tell the story within a business,” she said.

“We hold such an important role in holding people to account. When something goes wrong in an organisation it’s our job to say 'what are we going to do about it? What about the people?’ We can be the critical friend and have the conversations that no-one else will have. We can show businesses how to get from A to B during these dilemmas.”

HR having a seat on the board sends a strong message about what an organisation values, Leach said.

“I know that we’re good at keeping things going in the background, but I want more for us than that," she said. "I want us to be right at the forefront of the business. When you have someone in HR at the table, it sends a message that businesses can learn from their people, and that people are still the most important part of an organisation.”

Comments

What?! Does she have a clue what she is saying? Yes, the HOME OFFICE head of HR implies that she should have warned the Home Secretary that their policy towards the Windrush generation and immigrants generally is bordering on that of national socialist governments towards Jews and Romany people in the mid-1930s. Nice idea; remarkably poor timing.


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She should first put her house in order. People have been waiting for the out come of their immigration applications for over 16 months!!


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I don't normally join in with HR bashing but this is a perfect example of a not insignificant problem. Instead of obsessing over 'HR's position in the business', or 'Should HR be on the board/at the table', or trotting around conferences rolling out facile soundbites about how HR needs to be business relevant, and communicate in the language of business I think HR leaders like this lady should worry less about aggrandising their careers as a talking head and quietly, meekly get on with delivering world class HR wherever they find themselves. That would reduce the chances of situations arising like the juxtaposition of this article and current events to make them look ridiculous.


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