HR future leader of the month: Paul Gaukroger

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HR magazine speaks to the future leaders of the function about what they think will shape it

What are your main concerns in HR today?

Many businesses still fail to recognise the true value of HR. To thrive and succeed they need to continually adapt and transform, and to facilitate that they must strongly buy into innovative HR initiatives as well as be agile enough to try new things. Businesses that fail to understand the importance of their people will falter over the next period of economic transition and challenges.

What will become more important for HR over the next five years?

Organisations will need to adapt to and embrace the transition from Baby Boomer to Millennial leadership in order not to be left behind. Millennials are already proving to be more of a challenge to satisfy and nurture than anticipated and with their leadership we will see a rise in the importance placed on people within an organisation. HR needs to be thoroughly under the skin of the business and its workforce and be prepared to adapt and implement personalised reward strategies and foster culture micro-environments to unleash creativity and engage talent.

What subjects will HR still be tackling when you retire?

The fundamental challenges of managing human beings and their basic primal behaviours will continue to be a source of frustration for organisations. So will communication skills, shying away from difficult conversations, and managing motivation and performance. Mental health in the workplace will be a big challenge to navigate as awareness shifts. The approaches that we take now will shape how these issues are supported later down the line.

What do you plan to do to change HR for the better?

Continue to build relationships with key business leaders to understand vision combined with a commercial awareness. I believe this will go a long way to raising the profile of the HR function, and being able to speak confidently and credibly has always been the cornerstone of my values. Continuing to share best practice, both across our own profession and also with our leaders, will help to elevate the importance and understanding of HR in today’s employers. This will effectively enable us to deliver change and growth while tackling any issues the future may bring.

Paul Gaukroger is HR manager at Bauer Media

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