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The UK Government has reopened Accounting for People - Is it finally time for HR to report for duty?

29th Aug 2010
Business Development HRReset
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Given the new coalition government’s intent to revive interest in the Operational and Financial Review (OFR), and its recent Consultation project focusing on narrative reporting – all of which being watched closely by a new Accounting for People 2.0 initiative http://www.accountingforpeople.org/ – is the day finally dawning when HR regains its place at the top table?

There have been many – often rightly – questioning the value of HR. What has HR ever done for us? They don’t get Web 2.0. They don’t measure what they do – or know how to. They don’t think long-term or strategically.  Such was the low point late last year that the biggest single topic occupying the US HR blogosphere was, Is HR Dead

And yet, slowly, persistently, perhaps unconsciously but also for some deliberately HR was quietly arming itself. Venturing into areas of Web 2.0 where even their fellow marketers would fear to tread. Taking aboard new concepts to traditional activities like crowdsourcing recruitment. .Embracing diagnostic audit tools and gathering HR metrics not just to back up or inform decisions or change company policies but to change company behaviour. Ditching ‘people are our biggest asset’ and getting real by admitting that ‘people are also our biggest liability’.  Sure, many got sidetracked by fads like engagement – let’s be real here, you can’t make someone engaged. They either love the job and work hard at it, or don’t. But as well as getting their hands dirty, HR got real.

And now, if we read it right – and the devil will be in the long-winded detail – the government is attempting to make it mandatory for companies to pony up the real truth about their people. A truth that only HR can uncover. That only HR has access to, is measuring, and can now report in glorious technicolour.

This is momentous. Yes, we have been here before in 2005, but let’s stay optimistic at least while the consultation continues. More than that, let’s get involved, shaping the debate, adding our voice. It’s our time to be heard. Accounting for People is our space. It’s also our chance to get back on the top table. 

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