Flexible and agile HR strategies in action at CIPD 2015

Fiona Murchie, managing editor at Relocate Global reports on two fascinating case studies at the CIPD 'Future-focused HR' Conference 2015.

Einstein's equation
Presentations from Jennifer Flint of Isos Housing Limited and Alyson Fadil of Sofaworks really hit the spot after CIPD's Chief Executive, Peter Cheese's opening remarks at the CIPD Annual Conference urged HR to innovate and adapt to meet the rapidly changing needs of business.Here were two companies with bags of innovation and energy who were shining examples of HR at the forefront, 'acting with confidence and credibility founded on a strong base of professional knowledge and confidence'.Their case studies will have given a real boost to any HR professionals faced with the challenge of delivering change. The takeaway message was jump in and have confidence in your ability and your bright ideas. They shared the excitement of the thrills and spills along the way but delegates were left in no doubt of their understanding of business needs combined with their intent to put people at the heart of their initiatives.Here were real examples of flexible and agile HR strategies adding hugely to business growth.Jennifer Flint, Group Assistant Director people for Isos, a regional housing association is passionate about coaching and unlocking potential. Her presentation was entitled 'Einstein Re-loaded – Tears, Tantrums and Totally Going for It'. She grabbed the audience's attention dressed in a white lab coat and whisked them through how to deliver successful change by applying the law of physics. Igniting energy, momentum and connection was her winning equation for successfully leading change, as four organisations transformed to become the North's leading housing company with a thriving commercial portfolio.Alyson Fadil, HR Director at Sofaworks talked about the transformational journey of her organisation from cottage industry furniture maker to digital sofa buying. This £100+ million business is on course for massive growth as it rebrands in 2016.A dynamic speaker, she talked her audience through familiar challenges, described the context of HR and related their change process to their clearly defined brand pillars. Engaging employees to make great sales was critical replacing commission with a reward scheme for the whole business. The whole ethos is about customer service. Their industry's all important retail customer scores (NPS) are up, due to a huge cultural shift in their sales approach, which is shaking up furniture retail. Employees are on board with an employee opinion survey showing a 7.6 per cent increase on last year at 71.4 per cent employee engagement.Whatever sector you are in, there is plenty of inspiration here for leading change, while meeting the CIPD's principles 'to secure HR's role as a trusted and credible profession that helps to create sustainable value for all of a business' stakeholders'.
Many of the themes touched on at the CIPD conference have also been highlighted at business and global mobility events this season, including the CBI Annual Conference, Worldwide ERC, and Canadian Employee Relocation Council conferences.Click here to listen to what Bill Graebel, President and CEO of Graebel Group of Companies has to tell Fiona Murchie about the importance of being an agile corporation in the first of our new Relocate Perspectives series of videos.For more Re:locate news and features about the CIPD and HR issues, click hereLook out for further coverage of the CIPD Annual Conference in the Winter 2015/16 issue of Re:locate magazine