'Embrace the new world of work': CIPD chief opens annual conference

On the first day of the 70th CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition, Peter Cheese called on professionals to look positively at the future of work and the global context.

CIPD chief Peter Cheese
More than 4,000 HR and L&D professionals from the UK and all over the world are gathered in Manchester to reflect and debate how to respond to automation, technology and the changing world of work.Opening the conference, Peter Cheese, CEO of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, emphasised the role of people professionals in shaping the workplace and answering the big questions around these and other key trends.“It has become cliché to say that the world of work is changing, but clichés are clichés for a reason,” he said, accenting the global aspect to our workplaces.“We live in a world that in constantly changing, both domestically and abroad, and while it presents a clear set of unique challenges, it also offers us tremendous opportunities.“As people professionals, we are perfectly placed to help shape the debate about what we want the workplaces of the future to look like. We need to embrace these opportunities.“We are not simply passengers on a journey; we have a voice and agency to shape the future world of work as we want to see it. After all, the best way to predict the future is to help to shape it.”

Innovating to respond to the challenges

With the context in place, the CIPD’s annual conference is geared around five key streams: 
  • Future of Work and HR – understanding the impact of the digital revolution of work, the rise of technology, the shifting socio-political landscape, and our moral imperative to champion inclusion, fairness and good work
  • Business Effectiveness and Transformation – covering organisational change, new ways of working, the implications of using people data, analytics and the importance of strategic and evidence-based decisions
  • Talent, Skills and Capabilities – addressing leadership, line management skills, the importance of coaching and continuous learning, effective talent attraction and unbiased recruitment practices
  • Well-being, Engagement and Behaviours – focusing on holistic well-being strategies, flexible working, people engagement and behaviour, workspace design and the impact of multiple generations in the workplac
  • HR and People Management Essentials – covering new trends in performance management, reward, the latest developments in employment law, apprenticeships and the role of business partnering

Read more CIPD annual conference and exhibition 2017 news from Relocate Global:

Policymakers' attention on good work for all

“Through smarter job design, increasingly inclusive workplaces, greater employee voice and more purposeful leadership, organisations will be able to innovate and make the most of the talent at its fingertips, whatever the context,” said Mr Cheese.“HR and L&D professionals are in a unique position to drive this change in their organisations.“We have seen policymakers sit up this year and pay much greater attention to the issues that we have been focussed on for a long time."Whether that is the Taylor Review, which looked at modern working practices and brought the idea of ‘good work’ to the forefront of public debate, or the increased focus on corporate governance and executive pay, we are helping to drive the big debates that the country is having. “This is, sadly, also true for the issues around sexual harassment that we have seen come to light in the last few weeks. We should all take the opportunity to reflect on what we can do in order to build the safe, inclusive cultures that we all want to see."

The role of SMEs in the UK economy

Looking to the future of the CIPD’s own work, Mr Cheese identified the important role of the UK’s small- and medium-sized businesses.“I’m keen that as an institute we do more work on how to support them in the future. We have to identify how to support the gig economy and SMEs working in a variety of different, and often non-traditional ways, so that we can extend the great work that people professionals do in larger organisations to all parts of the economy.“Our People Skills pilot with the J.P. Morgan Foundation was only the start of this journey, and I’m excited about the opportunities that the future world of work presents to us.“While this new world certainly has its challenges, there are also many opportunities for organisations to shape how competitive they are for the future of work. Through discussions, debates and workshops, we’ll be encouraging you to visualise and embrace the new world of work in your own organisational contexts.”For related news and features, visit our HR section. Look out for the launch of 2018's Relocate Awards, entries open in January. Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory

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