We live in a good news – bad news economy. A north east motor car manufacturer announces a new line and more jobs on Monday and the next day an aluminium foundry announces a closure. The Olympic Authority says the Games will be great for employment but places a £60m contract for tickets in the USA and taxi drivers want to strike while the Olympic Games are on because too much emphasis is being placed on railing visitors to the Games.

In most organisations people are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Those organisations that adopt sound HR strategies are more likely to find their staff as part of the solution and hence enjoy regular improvement in productivity. Next to cash, productivity is ‘king’. I don’t believe that many would object to me saying that competition is now among the greatest challenges faced by any organisation. Rarely does competitive edge come from assets such as capital, land or equipment, as these assets are generally available to many. The asset most capable of both differentiation and appreciation is people and those organisations that realise this are the ones where the highest levels of productivity are found. This is where the HR practitioner comes into his or her own as HR has to be the prime mover in promoting productivity through people. To do so requires a clear HR strategy. Such a strategy should include:

• Management setting a compelling vision

• Regular communications about the business

• Creating a climate of trust

• Hiring staff capable of the next job up

• Developing staff and searching out talent

• Creating an innovative work environment

• Getting the effort reward relationship right

• Building on the strengths of staff

• Being flexible to retain talent

In fact building a people or HR strategy in the simplest of terms is to recognise that an organisation has talent, creativity and emotional capital. The trick to achieving a highly competitive position is to harness those attributes in all staff in the organisation. To do so requires some structure, as outlined in the key HR strategies outlined above and some spontaneous reactions such as a leader recognising a problem and actually leading the team to a successful outcome in double quick time.

So if you want more productivity, recognise that it comes from your staff and make sure that you have the HR strategies in place to harness their creativity and commitment.

Dr Hugh Billot, Group Managing Director, HR GO plc

HR GO Recruitment offers solutions to all your staffing needs, temporary and permanent, please call 0845 130 7000


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