It is difficult to know where to start such a comparison. However, it is interesting, in passing, to note from one listing of human resource management associations, that there were two entries for the UK – and fourteen for the US!
Perhaps a simpler way might be to offer some evidence of current and future priorities in the US and leave you to compare them to those you feel are presently of major importance in your organisation.
These are accumulated from various articles and sources, rather than a single place, and are therefore aimed at providing a general picture for you to compare. Do let us know your opinion.
The top three areas, both for the present and the near future, were reckoned to be the effective management of talent, and the subsequent delivery of both recruitment and staffing policies. Some HR professionals have also expressed a feeling that working to improve leadership development activities should be given a higher priority, compared to the alternative “go out and buy your leadership talent” philosophy. These trio of activities were generally considered to be equally important, although the last of them was seen as a lower future priority.
Top of the remaining priorities identified by US professionals was in the management of change. Often attached to this was handling an alteration to the culture of a company to match its other change activities.
A change of outlook?
Another area that is perhaps becoming increasingly important is in the management of the balance between work and life, and also flagged up was the increasing cultural diversity both within the composition of an organisation’s workforce and when dealing with its customers. Some also found a worry in their having an ageing team and how this might affect productivity.
As a provider of cost-effective corporate health plans, our team here at Paycare were interested to note that many HR professionals in the US commented that their organisation was formulating company health and wellness plans to help deal with this situation. This was partly because they were well aware that such people have a range of more traditional skills that newer entrants might lack.
A change of government?
It’s also interesting to note that many US HR professionals identified a change of government and therefore, often, policy, as an area to give attention to. With an upcoming UK election, we can understand such anxieties!
Our comparison may suggest that, in key priorities, there is little difference between the UK and the US, which can also add substance to the assessment of the key areas to be tackled over times to come. Perhaps, for a final thought, we might consult Malta-born Edward de Bono, who said: “There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns”. This is surely true, no matter where you are based!