August 2019
August 2019

Regulars
Could you be sacked for being terminally ill?

Could you be sacked for being terminally ill?

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Emily Lofting-Kisakye, HR Director, Urban Outfitters Europe

Emily Lofting-Kisakye, HR Director, Urban Outfitters Europe

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

From our Editor
August 2019August 2019

“Digital discussions”

There are countless studies on how digital transformations might impact the manner in which work takes place. It seems that the conclusions of these reports – even if the studies themselves don’t portray the future this way – mostly seem to have been interpreted in dystopian language. Workforces being cut by half; administrative, manufacturing and customer service jobs decimated; automatons dominating the office kitchenette; robot overlords cracking the whip as employees hurry to-and-fro, fighting amongst themselves for the meagre pay, and tasks, left for them.

For many, phrases, and words, like ‘digitalisation’, ‘machine learning’, ‘blockchain’, and ‘artificial intelligence’ don’t really render themselves as processes – one’s that might improve performance and working life – that are happening right now. Instead, they’re the terrible endpoint to be resisted. Science fiction blockbusters might have a lot to answer for in sparking this fear. Yet HR departments aren’t completely off the hook – they do, after all, control communication and people strategy around digital changes.

However, savvy HR departments are seizing these anxious moments and allaying staff fears. ghd, the premium hair care products manufacturer, has one such HR team. Under the guidance of Kate Burn, Director of People at the UK-headquartered firm, they are upskilling their workforce with digital skills – one’s that will benefit both the individual and the business. In this issue’s cover feature interview, Burn explains how central Learning & Development is to the digitalisation process, why it must be aligned with the business and people strategy, and why HR must be proactive when it comes to change.

Also inside: HR Grapevine shed light on a campaign to improve legislation for terminally ill staff; we catch-up with the HRD at Urban Outfitters, asking questions about her workplace philosophy; as well as talking to HR leaders about management during the summer slowdown.

As ever, enjoy.

 

Sophie ParrottSignature Sophie
Daniel Cave - Head of Content

 

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