By Kate van der Sluis, Managing Partner, Humber HR People 
I believe that business needs HR Now, More than ever. 
Have you come across VUCA lately? This popular description for the world we live in - Volatility, Uncertainty, Disruptive and Ambiguous. From world politics to local news, nothing is certain, except that nothing is staying the same for long. The concept, according to “Originated with students at the U.S. Army War College to describe the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the world after the Cold War. And now, the concept is gaining new relevance to characterize the current environment and the leadership required to navigate it successfully”. 
In the context of change, it’s much maligned HR department that needs to shine. 
HR professionals deal with people, in all their glorious, flawed human complexity. People problems have always been VUCA – talk to any business owner to hear that age-old phrase “you couldn’t make it up!”. 
Great HR people are technically brilliant and know what the intricacies of the rules and their application are within their organisation. But in their business partnering decisions nothing is ever black and white – it’s about operating in the grey areas of making judgements and measuring risk against outcomes and focusing on what can be done, not what can’t. 
Business owners also must contend with an ageing workforce, a multi-generational workforce, a millennial workforce, all in a talent short market. Today’s employees have different expectations from their employers, and we are seeing with rising issues in mental health in the workplace and any savvy business owner knows that engaged staff are more productive. Great HR People with the interests of business at heart support engagement and productivity. 
VUCA also means consider the context of your business, the place. The Humber is the single biggest polluting region in the county for greenhouse gases - which has great ambitions to transform itself via strategic projects like Yorkshire Water’s Living with Water, or the Marketing Humber campaign the Waterline, or the Humber LEP’s ambitious Local Industrial Strategy. In the words of the Humber LEP chair, Lord Chris Haskins, change in our region “must and will be done”. Our region is changing quickly, scaling up new opportunities for businesses, particularly in technology and digital and transforming traditional industries. 
Throw all this into the melting pot - The age-old challenges of employing people and managing them well; the changing expectations of those employees; the rapidly shifting regional economy and consider what needs to be done to survive. HR is about getting the right employees, in the right place, at the right time and enabling them to do great things. What business really need is truly great HR stuff – delivered via specialists in change management, organisational design, employee engagement, talent, succession planning, performance management and employee relations with courage, flair and a long-term vision. 
Great HR is about being able to get the very best out of people in rapidly changing times. 
And now, we need it more than ever. 
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