Taking the pulse of the people profession in Ireland

Every year at the CIPD we run the People Profession survey. As part of this process we ask the profession to reflect on their working lives, career aspirations and people priorities - a very useful exercise for us all to be able to take stock of the previous year and gain a snapshot view of the people profession.

This year (2022) we are beginning our fourth round of data collection, something we urge you to be part of by sharing your opinion and experience. By telling us about your experiences and what is important to you we can focus our research and inform the resources, tools and supports that we create to help you!

According to Mary Connaughton, Director of CIPD Ireland:

"With the level of change happening in organisations, we are keen to get the pulse of the profession in 2022. This is an excellent chance to have your say and tell us about your last year of work:

  • What have been your people priorities?
  • What challenges have you faced adapting to 'a new normal'?
  • How do you feel about your career within the profession?

We greatly appreciate your time, as you help us raise our voice of the profession and respond to your needs."

Click here to add your voice to the survey

This survey is also a crucial part for us in the people profession in understanding and benchmarking the profession as whole. Reflecting on what you told us in 2021, here are three key takeaways:

  • Homeworking challenges for hybrid teams

We asked practitioners about the challenges of homeworking, to understand the people aspects that become more difficult in a virtual working environment. The top challenge that people professionals noted was supporting employees’ mental health and wellbeing. Half of the Ireland sample cited this as a big challenge. CIPD Ireland’s 2021 HR Practices survey also replicated the difficulty of supporting employee wellbeing, suggesting this is a sustained and ongoing issue. Additionally, the same survey revealed that 71% of respondents were remote working in 2020, and over three quarters said their organisation planned to adopt hybrid working going forward.

These findings suggest a continued desire for remote and homeworking models for the foreseeable future. Both findings raise an important question: how do people leaders foster a culture that is complimentary to these new ways of working and avoid snapping back to pre-pandemic practices?

Prioritising mental health and wellbeing requires both decent wellbeing benefits, but also a culture that champions good job quality and healthy working practices. A big part of achieving the right culture is about supporting managers to navigate people management challenges that arise in hybrid teams, and for senior leaders to advocate healthy ways of working and a supportive culture. Managing hybrid and remote teams effectively requires different people management and leadership skills, to mitigate the lack of physical team presence. The CIPD’s effective virtual teams resource reviews the evidence and provides some practical guidance on this.

  • Skills development of people teams

Two thirds of our respondents from Ireland said they had needed to reskill or upskill in response to COVID-19. This suggests that the majority have undergone some level of skills development to effectively respond to the pandemic’s impact on business operations and people practices. This finding suggests that people teams were rapid to respond to skills gaps within their teams, a necessary ingredient for agile working. Although this finding gives us some initial insight into the necessity and prevalence of skills development within the profession, it raises some further questions. What type of upskilling and development are people professionals undertaking and on what scale? How are practitioners upskilling within their roles and what is driving the demand for such skills? Off the back of these results, we plan to conduct follow-up research with practitioners, enabling us to gain a deeper understanding of how the profession is prioritising skills development within their people teams.

  •  What’s driving change within organisations?

When it comes to organisational change, many variables can influence business operations and strategy. For our 2021 sample, digital transformation was noted as the top driver of change, with 62% of Irish professionals citing this. Digital transformation has repeatedly been a topic of high interest amongst the profession. CIPD’s People Profession 2030 future trends report involved collaborative international research which found technology and digital transformation to be a key trend heavily impacting the future world of work. With that in mind, professionals need to consider their digital capability and address such skill gaps, to uphold their credibility as business partners and add value in this space. It’s also up to the profession to step up and lead on the impact of digital transformation on the workforce and influence leaders to think about the people considerations as organisational technology evolves. Our digital transformation series shares insights from people professionals and their experience of navigating and evolving digital change.

the people profession hackathon 2030 infographic

Explore this illustration in detail and explore this trend further in pp12-19 of the People Profession 2030 report.

The CIPD People Profession 2021 UK & Ireland report includes further insights and more details on these, and other headline findings.

Thank you for your support

Take the survey now and add your voice to the 2022 findings!

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