Organisations should not underestimate the value of HR, says the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

HR professionals need to be 'business savvy' in order to truly deliver for their organisations, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Recent research by the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by KPMG International, found that HR is sometimes viewed as a non-essential department within certain UK organisations, but the CIPD has responded by highlighting the unique position and value of HR.

Earlier this year, the institute published its 'Business Savvy: Giving HR the Edge' report, which showed that the majority of HR professionals understand the need to demonstrate their 'business savvy' abilities.

Vanessa Robinson, the head of HR practice and development at the CIPD, commented that people working in HR are in a unique position to drive sustainable performance.

She said: "Business savvy HR practitioners understand where value is created and destroyed within their organisations and are able to identify people-related improvement points which drive value and enhance organisational performance.

"The most effective HR professionals have the courage to ask questions and look for explanations even when the knowledge required seems masked in technical or professional jargon."

In order for HR functions to become established at a strategic level within organisations, Ms Robinson believes that business savvy behaviour must be constantly practised and reflected upon.

She also states that initial findings from the latest CIPD HR Outlook report, which is due to be published later this year, could help organisations when it comes to managing HR teams.

The findings show that cost management and belt tightening in the current economic climate are still the primary focus for the majority of organisations.

However, Ms Robinson claimed that HR must also look to the future and not solely focus on the present day.

"HR needs to look beyond these immediate priorities for opportunities to truly add business value for the long term," she said.

"This includes helping the business to innovate and work more smartly and will rely on HRs' ability to visibly demonstrate their impact on the business via relevant measurements."

Copyright Press Association 2012