A look back at 2014

15th December 2014 Posted by

As we head towards Christmas, I have been wondering what the subject for my last blog of the year could be. Should I be Dickens’ Scrooge and talk about the challenges many businesses face following recent case law on the methodology of calculating holidays? Or should I be more like Father Christmas and talk about what many of us do at this time of year, looking back at how the past year has been for us? Well, my HR team is currently doing just that, reviewing the targets we set for 2014 and whether we achieved them.

It is no surprise that we achieved many of our goals, and even over achieved in some cases, but there are some that we will have to carry over to 2015. What hit me as we went through this exercise of looking back at 2014, is that the targets set in January 2014 were very different from what we ended up with later on in the year. It is amazing how the business context has changed and some areas that we thought were very important at that time, ultimately were not and in the end did not form part of our work programme in 2014. This either means that I am poor at identifying what is needed or, more likely, that the dynamic nature of what we are doing means that, as a department, HR needs to remain flexible in order to adapt to any change.

This variation also means that, as a function, we have to keep our ‘ears to the ground’ about what is happening in the company and ensure that our daily work focus is what is required at that time. Of course, the role of HR is not just one of being reactive – the day-to-day work programme needs to fit into a longer term aims of the department and the company as a whole. A good HR department is one that can manage this balance effectively. A not so good department is one that is either just reactive to what happens today, or one that sets targets and is inflexible in adapting those goals. I hope that the employees at SITA UK think, on the whole, that the HR team gets the balance right.

I hope you have a great Christmas and flexible 2015!

Kevan Sproul

Human Resources Director, SITA UK

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