At the end of April, I was delighted to see so many of our members, vice presidents of branches, partners from across the health system, commercial partners and sponsors and supporters at our event to launch the new national HPMA Vision and Strategy – you can find out more here and watch the event report here. Whilst HPMA has its own role and vision, we believe working in partnership with other organisations and parts of the healthcare system ensures that together we can do more for our profession, our people managers and ultimately our patients.
Over the last year we have conducted an engaging process to develop a vision and strategy and related activities to ensure the HPMA is ‘well-led’ i.e. with the governance and infrastructure to deliver our exciting vision and strategy. We also listened to our VPs who wanted to understand their responsibilities and strategy better. We also wanted to ensure that VPs have the autonomy to lead their branches and deliver their local priorities and provided support from the centre with business planning and activities
Whilst HPMA has been primarily a networking association for HR professionals and practitioners, it has been indirect in its approach to influencing people management in organisations. I believe we should, and can, have a more direct approach and impact on improving people management in the NHS and beyond.
As we know from the research evidence our people are key to the quality of healthcare. We are a people business: People caring for People, People managing People. It is the human component, that makes the difference. If we are to provide compassionate care then our people management must be compassionate management. There is an urgent need for this and we have a role to make this a reality in all healthcare organisations.
The NHS has a mission to improve health care for our communities and we do this through our people, through workforce solutions and excellence in HRM and people management. My wish is for HPMA to champion this, to lead and deliver improvements in all aspects of people management in healthcare.
My vision is for us to be the ‘go to’ place for people management in healthcare. I want us to grow as an organisation and do more, not just for its own sake as a successful business, but so as to make an impact and improve people management and ultimately the health of our nation.
If I could transport myself to a time in the future, I would want to see the NHS and healthcare organisations being the employer of choice, with excellent people management. HPMA's legacy will be that we helped make that happen. I want us as a profession to be ambitious, to throw off the shackles of any self-limiting and modest thoughts and behaviours, to be bold and challenging to be transformational and more strategic.
I believe our time is now to make this happen. There are about 25,000 HR practitioners in the NHS and if everyone did more to promote good people management, made a 1% incremental change (in the words of sports coaches) just imagine the impact that could have! SO what can you personally do?
As you go through your day, please consider – what is your role? Are you an observer, a silent supporter? Are you cheering from the stands, or are you giving your all on the pitch? Are you going to make a difference? Are you going to think big?
When we started to look at our mission, vision and strategy I challenged the national council, our VPs and their branches, and our shadow trustees to think big too … it was my call to arms! I am delighted to say they did just that, and so we have developed a compelling vision to engage you all – our members, partners and stakeholders and a stretching strategy to make this real.
But remember, it isn’t just about thinking big – we have to take action. After all, in the words of a Japanese proverb:
"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare".