2020 a year for the People Profession

As businesses prepared budgets, teams developed strategies, families planned summer get aways and individuals made new years resolutions – none of us could have envisaged the year that 2020 has turned out to be.

As a people profession this year has presented many challenges and quite frankly for many of us, moments of despair. Through this we have also seen our people rally together in such a beautiful way, showing flexibility and commitment to get us through the tough times. We have seen our leadership teams change their language from productivity and numbers to compassion, care and people, letting go of authority and control and giving way to autonomy and trust. In many ways this year has been a people professional’s dream with conversations leading with flexibility, support and care for our people as our leadership teams have recognised the power that engagement, wellbeing, equity and inclusion can harness. This has been a year where it has been more about the people case than the business case. In that sense, for people professionals a wonderful year.



It is vital that we as a profession take these learnings forward and bake them into the way we engage with each other, the way we lead our people and the way we do business. As people professionals I believe that there are some practices and approaches that would serve our people and ultimately our businesses well, here are (in my view) the top four:

  1. Keep people, their wellbeing and flexibility at the top of the agenda
  2. Work with your leaders to intentionally keep equity and inclusion front and centre of people discussions and people decisions, ensuring that our organisations are set up to continue the hard work towards being truly inclusive organisations.
  3. As we have seen, leaders have engaged in enabling employee voice and feedback in a way they had not previously, I believe that our role is to work to maintain this focus.
  4. Upskill, encourage and support our leaders to keep their teams empowered and engaged through compassionate communication



Lastly, the most important approach is to be intentional about enhancing and taking this new compassionate leadership culture into the future of our organisations. It is our role to examine our organisational processes, the employee life cycle and our organisational cultures, encouraging changes where they are required so that our organisations are intentionally inclusive, compassionate and people led; so that our organisations are winning organisations. The time is now.