To truly deliver for their organisations, HR professionals need to be ‘business savvy’, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). In response to new research by the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by KPMG International, which found that HR is viewed as a non-essential department within some organisations, the CIPD highlights the unique position and value of HR.

Commenting on the report, Vanessa Robinson, Head of HR Practice and Development, CIPD said: “HR professionals are in a unique position to be able to spot the hard and soft factors in organisations that represent either risks, or opportunities, for driving sustainable performance. The need for HR practitioners to demonstrate their ‘business savvy’ ability was highlighted in CIPD research, published earlier this year. Our report, Business savvy: giving HR the edge, showed that the majority of HR professionals get this and continually and instinctively step up to the challenge.

“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. It us up to individuals to ensure that this business savvy behaviour is constantly practiced and reflected upon if the HR function is to become embedded at a strategic level within organisations.”

“Initial findings from the latest CIPD HR Outlook report, due to be published later this year, show that although cost management and belt-tightening in the current economic climate are still the primary focus for the majority of organisations, HR needs to look beyond these immediate priorities for opportunities to truly add business value for the long term. 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.”