Mind the gap

Mind the Gap2I have just spent a couple of weeks in London, a combination of work and family events since you ask. London is where my HR career started and where I got my HR qualifications, so it’s always nice to go back and see what’s going on.

I was fortunate to get the opportunity for a coffee meeting with Perry Timms, an excellent and experienced HR practitioner who I had previously conversed with via Twitter (@PerryTimms) and email but never met. Perry has become a friend and champion of the NZ HR Twitter community as a result of taking part in our weekly #NZ Lead discussions (every Thursday at 7.00pm #nzlead/8.00am GMT if you haven’t tried it) along with several other Brits, Aussies and others who find it interesting. #NZ Lead (started and hosted by Amanda Sterling and Tash Pieterse) is developing into an excellent discussion forum for HR professionals on a wide range of topics.

BIISt0eCUAIycrePerry and I share a love of seeing change and improvement in the profession (as well as old punk/mod music) so we decided to meet face to face. Our coffee lasted an hour and a quarter and we could have talked all day to be honest. I am finding that I am meeting more and more HR/recruitment people face to face that I’ve initially connected with via social media. I know a lot of people are wary of that and think it a bit odd, but I have to say that everyone I’ve met in real life has been exactly like their online persona – interesting, inspiring, generous and willing to share thoughts and ideas. By the time you get around to meeting, you already know you have a lot in common and are probably going to click with them so it makes networking so much easier.

Anyway, we talked about a lot of HR stuff and Perry shared with me his thoughts on the state of the profession and some interesting initiatives he is working on. We also talked about our two countries respective HR institutes. As a former member of the UK CIPD myself, I knew about the wide range of work they do for the profession. But a lot of what I heard blew me away. What was clear from our discussion and from reading some publications Perry left with me is that there is a huge gulf in how the CIPD and HRINZ operate, way more than I had imagined.

Now I’m not into HRINZ bashing here as clearly they can’t compete with the CIPD in terms of members, resources and publications/events and I know I’m not comparing apples with apples. But I do think in NZ we are being poorly served by our professional body at present. The New Zealand DIY/number 8 wire mentality seems to pervade everything in business here. While it sometimes fosters an environment of innovation, I also think it can be an excuse not to aim higher.

My sense is that HRINZ are standing still while the likes of the CIPD are really driving the future of our profession and pushing debates. Where is the innovative thinking, the white papers, the podcasts, leading the discussion about the state of the profession and where it needs to go in NZ? Why is more not being done to influence the content of HR degrees? The UK model where CIPD control all HR qualifications and membership is mandatory for anyone doing one of these should be looked at in my view. HRINZ seems to be little more than a professional association that most people expect and get very little out of. #NZ Lead has been created because a gap exists that needed to be filled in the social media space for example.

When I first came to NZ in 1997 it was still the Institute of Personnel Management and very few HR people were actually members or even knew of its existence. It’s come a long way since then, but I’m still left with the feeling that its growth and development has stalled in recent years. It still only represents around 50% of the HR professionals working in NZ. The professional development and conferences don’t really change much year on year, the magazine and website are a bit drab in my opinion, the annual awards uninspiring. They are not engaging the profession in the same sort of way that I’ve seen the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants do for instance.

So I’m starting to think I might get more out of membership of the CIPD again and I know other HR professionals who have come from overseas who feel the same. I know I want to keep growing and learning and having my thinking challenged. I have just renewed my HRINZ membership but it might be my last.

Wouldn’t it be great if one day we had one set of global standards for HR? Do you think HRINZ could/should be doing more for the profession in NZ and engaging with the likes of CIPD to add value for their members that they don’t have the resources to provide? As I say, it’s not my intention to bash the institute here but I know I’m not alone in my thinking. And not alone in looking elsewhere for inspiration.

39 thoughts on “Mind the gap

  1. Amanda Sterling (@sterling_amanda) says:

    I completely agree with these comments, and slightly nervous about saying this publicly because I’ve volunteered for HRINZ on and off for quite a few years. As an HR professional starting out, I did find the opportunities to network and learn from the events that HRINZ run valuable. But am finding now that my most valuable learning is coming from connecting through social media with awesome people such as yourself Richard. HRINZ should be pushing the envelope on this stuff not lagging behind. However, I just want to be clear, HRINZ has some AWESOME people volunteering for it: passionate and forward thinking people. But I know first hand that the efforts of these people are often stymied by a management hierarchy that is bureaucratic and out of touch with the profession. I am really keen to see what CIPD has to offer to fill the void and how #nzlead can help keep the conversations going about what will make HR great. Interested to hear the responses.

    1. hrmannz says:

      Fair comment Amanda. I do think HRINZ do some things really well and has some great people involved and working in it. But it needs to go to another level in my view.

  2. three beesCynthia says:

    In the last month we have seen Rob Fyfe bemoan management and leadership traing training at NZ universities and Simon Mouter dropping performance reviews because they stalled the business. (Thought he took a bit of a swipe at HR for the design by implication too.) And we heard nothing to my knowledge from HRINZ.

    That said, I didn’t put my name forward to go on HRINZ board and try to influence change. Richard, did you?

    1. hrmannz says:

      No I didn’t Cynthia. But I put my voluntary efforts into other areas such as the mentoring scheme and non-HRINZ activities like NZAGE. Let’s be clear, I’m not on a crusade here just voicing an opinion because I’m interested in what others think. Your first point is a very valid one and illustrates my point about thought leadership. They are often missing from key debates like that in this country.

    2. Tash Pieterse (@TashTasticNZ) says:

      Hi Cynthia,
      I understand your point about being part of HRINZ to try and influence change, I am doing that and making little if no progress overall, but making exceptional progress with my committee members and that is a great starting point 🙂

  3. Tash Pieterse (@TashTasticNZ) says:

    Hi Richard. 100% agree (because I can’t 110% agree – that’s another argument). I believe there is a lot of HRINZ red tape in getting things done. As Amanda said, there are amazing volunteers (obviously I am one) out there trying to push the profession forward and contribute with their passion and enthusiasm, but so quickly it is bypassed or shut down. I am also nervous to voice my opinion because I am a volunteer with HRINZ, but coming from someone who learns more from Twitter and blogging than I do from my $280 yearly membership with HRINZ upsets me and makes me question where my money is going. HRINZ is a great institute, but there is a lot more that can be done to make it better, especially as the world of work evolves and little countries like NZ get left lagging behind because there is no effort put into shifting it forward. HRINZ needs to be active in working with Universities and organisations like CIPD to ensure that what is offered here in NZ is just as good or even better than that offered overseas. I am on the committee this year because I want to help bring change from the inside, but I have noticed barriers which I find frustrating. I understand policy and guidelines, but where does allowance for innovation come into play? They have a twitter account that is not even 20% active in online HR discussions, no participation in #nzlead even just to see what is topical in the HR community and to find out what HR professionals actually want and talk about. I have learned so much in the 4months that we have run #nzlead and have met some amazing people – and guess what?! It’s free. It doesn’t cost a dime and uses very little of my time.

    1. hrmannz says:

      Yes, agree with that 101% (1% better than my best! – have you ever read Who Moved My Blackberry?) There are a lot of comments along the lines of volunteers doing great work and trying to change things from within which is great. But would be nice to see a top down strategic approach as well.

  4. nzrecruiter says:

    Nice commentary around meeting online personas in real life and finding an instant connection – just like we did back in your KPMG days Richard! 🙂

  5. Catherine Taylor says:

    I was really interested to read through your exchange and, in particular, the comments made about HRINZ. I was really concerned about these comments because we are making progress as an Institute and, in fact, we are working on the areas that are being discussed in this blog.
    I agree that HRINZ does not operate the same as CIPD as we don’t have the membership numbers or scale. However HRINZ is developing, both in terms of our growth as well as what we are doing strategically and operationally.
    We have a 94% retention rate, and over 10% annual net growth. In fact HRINZ leads CIPD in terms of membership share at over 55% of the market.
    We have recently reviewed the Strategic Plan for HRINZ and we are very excited about the new direction that we have agreed. This has been communicated on our website (and was referred to in the latest HRINZ News email newsletter).
    The new Mission is “Lift workplace capability to drive business progress, by partnering with decision-makers and leaders to grow the NZ economy” with a vision of being essential for business success, transforming and innovative, and delivering credible people solutions.
    We have communicated the Strategic Plan through the Branch Presidents’ Advisory Group in March this year and they are cascading this to their branches.
    Our CEO has written the Business Plan that supports our new mission and vision and this is very exciting for HRINZ and our direction.
    We have been doing a lot of other work as well both at branch level as well as national level.
    We have recently set up four new branches so that we can reach our members in a more effective way by being more accessible. We are very grateful to those members who have given up their time to support these branches.
    As you have noted, we are also very grateful for the exceptional work that the branch volunteers are doing for the HR community and the events and programmes that they are running for our local members. These are being supported by National Office in different ways depending on the needs of these branches. We also have volunteers who are members of various working parties or panels. Again we are very grateful to these people who have fantastic experience which only benefits the progression of HRINZ and HR in New Zealand.
    The Professional Development Programme has been upgraded and offers a wide range of development targeted for the wide needs of our members. This includes an excellent Strategic Human Resource Management Programme facilitated by Dr Ian Williamson from the Melbourne Business School for senior practitioners, through to entry level programmes for those just entering the HR profession.
    We also have the Nine to 5 Conferences with these now running in 3 centres, again to enable the accessibility to development for our members.
    Our Academic Branch, which was set up in 2010, offers a bi-annual Research Forum with the aim of bringing the business and academic communities closer together.
    As a result of a discussion paper that I wrote and was discussed at the HRINZ Board in February 2012 on “Lifting the Capability of HR in New Zealand”, the Academic Branch has been reviewing the various HR related degrees across New Zealand so that they can understand how these are structured with the aim of ensuring that there are more business papers included in these degrees.
    We had a great panel discussion at the Members Clinic at the 2012 National Conference where we had several CEOs and Senior Executives including HR, where we debated what CEOs want from HR. This also confirmed what we have been discussing at the Board about our community being “business” people and supports the Strategic Plan for HRINZ as well as what National Office is doing here.
    We are very excited about the National Conference this year where Professor Dave Ulrich, a world leading thinker in HR, is our keynote speaker and will run a one-day workshop while he is in New Zealand. We also have a range of business people presenting including Tony Alexander, Chief Economist for the BNZ, Lain Jager, CEO of Zespri, and, Mike Bennetts, CEO of Z Energy, to name a few.
    HRINZ is a member of the World Federation of Personnel Management Associations and we have close relationships with CIPD, SHRM (the American Association), AHRI (the Australian Institute), along with the members of the Asia and Pacific Federation.
    Through our relationship with AHRI we were able to offer member discounts (at the same rate as AHRI members) for the HR World Congress last year which was of very high quality. We had a contingent of well over 80 of our members taking advantage of this opportunity.
    We are currently included in a world-wide discussion on global HR standards which has been ongoing since 2010. We are also a member of various other forums and discussions both within New Zealand and also globally.
    After every Board meeting, I provide to the Branch Presidents Advisory Group my National President’s report which they discuss and can cascade to their branches. I also write a report about the Board discussions after each meeting which is provided to the Branch Presidents Advisory Group for cascading, and this is also published on our website to keep our members up to date. This also includes updates on work that has been completed such as updating HR competencies, reviewing our research programme, and reviewing the Awards processes to name a few.
    I was really concerned about the comments made about red tape and bureaucracy? This is not at all supported by the Board nor by National Office. We have always encouraged our branches and members to provide us with feedback about what we can do better and I personally have had meetings where these ideas have been discussed.
    Where I have had meetings with members who question the value of their membership, I outline the many benefits that HRINZ offers, however what one gains from this is also about what one puts into this. For me, I really value the networking and opportunities to meet some amazing people who are doing great things to enable their organisations through great people practices. I also value the opportunity to serve on the Board, both in terms of the experience I have gained through this as well as what I can contribute to HRINZ. I have attended some wonderful events including the National Conferences where there have been some inspiring speakers, and took up the opportunity through the discount offered by AHRI to attend the World Congress last year. I have also been a mentor for several years and have really enjoyed meeting and working with and learning from some talented young HR professionals through this programme.
    I am at the stage in my career where I want to “give back” to the profession and really feel that we have done a lot to progress HRINZ.
    We have the AGM in Auckland this year so I am very happy to discuss what we are doing as an Institute if you are planning to attend this, or very happy to talk to you over the phone as I would love to hear any ideas you have and also what you may like to be involved with to support the Institute.

    Catherine Taylor
    HRINZ National President

  6. hrmannz says:

    Thank you Catherine for taking the time to read and post, and for your very detailed comments. It is heartening to hear that so much is going on within the institute but most of this is news to me so maybe there is a communication issue? You mention a couple of times about things being cascaded to branch level but who exactly is the audience for that? The local branch committee? Should this not be going out to all members? Should not a new strategic plan have been launched with something of a fanfare?

    I also want to give back to the profession but committees and meetings are not my style – I have enough of those at work! So I’m trying to share my knowledge through the writing, social media and of course the mentoring scheme. I would be interested though to know how the close links with other institutes benefit the members, and whether we can get more value out of these relationships which is really the main thrust of the post. As the world of work increasingly globalises it would be good to see the various institutes working together on global initiatives.

    At the end of the day, anything we can do to help lift the capability of HR in NZ is a good thing and I would be interested in seeing that paper. Has it been published?


    1. Catherine Taylor says:

      Thanks Richard.

      I dont think this is a communication issue as we do provide alot of information to our members through the website (such as the reports that are posted from me every two months), our magazine, HR News, etc. Also the branches do their best to tailor what they do to their local members.

      As I mentioned, each member gets what they want out of their membership, so this means, for example, that some will be more interested in professional development, others in networking and branch events, and others being involved at a local level and so on.

      You asked about our relationships with the other global Institutes and Associations, which are excellent. We can gain benefits from these relationships through the member discounts to their events such as the World Congress last year, through information sharing, global research (such as the Boston Consulting Group research which we invited members to participate in), and then the global projects such as developing the ISO standards for HR. We have also had some requests from some of our members about specific country HR information so we have used our contacts to put them in touch with the appropriate country Association or Institute.

      My paper, which you asked about, was not published as this was a discussion paper for the Board. However it covered what you read about HR and being far more business savvy and being an enabler of our organisations.

      In articles that I have written for Employment Today etc and HRINZ conference speeches, I often remind people that now is our time in HR. Great HR is critical to organisations, and if we are capable in our roles, and enable business / organisation success, imagine the roll on effect to New Zealand!

      1. Tash Pieterse (@TashTasticNZ) says:

        Hi Catherine,

        Thank you for your responses and sharing from your viewpoint what HRINZ is doing. But if I am being honest, communication is a big issue that I have noticed. I am on a branch committee and I work actively to add value to HRINZ from the inside, but as a committee member I don’t know anything about what Beverley Main is doing, about what National Office is doing and definitely didn’t know anything about what you mentioned in the earlier reply to this blog post. Now, I don’t mean to say it is not happening, but as you say these things are being filtered down is not actually the reality that I have seen. We get inundated with emails constantly from HRINZ but this is more around promotion for events and such rather than sharing actual valuable information about what HRINZ is doing for the HR Profession in NZ.

        I have tried working through the website which is a mission in itself, it is not clearly defined where to find information about the innovations that HRINZ is participating in let alone the discussions and ideas being shared at the board level. I didn’t even know the HRINZ Strategy was up for renewal and only found out about it in the HR News email sent out, I write the newsletters for our branch each month. I think the strategy is a great step in the right direction, but it didn’t explain enough to me on how HRINZ got to this point, and why HRINZ believes this is the right direction to move in. I believe a strategy should provide a background story and also an overview of how the Institute sees this vision and mission being implemented over the next three years – I don’t think it offers that completeness in the one page.

        Please know, I believe HRINZ is great, but I also think that it is not open to hearing all the feedback that is being given. I have offered a number of suggestions only to have them shrugged off or even made too hard to articulate that it wasn’t worth the effort. I have made great progress within my branch committee, but I can’t say I feel the same for the overall Institute. There is so much more that HRINZ could be doing on the smaller scale such as even embracing social media more. HRINZ has a twitter account that is only ever used to promote events and share articles, it doesn’t engage with HR Professionals (what is the point then). HRINZ do a lot of great things, but too much effort is constantly being put into promoting events etc than actually talking about other things like what the Institute should be doing to push the Profession forward.

        These are only my words as seen through my experiences.

  7. Nichola Oakenfull (@mecha_genki) says:

    Hi everyone
    I thought really long and hard about how to reply (even drafting a big response the other night only to delete it) because I am quite aware of not writing anything that’s going to make me or my employer look stupid, and because a lot of what I wrote (eg, not getting a lot out of membership) I could come up with a counter argument to (you get out what you put in, have I really hunted around enough for info etc).
    I have been a member on and off over the years, and am currently only a member because I have just moved to a smaller town from Wellington and need to get to know people, and I’m in a consulting role so people need to get to know me too. The other reason I am a member is because of FOMO (fear of missing out).
    The only SIG/lunch time sessions that I have been to that have been of use was one with NZDDA which was really good and one years ago that was a HRINZ/NZATD. I feel that the other ones I have been too have been pitched at too low a level or are just law firm standard presentations. I know a lot of this is because I work in ER and do the same presentations myself for clients and I can see if you were more of a generalist HR person they would be useful, but I feel for me (working in ER/HR for 13 years) there isn’t a lot of value. I don’t have the answers of course but some ideas are:
    – more informal networking. The young ER group that Danni in Wellington set up is really good. Having the email group is fantastic. I used to be part of an SSC lead ER group in wgtn which was also really good. We basically just went around and talked about what went on in our orgs without a topic or speaker and it was so useful to know who was doing what in case you had the same thing come up.
    – thinking about others like NZDDA outside of HRINZ members who can take SIGs (again this might happen and I just haven’t looked so hard at the emails).
    – tidy up the website. There is so much on there that I can only find on google – I find it really hard to find what are quite good resources.
    – some of the stuff Mike posts on linkedin would be good to have by email.

    I also have to thank everyone involved in the wgtn young ER group and Tash and Amanda for #nzlead on twitter too – I’ve really gotten a lot out of both and maybe that’s the answer – keep it simple and informal and easy.

    On the university stuff I really agree. I understand universities aren’t meant to be practical like a trade, but I think we need to look at what other industries like accountants are doing and teach much more practical stuff at varsity and there is probably a need for something like how CAs get qualified (I think they’ve just changed it?). So many people are coming out of varsity getting stuck in HR admin roles because they just don’t have the practical skills needed. Even some kind of HRINZ workshop for students on using excel (stuff like pivot tables that aren’t hard but I’d never done before) could work as Saturday sessions. There needs to be a lot more work with the universities about what working in HR is really like. I know there is the student ambassadors and maybe they do that, but I think it’s those already working that students need to hear from, see what a real day in HR is like etc. It might cut down on those who get into HR and only last a year or two because they didn’t realise they didn’t like it.

    I’m still a bit hesitant to post this because I feel like I’m being critical without actually taking action myself, which is something I hate when people do. But at the same time, I feel it’s important to talk about these things so we and our employers get value out of our membership.

    1. keepinontrack says:

      I, like Nichola, have thought long and hard about entering this public yet important communication forum and if so, in what way.

      Firstly, thank you for the mention for the ER network Nichola.

      Secondly, I like social media and think we can use it more, but also need to find a way that works for all.

      Thirdly this forum may not intentionally be personal but at the same time we should all realise as people people that it may feel this way for some in a forum absent of tone and body language.

      As an HR and ER professional I spend most of my time talking about being open, giving feedback, and getting into your customer’s (aka your employees) shoes. From reading the posts, I think all are relevant here. My observation is of feedback being given openly by customers who want to be heard. Is there an opportunity to try to capture this feedback and use it? As a HRINZ member of 6 years I would like opportunities to give regular feedback on the service to which I am a member. I would prefer to do this in a way that is constructive… a membership survey possibly or something that works for everyone.

      Solution time. I’ll leave it at that.

  8. hrmannz says:

    Some interesting comments coming through here

    Tash – thanks for your honesty (and I was going to say courage), but I don’t think any of us should fear saying what we think. It’s all good debate. I was going to say that I think younger members possibly get more out of HRINZ than senior members but your comments don’t necessarily reflect that which is a concern as people like you are the future of the profession and therefore the Institute.

    Nichola – again, thanks for your honest comments. Your comments about special interest groups (SIGs) is interesting because to me that goes to the heart of the problem. All these things are run and organised by volunteers under the HRINZ banner so the quality and relevance of those are largely going to depend on the volunteers and their networks. I’ve personally been to some great ones, I’ve been to some poor ones. I don’t go to those that are of no interest to me.

    The university comment is also interesting. I know NZICA have full time, paid regional student liaison people who have absolutely transformed NZICA’s presence and perception in universities in recent years and they work with employers and the likes of Grad Connection as well to organise events. Again, NZICA have more members and resources but we should be looking at those models?

    Catherine – one question I have is when was the last time HRINZ surveyed their members for their views, needs and wants? I remember completing something a few years ago but there’s been nothing recent to my knowledge. Prior to setting a new strategic direction, should not this have been done along with seeking views from other key stakeholders such as CEO’s, universities etc?

    Also, can I just plug #NZLead on Twitter this coming Thursday where these issues are going to be discussed further.

  9. Neil says:

    I’d like to address this comment to Catherine if I may Richard?


    First and foremost, I’m a UK practitioner so I don’t know about the status or work of HRINZ. But I have worked informally with the CIPD in the UK after we had a bit of a lovers tiff in 2010. One of the things that I talked to them about was their engagement with members online. If anyone wrote anything verging on critical they either ignored it completely or came back with a point by point rebuttal. The thing is….that just disengages the disengaged even more.

    We’re all in the profession because we feel passionate about it and therefore we will have different views and approaches. As I said to the CIPD at the time, “they are the views of your members, even if you don’t like them”.

    If someone in my workplace said that they weren’t happy or felt that we weren’t doing enough for employees, my first question would probably be “what would you like us to do more of?” what I wouldn’t do is a tell them all the reasons why they were wrong, provide them with meaningless statistics and then after an exhaustive rebuttal say, “I would love to hear any ideas you have”.

    If a number of people told me our internal communications were ineffective, I wouldn’t respond by saying, “I dont think this is a communication issue as we do provide a lot of information”. Communication is two way, not one directional…so both parties have to think it works. Social media is a great way of engaging and there is a lot going on in New Zealand (given its relative size) from a bunch of hugely engaged and energetic people some of whom have commented above. Imagine the power of truly engaging these guys and letting them spread the word for you?

    I absolutely know how frustrating it is when you’re trying to do good things and people don’t see the time and effort that you put in. I know how depressing it is when your work goes unnoticed. I can understand the temptation to tell people that they’re wrong. But perhaps you could ask yourself this, “if this is their perception, what can we do to change their perception?” and not “what can we do to prove their perception is wrong?” there is subtle mind shift therein.

    Good luck with it, the CIPD has really benefitted from their online engagement and now has a bunch of bloggers singing their praises rather than knocking them. I’d be happy to talk to you more about it if you’d like.


  10. Catherine Taylor says:

    Thanks for all the feedback – I guess this demonstrates how each of our members are looking for different value from our membership with HRINZ, and also how they want to be communicated with and through varying channels.

    We do survey our members (and take on board their feedback from these), however the last members survey only had a 10 percent response rate so we are looking at how we can do this differently to get a higher participation rate. We would love more of our members participating in these surveys, as well as participating in voting in the elections, and giving feedback.

    As there are real concerns expressed here, in particular communications getting through, I will send the blog to the Branch Presidents Advisory Group so that they are aware that the communications are not getting through nor hitting the mark for some of our members and they can discuss how this could improve.

    I will also send the blog to the Board for discussion at our June meeting.

    Tash – Bev is going to get in touch with you to follow up you concerns and suggestions too.


    1. hrmannz says:

      Thanks Catherine. If members apparently care so little about giving feedback or who is on the board, clearly we it’s time to look at what we want the institute to be and how we can get people more engaged with it. I’m happy to share my thoughts on that. I look forward to seeing how things progress and thanks again for all your comments and commitment to address some of these issues.

  11. Sara says:

    Hi Richard
    Really enjoyed your article. I have lived in nz since 2006 (and worked with you at kpmg in a previous life!) I have Hrinz and ciphd memberships but the cipd one is much more valuable and I refer to it frequently.
    A global standard would be ideal and I wonder if this has been achieved in other industries? Do we need to champion Hrinz more in the workplace and bring recognition to a formal qualification like in uk? Looking forward to your next instalment 🙂

    1. hrmannz says:

      Thanks Sara. Great to hear from you as always. I agree we do need to champion HRINZ more, but we also need a more dynamic institute to champion and I hope from this debate will come some positive change. A 10% response rate to a member survey is pretty poor. Are people really so happy with what’s being provided or just not interested? I know I commented but clearly most others weren’t compelled to. Something needs to change.

  12. Elena says:

    Great discussion Richard! Might join you on NZlead to see what it’s all about. Keep up the good work!

  13. Rachel Walker says:


    Like Catherine, I am a current HRINZ board member and I am on the sub group which considers our external influence and liaison. This discussion has been really useful in giving me a greater insight into what you want from HRINZ – something we thought we understood already given the large number of volunteers involved, member surveys and groups such as the Branch Presidents Advisory Group (which is in part designed to provide feedback to the board). Please note that at least 50% of the board that will be in place from June are former Branch Presidents, and many board members have experience on other boards (including commercial ones) and are IOD members.

    I do find it disappointing that some people are not aware of the offerings of HRINZ – we do look closely at our sister organisations and have generally felt we compare well. I’m also aware that in almost every real life situation no matter how much we communicate in the workplace it is never enough, perhaps the issue is how we are communicating and what information you have about what HRINZ is doing and offers?

    I’m reluctant to personally table solutions here, but as the board will be discussing this blog at the next meeting in June, it would be great to get further clarity on what you would like to see. I am certainly open to being a contact for gathering your comments if you wish to contact me directly, but I’d like to think we can talk about enhancements/spreading the word.

    I’m also disappointed to hear some people feel their views have not been taken seriously or not been heard by the right people. Rather than opening old wounds, it would be useful to understand this from a process point of view – how you tried to interact and where that seemed to fail. Then we could consider a change to that information flow.

    One thing that I’m not sure has been touched on is that the board is very clear that HR in this country needs to focus on value to the organisations we work in and their stakeholders. The conference this year is one part of trying to share that view and help our members to understand what that means and how to do it. We are also working to lift the profile of HRINZ and the profession with key influencers in business and politics.

    Richard I’m not clear (I may have missed it above) if you are a HRINZ member? Either way I am keen to talk to you face to face/by phone to clarify the areas you feel we need to improve and/or your views on how we can enhance our communications with members. Please feel free to contact me via Linked In or through HRINZ head office.

  14. Anon says:

    Impressed with the strength/courage of those raising these points and putting their names by them. Many of us, myself [Anon] included, fear being marginalised from going against the grain to do anything about challenging the status quo. I’ll remember all of your names for a few years down the track when you’re running for the HRINZ board positions 😉

    1. hrmannz says:

      Thanks all for your comments. I think we have identified some areas for further discussion and I am grateful to Catherine and Rachel for offering to talk about those. I will update in the coming weeks as those progress.

  15. Wellington says:

    As a member of HRINZ i think they do great work and I was in the know about many of the things Catherine mentioned. I choose to read the emails and seek out further information I need. For me this method is sufficient. I think the crux of the matter is that for some members more engagement on social media would be preferred, however for me I am happy as it is.

  16. roman lee-lo says:

    This is a great forum and great to see all our H R leaders engaging. These forums will be beneficial to new HRINZ branches to ensure we do not lose momentum!

  17. hrmannz says:

    Thanks again everyone for your input. Much appreciated. Let’s draw the line in the sand now and focus on outcomes as we HR types like to say. Watch this space.

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