Cranfield report launches human resources upon the seven Cs

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The Independent Online
Simple human resources systems "are often more effective than sophisticated ones, not least because they are easier to understand and apply," says Shaun Tyson of the Cranfield School of Management.

This is the conclusion of a report, Standards of Excellence in the management of Human Resources, in which Professor Tyson also highlights seven critical success factors for UK organisations that transcend size and sector. These factors - the seven Cs - are: close integration of HR strategy with business strategy; identification of strategic competencies; their coherent and systematic application; creation of employee relations strategies that encourage employees' involvement in the business; thoroughness in carrying out policies with the emphasis being on simple but effective systems; giving employee creativity a high priority; and effective upward as well as downward communication.

The 70-page report provides a benchmark picture of what many leading organisations perceive to be best practice. It follows the conferring of excellence awards earlier this year on 10 organisations ranging from Bettys and Taylors, for best performance in a family business, through the Automobile Association for performance in transport and logistics, to GCHQ, for "significant achievement under difficult circumstances".

The report aims to provide practitioners and observers with the latest and most accurate picture of how human resource trends are developing, and shows the direction in which policies and practices are moving. It analyses human resource management in a range of key areas, including the management of change, competencies, learning, ethical standards, creativity and innovation, communication, employee involvement and performance management.

The winning organisations were found to be those in which strategies were clearly linked to organisational goals and contributed to organisational performance, in which human resource policies were clearly integrated to provide a comprehensive overall system for the delivery of high performance, and in which human resource functions made a major contribution to the management of change.

"Organisations increasingly understand how these areas impact on their business and many now see it as critical to their strategies," says Prof Tyson.

The awards were first organised by Human Resources magazine in 1996. The next awards will be announced in May next year.

Martin Leach, publisher of Human Resources and founder of the awards, said they were designed to "evaluate, recognise and encourage corporate excellence" in an area that continued to play an important role within organisations as a key driver of change.