Having been in the region for a relatively short period of time, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the GOV HR Summit but was keen to understand the issues facing HR professionals in the public sector.
It turns out that many of those issues are similar to those faced by the private sector in and indeed they’re not unique to this part of the world.
Chris Roebuck’s introductory address set the tone for the wide-ranging agenda and he came up with some memorable sound bites when it came to characterising the difference between the public and private sectors:
- “The public sector is building a legacy for the future, the private sector is building shareholder return”
- “The public sector is about we, not me”
- “Leadership isn’t complicated because we all recognize what good leaders do”
He also challenged HR professionals to step up and make a difference in their organisations.
Sessions included discussions about: the difficulties of engaging with, and retaining, top talent; how to market to young people; empowering women; the use of technology in HR; and the role of learning and development – all of which are discussions that are taking place throughout the world. And then there are the challenges of nationalisation – something that is unique here – but the issues are still the same.
Again and again, the same themes came up:
- How do we create and maintain an attractive and supportive work environment?
- What does great leadership look like?
- How do we nurture and develop our people?
- How do we get the best out of our people and ensure they get the best out of their careers?
- How can we help people to share in our success, not just financially but emotionally as well?
What struck me was a real desire to answer these questions and put in place the means to deliver the right solutions.
The enthusiasm of the speakers, the delegates and the exhibitors came through loud and clear and hopefully augurs well for the future of HR in the region. The challenges are there, but so is the determination to address them.