Cafcass HR chief calls on HR leaders to embrace organisation goals

HR leaders must look outside their operation and deliver significant business improvements if they are to truly partner with the C-Suite.

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) head of HR James Hyde believes HR leaders need to develop a sound understanding of their organisation’s overall aims, drivers and pain points to form strong bonds with boardroom colleagues.

He noted that a successful absence reduction and wellbeing strategy based upon the organisation’s key needs had proved very effective in drawing CEO backing.

Speaking at the HR Directors Business Summit, Hyde said: “The crux of this is how HR partners with our chief executives and corporate managing teams.

“It’s my personal view that HR has been guilty of naval gazing. We’re trying to find the answers within our own profession, but actually the answer is very obvious: as individual professionals we should be looking within our own organisations.”

A “deep understanding” of organisational drivers, Hyde argued, was the only way to truly understand which solutions would lead to “rapid and sustainable” improvement of internal pain points.

He said: “If you can have a deep understanding – not just an idea – of what drives your organisation you will grab the attention of the chief executive and you’ll keep it. But then you have to deliver, and that’s what we’ve done at Cafcass.”

Cafcass employees previously averaged 16 sick days per year, but Hyde’s series of wellbeing and HR reforms reduced that number to seven days and cut stress absences by 60%.

Hyde explained: “These figures are an example of how we’ve created a resilient work force in partnership with a chief executive that has been fully on board.”

But, he added: “You have to have a deep understanding of your core business as a starting point. That’s what makes its mark.”

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