Priorities of HR & People Functions Have Changed

How is your HR team changing the way they work?

I always thought the priority of HR and People teams was to ensure we have and keep the right people.

Whilst this is still a key responsibility of the function, things are changing. My thoughts are changing. The way our teams are working is constantly changing.

Our biggest priority is ensuring we are COVID-secure and ensuring we are capable of driving employee health and wellbeing. This has meant significant changes in how we operate as a business across the world. The way we work changed overnight. 

Interestingly, the perception of the HR function changed too. We became less considered as an administrative function and much more of a business partner – which is great! That is exactly what we are!

Keeping our company operational during the pandemic was not easy. But we did it. And we delivered record performing months with little disruption to our existing customers and significant growth of new customers.

That is no surprise though. We have been providing professional global energy procurement and management services for almost a decade, saving clients millions.

Northern Gas and Power offers specialist services in energy procurement, energy management, targeting, and reduction. We are the largest energy consultancy by customer volume. With over 20,000 clients, we manage a portfolio of over 30 TWhs. That’s more energy than Ireland consumes in a year! 

Many businesses have been looking to reduce their costs during the pandemic. We have been here to help them do exactly that. That is why Northern Gas and Power is the preferred choice when it comes to professional energy services.

In March 2020, most of the country shifted to operate remotely during the pandemic. It was not easy to prepare. However, we very quickly got continuity plans in place.

We made significant investment in technology and developed brand-new processes which improved and increased communication with our people. We invested in opening new disaster recovery sites and in serious amounts of antibacterial hand sanitiser! And importantly, we adopted a different People strategy.

It has not been easy. It’s not something I thought I would ever need to plan for. But it has helped us transform as a team, developing how we support the business, our people and our customers.

If anything, it’s allowed us to fast forward some strategic initiatives. So I guess it hasn’t been all bad. One initiative was the implementation of a brand new HRIS and ATS. This will continue to allow us to be a value-added partner to the business in the future. This is ongoing implementation, but we can already see the efficiencies it’s going to support with.

We’re still here to ensure we have the right people and keep the right people. But we are very much here now to be a true business partner, helping our business help other businesses. 

The pandemic has not been all that bad.

So, I now ask myself, what will our 2022 priorities be, and how will we get there? 

What about you? What are your HR and People teams focusing on for the future? Would you be interested in sharing your HR and People teams’ best practices?

Here’s to change.


By Scott High, Global People Director

Scott High, our Global People Director, is responsible for the colleague life-cycle, including Employer Brand, Recruitment, HR, Learning & Development, Employee Engagement, Internal Communications and Health & Safety. He is an integral part of the senior director level team inputting daily in the direction of the business.

He has years of experience in the people engagement and talent acquisition space and is an accomplished leader who has a collaborative work ethic, driving his teams forward to achieve excellence at all levels.

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