Action 12: Embed strategic human resource management in the public service

The purpose of Strategic HR Management (SHRM) is to align the management of people, namely human resources with the strategic business needs of the organisation.  SHRM in the public service is at differing stages of maturity, there are SHRM policies common to organisations across the public service where there is potential for sharing best practice and collaboration.

A key action under Action 12 is the establishment of a SHRM leadership group of HR leaders in the main civil and public sector organisations to guide, influence and implement the actions under the People and Organisation Pillar.  This group will develop mechanisms on how to link HR Policy and practice to strategic organisational priorities and report to the PSLB.

To this end, an inaugural workshop of 40 Senior HR Professionals from across the six sectors took place on 4th April 2019.  The purpose of the workshop was to identify key themes for further discussion and agreement.

The four themes identified were:


In order to progress the network’s evolution, and to support our OPS2020 objective of ‘Developing our people and organisations’ a small cross-sectoral working group was set up to discuss and agree a draft Terms of Reference which was presented to the wider network group in December 2019 for discussion agreement and adoption.

A Working Group then met on 12th June and 2nd September 2019 to develop Terms of Reference.

A further meeting took place on 12th December 2019 with over 30 HR Professionals from across the six Sectors in attendance – outputs included:

  • Agreement on Terms of Reference
  • Appointment of a Chair and Deputy Chairperson to the Network:
  • David Cagney – Chief Human Resources Officer for the Civil Service and
  • Anne Marie Hoey, National HR Director, HSE.
  • Agreement of Key priorities for 2020 under the high level banner of Workforce Transformation:
  • Alignment of HR with business objectives
  • Strategic Workforce Planning
  • Insights based on analysis
  • Scenario planning
  • Innovation
  • Performance Management
  • Engage Senior Management regarding ‘value add’

A meeting of the Chair, Deputy Chair and DPER Liaison took place on the 4th February 2020 to agree best approach to advance priorities, namely;

  1. Host ‘future of work’ seminar for SHRM Network – postponed due to COVID-19
  2. Agree series of participative Action Learning Sets across the remainder of the year for the SHRM Network on key prioritised areas as detailed above, with a view to sharing best practices and addressing challenges
  3. Call for expressions of interest from the Group on particular work programmes including;
    1. Strategic Workforce Planning Review Project
    2. Health & Wellness
    3. Performance Management
    4. Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Most recently a meeting with the Chair and DPER Liaison took place on 19th August 2020 to discuss priorities and to build on and capture learnings from the preceeding months.

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