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  • Sara Bean
  • 25 February 2015
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Cross discipline collaboration is essential for the future of the workplace says CIPD Chief Executive Peter Cheese

Over the past year, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) has been busy forging links with professional bodies in allied disciplines, including the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM).

The BIFM and CIPD announced their intention to form a collaborative partnership during last May's BIFM Think FM conference. Meanwhile, the CIPD and CIMA announced a strategic collaboration last July to foster closer working links between the finance and HR professions to help increase their combined impact on business performance. With this they aim to forge a programme of joint research, integrated business reporting and shared services for HR and finance.

In an exclusive interview with International Workplace, CIPD Chief Executive, Peter Cheese, told us just why forging a collaborative working agreement is so important to the CIPD and its members.

"Creating these sorts of agreements sends out a very strong and positive message to our profession that they should be collaborating with their colleagues in areas like finance and facilities management and so on because the world we're operating in is more complex and more interconnected than ever."

He adds:

"People from both disciplines, particularly facilities management and finance, both have a very strong interest in working with the HR profession because they see also the role of the person in the enterprise, and this is recognised more today than it was in the past."

One of the results of these alliances is the recent announcement that the BIFM and CIPD have launched ‘The Workplace Conversation’ — a collaborative project exploring the evolution of the working environment and what the future of the workplace looks like.

The new project will aim to identify and define the challenges, ideas and opportunities on how work is enabled, both now and in the future, and will explore topics such as the emergence of new technologies, economic forces and flexible working alternatives, and their impact on business performance and the way people work.

Explains Peter:

"We've known through research for ages about the positive impact and benefits of a well-designed workplace and FMs are just as invested in the future as we are in HR in the changing nature of the workplace, the virtual and physical.

"What's the purpose of the workplace if not to create an environment to which people will connect, learn and collaborate and share, and which is engaging and reflects the culture of the organisation? For our profession and these other professions, that is why it is good to collaborate."

He adds:

"When we [HR] focus on the changing nature of work, the workforce and the workplace, we see the need to come together with other functions and disciplines to create a much more integrated way of thinking about the world of work which will benefit everybody. So I am excited about this stuff and I think that sharing our research, sharing our thinking and connecting our communities is a really positive thing to do."

In a more in depth interview which we'll publish soon, Peter Cheese also discusses the CIPD's renewed commitment to supporting learning and development practitioners, its international focus and why we still have some way to go in digitally enabling the workforce.