Our annual snapshot of the people profession provides an up-to-date, evidence-based picture of practitioners’ experiences and challenges over the last year. We look at the external factors influencing the world of HR, from the aftermath of COVID-19 to the volatile labour market. This report demonstrates the key role that people professionals play – at the very heart of organisational response to these crises – through their willingness to upskill, create value and lead the agenda in an agile way. We look at future opportunities but also challenges for people teams and the personal impact that recent years have had on people professionals' wellbeing.

The report, produced in association with Workday, also provides an annual benchmark for the people profession, combined with a year-on-year overview. 


Summary of key findings

  • Skills development remains a strong focus post-pandemic: There has been a sustained level of upskilling and reskilling in the last year, with a slight increase in Ireland. A third of upskilling has been in response to an immediate business need, demonstrating how people teams are adapting to deal with changing priorities. Skills priorities are supporting line managers, facilitating flexible working, and developing organisational development and change management capabilities.
  • People professionals perceive their mental and physical health more negatively than the general workforce: In the UK, three in ten practitioners say that their mental and physical health is negatively impacted by work, especially for those who have a negative view of their career progression or who have less experience in their roles.
  • People teams remain positive about their valued contribution to their organisations: Practitioners generally feel that they work collaboratively to meet business needs and that their practices are aligned to organisational outcomes. However, more work needs to be done to ensure that people professionals feel properly recognised for the work that they do.
  • People teams operate in three main models: In the UK, people teams generally work in a business partnering model or as a single HR team. Teams in Ireland have a third model which outsources much of its people activity. While the UK teams operate fairly evenly across onsite, remote and hybrid models, Irish teams are more likely to work onsite.
  • The use of people data and analytics has grown since pre-pandemic levels: While this increase suggests that more organisations recognise the importance and value of people data, teams need to improve capability and remove technological barriers to use this more effectively.
  • The people profession is focusing on employee experience: Organisations are most commonly collecting information from leaving employees or focusing on company culture and values, but only a third do both. In this difficult labour market, data suggests that only two-fifths of organisations are prioritising employee experience within their core people strategy.

About the survey

The survey was conducted online with YouGov during April and May 2022. We surveyed in-house and independent people professionals working in HR, OD&D and L&D in the UK and Ireland.

By taking the pulse of the profession annually, we can make sure we're providing people professionals with the right tools and resources to not only thrive through change – but to shape it.

Download the report below

People Profession 2022: UK and Ireland survey report

Download the report
PDF document 1.4 MB

People Profession 2022: Executive summary

Download the executive summary
PDF document 287.6 KB

People Profession 2022: Appendix

Download the appendix
PDF document 481.2 KB

Download a visual summary of the findings

People Profession 2022: UK infographic

Download the infographic
PDF document 436.2 KB

People Profession 2022: Ireland infographic

Download the infographic
PDF document 435.1 KB

More on this topic

People manager guide: Supporting employee resilience

Practical guidance on helping employees adapt and thrive when faced with workplace stress

For Members
Resilience: Guide for people professionals to support employees

Advice and tips on how HR professionals can support organisational and individual resilience

For Members
Apprenticeships and the case for a flexible skills levy

Analysis of the current Apprenticeship Levy and policy recommendations for how it can be adapted to provide a better apprenticeships system and workforce training support

More reports

Apprenticeships and the case for a flexible skills levy

Analysis of the current Apprenticeship Levy and policy recommendations for how it can be adapted to provide a better apprenticeships system and workforce training support

Labour Market Outlook

Read our latest Labour Market Outlook report for analysis on employers’ recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions

Pay, performance and transparency 2024

Insight from the CIPD’s survey into factors driving pay decisions in UK workplaces and recommendations for practice

Neuroinclusion at work report 2024

Find out about the importance of neuroinclusive workplaces, what employers are doing and the working experiences of neurodivergent and neurotypical employees

See all reports