Your #HRActsofKindness Challenge List


Welcome to our very festive #HRActsofKindness challenge. Our last chance to spread a bit of happiness throughout our workplaces and communities in 2016, so let’s get going!

You don’t have to spend anything and you don’t have to be in HR to take part. Most of the challenges cost nothing so it’s easy for everyone to be involved. Ask your teams, colleagues, friends and family to get involved, the more people spreading kindness the better.

Throughout the next few weeks I’ll look forward to hearing your stories and will pick one each week to be highlighted as a “Kindness Champion” and I will send you a gift; besides it’s nice to keep the kindness going! Email your stories to

Christmas can be a challenging time of the year for many so by being present and taking a small amount of time can make a big difference.

Make the challenges relevant to you; if you are passionate about it then you’re more likely to enjoy it!

What does kindness look like at your workplace and in the community?

Here is your challenge list:

  1. Host a mince pie and coffee morning at your workplace or local nursing home for the  elderly community – combating elderly loneliness at Christmas is difficult so by rallying your teams and working together as a company to host something like this can work really well. It benefits the elderly people by providing company and as most of us are HR professionals, we’re known for our listening skills. It’s also something that can project a positive community impact upon the business.
  2. Boost employee morale by getting a local school choir to sing carols at your workplace! This sounds bizarre but I remember at a previous employer, we had this and we all sang together, had hot chocolate and in return gave the school children insight into our business and offered work experience placements. It worked really well and there wasn’t one person who left work that day without a smile on their face!
  3. Utilise your resources! Promote your employee assistance programme or support line. It may sound simple but unless it’s under people’s noses they don’t generally know it’s there. When I worked in transport the EAP line was used most between December and January, more people need support than you think so by providing that service can mean a lot to come people.
  4. Hold a shoebox appeal. You can do this for children living in shelters, in foster care or those who have fallen on hard times. My colleagues at Forterra are currently putting together donations for the local homeless Hope Centre in Northampton.
  5. Hold a charity bake sale, invite colleagues, customers and suppliers, bring people together and raise money for a charity of your choice.
  6. Prepare someone to take that leap of faith with a “New Year, New Job” aim. Ask if you can help with smartening up their CV, interview techniques and adapting their job search so they target the right employer. Sometimes all it takes is 10 minutes to help someone land that dream job, so why not utilise your existing skills?
  7. Gather donations for the local children’s hospital ward – put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas and buy an extra toy to donate to the local hospital.
  8. Arrange a Christmas themed lunch at work, if you can’t do a full on roast, why not book a table at a local restaurant or even order in a pizza! It’s great to get away from the desk and spread the kindness by spending just that little bit of time getting to know your colleagues, after all they are our extended family
  9. Don’t forget those who got you where you are now when writing out those cards! I’m sending  cards to my tutors, former managers, colleagues and those who have supported me in my career. Without them, I wouldn’t be here so once a year is not a lot to highlight why they’re important to me.
  10. McDonalds Christmas cups! Random I know but how many times do we get McDonalds breakfast on a Friday morning? Come on… be honest! Order a coffee and on the side you’ll see a bean sticker, collect the stickers to make free coffee tokens. I save these up and give them to those sleeping rough on the streets when I see them. Drinking coffee is good but being kind makes the coffee even better.

So there you have it, your ten kindness challenges! This list is not extensive, if you want to do an act in your own way please do share it with me, thinking outside the box is never a bad thing plus you may pass on the kindness and inspire someone else.


#HRActsofKindness is back!


In June this year I launched a small idea called “HR Acts of Kindness” after witnessing the impact of the brexit result. The result not only divided opinion but also divided relationships and had a big impact on the way organisations conducted business.

I remember driving home after seeing the impact it had on my work environment and thinking that there must be a way to turn this divide into a positive and to unite people again and that’s when HR Acts of Kindness was born; in the driving seat of my Mini Cooper!

Little did I know the overwhelming response I would receive to those 5 challenges!

Due to the support and people asking me to bring it back; I wanted to re-launch HR Acts of Kindness with a festive twist in hope to keep the kindness going. You don’t have to be in HR, you just need to have a desire to make a difference. Thank you to all of you who have messaged me, told me your stories and encouraged the success of this small idea that escalated rather quickly!

Christmas can be a difficult time of the year for so many people and I’m asking the HR community to help me kick start a kindness movement which will help those who need it most at this time of year.

At the Annual Conference and Exhibition, Peter Cheese spoke of how HR needs to adapt and be relevant to the needs of not only businesses but our communities and by us working collaboratively we can inspire the future of our profession. By launching HR Acts of Kindness, I believe this provides the perfect opportunity for us to make that impact and not to let what we learnt at ACE become a distant memory as we return to our day jobs.

I gave an interview to Ady Howes at DPG during the CIPD ACE 16 event and if you’d like to see it, I have put the You Tube link here:

Unlike the original HR Acts of Kindness, this time around, I am providing a full list of challenges tomorrow morning which will run from now until Christmas and it covers a whole list of different ways we can utilise our skills to support our work environment, employees, families and communities.

What I’d like to do is to get as many people involved and I want to hear your stories, pictures and anything else you’d like to share with me as you undertake one or more of these challenges.

Most of the challenges are free and there’s bound to be something for everyone to get involved with. Get your teams, departments and anyone else you can think of involved, we need as may people as possible to spread the kindness and reach as many people as we can.

As a thank you; when I receive your stories and pictures I have a special gift to send you so make sure you get those success stories in. After all, it’s nice to say thank you for taking part.

Together we can make our communities a better place; one small act of kindness at a time.




#cipdACE16 Q&A with Peter Cheese

This morning the blogsquad had a chance to ask Peter Cheese any burning questions we had. It was fantastic as we had a small group and in a quiet area of the press office so it was really great to speak to him in a less formal and relaxed environment.

I asked Peter what he thought HR professionals could do to help shape the future of work and who were the key drivers to ensure change is successful. His answer was simple, it’s all down to the capability Of your line managers – it’s a case of need and opportunity.

He said that “Traditionally it is something HR is bad at. We focus on promoting on technical competence and forgetting the underlying skills required to manage and lead people effectively”.

“We need to open the channels of connection to line managers and invest in them which is an opportunity to develop businesses, this includes the emerging demand of smaller businesses”.
When speaking of the plans for the future; “The CIPD are working on investing in our HR function and building capability. The HR profession is not well established in many countries outside the US, UK, Australia and Asia is going to be an area which we project will see huge growth”.

#cipdACE16 about last night…

Whilst we all work incredibly hard to make the ACE event a success from a blogsquad perspective; it’s nice to be rewarded and appreciated for bringing the event to life, so we got to let our hair down last night. After all it’s not all work and no play! 

Last night we attended post conference drinks at the town hall in Manchester which was a stunning venue with lovely staff. Thank you for having us!

We then went on for our press dinner and it was wonderful to meet so many people from the CIPD. These guys work tirelessly throughout the event so a huge thank you to them, I’ve really enjoyed my first ever conference so far. I’ve had an amazing opportunity to work and meet some of the loveliest people and I hope to have the opportunity to work with them again soon but one thing is for sure, we’ll certainly be keeping in touch! 

So without further ado, here are some lovely pictures from last night and if you were there I hope you had a fantastic night!