Thomas Cook, what happens to the employees?

This morning, we are waking up to the sad news that Thomas Cook has entered compulsory liquidation and has ceased to trade, leaving 21,000 employees without their jobs.

The collapse of Thomas Cook to most is surprising, but after several consistent profit warnings over the past few years, and having experienced the process myself, to me, it only seemed like a matter of time.

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How can HR put the Human back into Human Resources?

“We are not perfect human beings, nor do we have to pretend to be, but it is necessary for us to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be.”

With the world of work evolving at a rapid speed; the introduction of new technologies, increased emphasis on diversity and inclusion, as well as a more modern approach to leadership to name but a few. They all present new challenges to organisations, but if businesses are turning to new ways of working, then how can we make better use of our people?

Many HR departments and professionals are debating this very subject. When I first started in HR, my first role was as an HR Administrator, creating contracts of employment and printing off employee handbooks. One of my concerns with increased automation is the lack of entry level HR roles that may be available in the future, how can we attract people into our profession when the roles simply don’t exist? Could HR possibly be facing its own skills shortage in the future?

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How can employers effectively support employee financial wellbeing?

rawpixel-741658-unsplash

Many people reading the title of this post will be wondering why is employee financial wellbeing important, and what does it have to do with me as an employer?

Financial worries account for the majority of stress felt by employees in the workplace today, this can be attributed to the rising costs of living combined with the stagnation of salaries. However, the impact that personal finances has on your employee’s health in terms of poor psychological wellbeing, higher stress and anxiety levels, can be felt heavily by the employer such as increased levels of absence and lower levels of productivity.

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From Travel Agent to HR Consultant; my career journey so far

When I meet people that have either read the blog or seen me speak at an event, one of the first questions I get asked is how I managed to get from being a Travel Agent to an HR Consultant.

The reason I was inspired to write this post is because at this time of year, many people think, new year, new career, and I thought this may help some people if they were considering this particular situation.

The shameless selfie above was taken just before Christmas outside of the Maidenhead branch of TUI (formerly Thomson Holidays, and yes I did get some strange looks!) this is where I had my first proper job interview at the age of 18 when it was known as Lunn Poly (that may take a few of you back!). I was just about to finish my A-Levels in business, Travel and Tourism and I didn’t want to wait until my exam results, I wanted to get into work as soon as possible, so the day after my exams finished, I was working and sending people all over the world on their dream holidays.

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Time to write my own chapter; my first HR book is in progress!

Books

Hello everyone,

I’m back in my writing chair with my tea companion (yes finally!)

I’m looking forward to sharing all of my new blog posts with you (and there’s quite a few!) that I have been working on behind the scenes. I’ve been exposed to varying situations over the past couple of months that has required a high degree of reflection to allow me to bring the situations to life on the blog; so thank you for being patient with me.

As many of you know, I adore books and always have since I was a child; naturally, it has always been an ambition of mine to write my own book but I never thought I would have anything to write about! Then I started my career in HR and my life changed, so what better subject to write about?

Therefore, I thought it would be an appropriate time to share the exciting news that I am in process of writing my first HR book, which really is a dream come true and I cannot wait to share it with you.

This book has taken various experiences that I’ve had to inspire those new to HR, the seasoned professionals, people considering HR as a career or those who have simply hit a career slump and want to bounce back. This book is about the practical realities of the profession to truly bring it to life; the practical pieces that cannot be taught in a classroom.

I started writing the book in March and it has come on a long way since then; I’m hoping it’ll be ready for release at the end of this year/beginning of 2018.

Watch this space and I look forward to releasing my next blog post tomorrow morning!

Best wishes,

Natalie

 

Goodbye April, hello May! It’s time to set shiny new goals, and why it’s important

Goodbye April, hello May! It’s time to set shiny new goals, and why it’s important

Goodbye April, Hello May

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” Margaret Thatcher

It’s a fresh month and I have a new outlook on my work life as I approach my final CIPD Level 7 module. I have to say that it has been a long, yet worthwhile journey and I cannot wait to see that certificate of completion.

I am a big advocate of setting new goals each month, it helps me to focus on things that are important; this is so I do not lose sight of where I am going as it can have a negative effect and in turn that can have lasting impacts, it helps me to avoid those “I wish I’d done that sooner!” or “I’ve done all of this work but nothing to show for it” moments. It helps me align my time in the right areas so I feel I am continually aiming for the next step.

Anyone can set themselves goals; you don’t need to be told what your goals are, you just need to have the ambition and drive to aim for them. Goals are applicable to all levels from students, those starting out in their careers, new mothers, directors; anyone can set themselves goals, it’s prevents stagnation in life and keeps things exciting!

So here are my goals for May, nothing fancy, but incredibly important:

  1. Start each day with a fresh mind set: There’s nothing worse than having a bad day at the office and carrying that emotional baggage with you for the remainder of the week, just let it go!
  2. Make 3 Northamptonshire CIPD Mentoring matches this month
  3. Invest more in my health: not just physically but mentally; stop mentally pacing and combat the thought process with a walk in fresh air, it’ll make me more productive
  4. Work smarter, not harder: this is a really simple task such as preparing my blog posts in advance and enabling a more proactive approach
  5. Don’t waste time! If recent events have taught me anything it is, live for the moment, do more things that are spontaneous!
  6. Steps Ahead awareness: I have two visits planned this month in Northamptonshire, let’s hope it helps generate further awareness of the programme

I look forward to sharing my results with you at the end of the month.

MAP Student Conference 2017 – T-minus 13 hours… and counting!

Aston University

We’re fast approaching the Midlands Area Partnership student conference at Aston University and the organisers cannot wait to meet, greet and network with everyone attending!

Ok so there is a heck of a lot to get through in just one day so what actually goes on prior to the event? This blog post is to fill in all the details to highlight exactly how much work goes into making these events a success.

First of all there is a lot of organising to do, budgeting, sourcing an appropriate venue, guest speakers to discuss relevant topics, catering (well of course! If you’re giving up a Saturday you need a vast amount of coffee, tea and food to keep those brains engaged!). Then there’s the task of confirming the attendees, any dietary requirements that they may have and any access requests to the venue so that everyone can enjoy the event.

The organisers will be at the venue very early on the morning of the event to conduct final checks and to ensure everything is set up in time for the delegates to arrive, they are of course our guests!

This is just a short burst of what happens behind the scenes, the day itself is much more fast paced, so this year there will be just half an hour to book in all 200 attendees between 9:00-9:30am and waiting to greet you will be Nic, Gill, Max and Janice so make sure this is your first point of contact.

As this event is completely sold out, we don’t want those who were unable to attend missing out so myself, Amy and Priya will be hosting a mini blog squad reunion so pop over and see us as we’ll be gathering the information from our speakers, talking to as many people as possible to gather your thoughts on the event but also you can ask us anything, we’re here to highlight the key topics at the event.

Finally we can then hand over to the speakers, this year we have a welcome address from David D’Souza and an opening keynote from Dr Richard MacKinnon before moving into the breakout sessions which consist of relevant topics in today’s HR world.

One thing I am really looking forward to is the HRD Panel at 14:20pm with Dr Richard MacKinnon, Simon Lewis and Carol Carson so make sure you don’t miss it!

Finally there’s the closing keynote from Tiffany Poeppelman, a really passionate organisational psychologist so this is something I’m particularly excited about attending for so I’ll be quoting from her a lot on Twitter.

In advance of the event, a huge thank you to the CIPD, Midlands Area Partnership, our fantastic speakers, organisers, volunteers, Aston University and personal thanks goes to Eleanor Lloyd-Jones for making this event happen.

I’m off to watch the rugby now and will see you all bright and early tomorrow. Don’t forget to pop over and see me at the Northamptonshire Branch stand after lunch.