February’s recommended read: Legacy by James Kerr

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After an incredible start to this years’ Six Nations this weekend, I thought that this month’s read was incredibly apt, given that it is all about what the New Zealand All Blacks team can teach us about leadership and sustaining success.

This unique and inspiring book was recommended to me at the CIPD MAP conference last year by Matthew Crawford who spoke at the conference about the future of work from an educational (and children’s!) perspective.

This book will suit everyone, for those looking for a “how to” approach, techniques for professional standards, and practical lessons for effective leadership. It also encourages the development of leadership qualities such as accountability and ownership.

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Appraisals, the dinosaur framework of performance reviews

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For too long HR and Management have relied on the good old framework known as the annual appraisal; a tool that was designed for good by our HR ancestors but is being  likened to household chores, unfulfilling, stressful and not fit for purpose.

I got rid of them completely in a previous role, I found them too rigid, impersonal and artificial. I simply used check in meetings with my team to create an open and ongoing dialogue. There’s absolutely no point waiting all year for my team to tell me that they needed support, the moment has gone by then and demotivation sets in quickly!

This week’s HR Hour widely debated if there is a place in the current world of work; most participants said absolutely not.

In some cases it seems that it is a framework which is highly misunderstood and is used as a tick box exercise, form is completed, sent back to HR and nothing of value is done with it. I maintain that a tool like this can only be beneficial if it is clearly defined and that managers have a thorough understanding on how it should be used, without this, you might as well forget it. It can also be used as an opportunity not to have regular communication with employees, using it as something to hide behind “save it for your appraisal” is a phrase we’ve all overheard in our HR careers.

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“I want a golden goose!” What is the future of HR?

 

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We have an idea on the widely publicised future of work but what is the future of HR?

I remember walking into a big meeting in a boardroom after a difficult company change and seeing a sea of confused and weary faces. I knew long before the meeting that they had come from a very command and control management style, so it wasn’t an unexpected response; after introducing myself and my team, I simply asked them “what are your expectations of my team and I?”

As you can imagine, the room was even more confused by this question, and once I’d  explained the true purpose of HR, it instantly built an effective working relationship, if we behaved as if we were in an ivory tower and dictated how they should work, it would not only damage our relationships, but it would impact upon our abilities to work efficiently, a no win situation you will agree.

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What a true HR leader looks like, according to HR

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After another fantastic HR Hour on Twitter this week, we explored what qualities we would look for in a HR leader.

As you can imagine, this really generated a constructive conversation and it appears that many HR professionals like to see the same qualities in a leader, albeit in different ways. In this post I’ve picked some of my favourite tweets from the evening, so a huge thank you to the contributors who made the session so informative, we learn something new every week!

Having been fortunate throughout my career, I have worked with a couple of inspirational and positive HR leaders, but many involved in this week’s HR hour were convinced that a HR leader honing these desirable qualities is hard to find.

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