Working fathers need flexibility too! Encouraging gender equality in parenting

“Being a father means you have to think fast on your feet. You must be judicious, wise, brave, tender, and willing to put on a frilly hat and sit down to a pretend tea party.”

Matthew Buckley, Fatherhood: The Manliest Profession

The debate around parental leave is one that seems to be ongoing and in light of the latest British Social Attitudes survey, the results demonstrate that despite being in 2019, that there is still a strong view towards mothers taking the lead on parental leave.

Despite the shifting dynamics of UK households, a time where women have a focus upon their career and are quickly becoming the main source of income within thousands of households, it begs the question; what can we do to change the view on fathers taking time out to bring up their children equally with mothers?

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Could two million of the UK’s lowest paid workers soon be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay?

Today it has been announced that millions of the UK’s low-paid workers could become eligible for Statutory Sick Pay for the first time under new government proposals.

The Department for Work and Pensions announced that they would be consulting on new policies which it claims, could help businesses support and retain employees with disabilities and health conditions, it is proposed that this would be achieved by lowering the eligibility threshold for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

As with any changes to Government policies, this is met with both pros and cons, and today there has been plenty of debate following the announcement with multiple differing perspectives, including a rather interesting talking point on Radio Two!

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What is imposter syndrome and how can you overcome it?

“We all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is”

Michelle Obama

Do you ever feel like a fraud? Are you ever overcome with feelings of doubt in respect of your capabilities at work? If so, then you could be one of the thousands of people who experience imposter syndrome.

I have just finished reading Michelle Obama’s book for the second time and this particular subject, whilst it certainly isn’t new, is one that so many overlook and it can be a really confidence knock. It was a part of her book that really resonated with me, many times in my career I have experienced not being taken seriously, that led me to think that there is a problem with how I present myself to others.

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How can HR support those struggling with mental health?

“People are scared to talk about it, but they should be scared about not talking about it.”

Prince Harry

There is currently a lot of buzz around the subject of mental health, but whilst we debate about it, how can we really get to grips with managing mental health within our organisations?

This post is just a simple outline of how you can start to structure those trickier conversations and allow people to speak openly about their mental health at work. It is important to remember that the steps towards positive mental health cultures begin with creating a safe space within our organisations.

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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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Working Danishly, how to bring some hygge to your workspace

“Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.”

Benjamin Franklin

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved the Danish concept of Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”), I have included it as part of my life for around four years now and I think I have it all down to a T!

In his book, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, defines hygge in varying ways: “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”

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Can we truly achieve happiness at work?

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“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” Ferris Bueller

A recent research report published by Gallup suggests that the worlds happiness levels are at their lowest level in over a decade. Well that’s a depressing concept to start this blog post off with but unfortunately that is a reality. Gallup surveyed 154,000 people across 146 different countries, proving that happiness is a worldwide issue.

Recently, I was fortunate to discuss this very topic at the Natural HR Conference at Monkey World in Dorset, and the session centred around trying to get people to realise where true happiness came from and if we keep looking for it (at work or otherwise!) then we simply won’t find it.

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