#HRActsOfKindness It’s World Kindness Day 2017

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It’s 13th November which means that it is World Kindness Day 2017.

Whilst an act of kindness may sound like a great marketing campaign, it is simple to do and absolutely necessary to positively contribute to society given the tragedies we too often see in the world.

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Hip Hip Hurray – My Blog Turns Two Today!

Birthday Cake

Wow, where did those two years go?

This post is short and sweet but filled with nothing but gratitude.

I could never have imagined the opportunities I’ve been offered, connections I have made and support that I have received as a result of creating this little blog.

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all been plain sailing, there has been a fair share of clouds, but there has always been that silver lining and for that I am truly grateful.

On reflection, the highlights for me have been my appearance in People Management magazine, being part of the Blog Squad at the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition in 2016, a feature in the CIPD’s “The Power of One” campaign and my ultimate achievement to date; HR Acts of Kindness. It would not have been possible without this blog.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my followers, colleagues, friends and family who have supported me over the past couple of years; I wouldn’t be at this stage of my journey without you.

Here’s to the next two years, now let’s cut the cake!

 

What I’ve learned from mentoring

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”    Bob Proctor

It’s no secret that I have mentored for a number of years as a CIPD Steps Ahead Ambassador and mentor; I am incredibly lucky to have met some wonderful people through helping over these years from different industries, career levels and backgrounds.

Recently, I have undertaken the responsibility of supporting my CIPD branch by coordinating a mentoring scheme which aims to encourage HR professionals to share their experiences with a view to helping them to progress their membership or careers.

The long and short of it is that some perceive mentoring as a time consuming and long drawn out process, with many struggling to commit the time to mentor. In reality, it only takes up two hours a month and sometimes it’s a simple case of assisting with a CV.

Being a mentor isn’t just about feeling good, it’s about experiencing different perspectives.

It’s certainly not a one sided relationship, there are so many benefits and I have learnt so much, not just about people, but about the differences in generations, how to expand on existing skills, recruitment challenges and of course about different industries. This exposure has also helped me within my career especially with benchmarking and best practice exercises.

As a mentor I am there to listen, to offer practical advice, offer constructive criticism (which in the right way, is a good thing), and to help in any way that I can. However, it’s equally important that your mentee offers a different perspective or insight into their career, industry and aspirations. Believe it or not, mentees can help mentors as much as they help you!

In respect of the branch mentoring, this is distinctly different to the work I have done with Steps Ahead; I find that peer mentoring, can sometimes be more impactful than a traditional mentoring relationship. It can strengthen your network, enhances leadership capabilities and most of all supports your peers; as a branch, we are growing and progressing together, and one day we’ll be leading together, so it’s important to help one another along the way; I consider it future proofing our profession by inspiring future HR professionals.

 

#HRActsofKindness David D’Souza; “Kindness is not a word we normally use…”

Over the past few days I have asked many different people what kindness means to them and how it can be applied during their work lives.

The first person I asked was David D’Souza on his thoughts on kindness at work;

“When people ask me about the most important traits in someone I’d like to work with integrity, intelligence and a desire to be helpful normally top the bill. Kindness isn’t a word I’d normally use – but maybe it should because organisations would rarely be worse off for an extra dose of it.

The average person works more hours than they’d ideally like – or, if unemployed, would like the opportunity to work more hours than they would ideally like. We live in a tough old world and there are certain things that always make it more palatable. Kindness – without expectation of reward – is a beautiful and scarce resource. It helps us not just get along but helps getting along to be worthwhile.

So if you can just be kinder. The cost may be minimal or the cost may be great – but the payback is a reward not measured in pounds and pence but in a life worth slightly more worth living. And that is priceless”.

 

#HRActsofKindness pushing the boundaries and what it means to me

At the recent CIPD ACE event, Peter Cheese highlighted that HR needs to think outside of the box by being adaptable to the ever changing environment and look beyond our organisations.

The conference was not just made up of HR professionals, there were teachers, coaches, volunteers and recruiters to name but a few and the same can be said for the Midland Area Partnership event in October. HR has become a focus point and whether we like it or not, the expectations upon us are far greater than we are possibly used to so it is up to us to raise the bar and get involved in areas that sit outside of our comfort zones.

HR Acts of Kindness is designed for us to push those boundaries and look at the bigger picture by taking smaller steps into the areas away from the security blankets known as our offices; the everyday activities and endless distractions. By taking ourselves back to our child-like ways and doing things we may not necessarily practice on a daily basis.

I don’t know about you, but for those who attended CIPD ACE 16, did you grab a selfie at the CIPD stand? As my selfie was being taken, the gentleman asked me who admire the most in business and what my superpower would be and as you can imagine I gave a typical HR answer of “I’d make change management in organisations instantaneous!”. Fantastic and definitely a vision from the dream world I’m sure you’ll agree, but upon reflection, I wouldn’t change the profession, not one part of it right now and the simple reason is that I am enjoying the journey. All of those people at the annual CIPD event and those sat reading this at your desks right now; we’re all on a journey and busy shaping not only the future of HR but shaping the future of work as a whole. The journey is where we learn, develop and grow but it’s also where we gain a sense of achievement and appreciation for the work that we do.

On a personal level; my great grandmother, gave me a strong piece of advice at a young age which carries me through every area of my life. She told me to “always do something you are good at” at the time I don’t think I really understood in all honesty but now it makes perfect sense. HR Acts of Kindness is a product of exactly that; I am kind to people, even when they are not to me, I always believe in second chances and I believe in supporting others not treading on them in order to be successful. All I wanted when I originally signed up for my HR career was to make my family proud and the profession proud, that’s the simple and only reason I do what I do when I get up at 5:30am every morning.

Over the coming days I will be bringing snippets from different people and what kindness means to them and the difference they think it brings. There are people from the HR profession, small business owners, teachers, and students alike so watch this space!

I consider myself incredibly fortunate that I can share HR Acts of Kindness, it’s amazing how many of you around the world are involved and promoting kindness in your organisations. Thank you for all of your messages telling me your stories, keep them coming and I’m really looking forward to crowning some kindness champions.