First module of my CIPD Level 7 Diploma – Done! #ICSRealStories

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Wowsers what a few weeks it has been! Apologies for the quiet time, but I quickly realised that I am nearly halfway through my CIPD Level 7 Diploma and everything has started to happen at once, both in my personal and professional life. This has lead me to take some tough decisions such as not participating within my local CIPD branch as much as I’d like, I’m also not exercising as much as I’d like or reading as much as I usually do; but I’m keeping in mind how important this is to me and why all the hard will be worth it in the end.

I’m not going to lie, these past few weeks have really tested my ability to juggle everything and I needed to take some time to re-proritise my extensive list so I have set myself a deadline, to complete my Level 7 Diploma by October; that’s one research project and two exams to complete; three modules in total. I can do this!

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Simple ways to boost employee productivity

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Productivity has always been a big taking point whether it is an intention to boost it, identify is causes or if enough is being done to improve it by organisations. At the moment, the subject is pretty much overshadowed by GDPR, Brexit and the gender pay gap, but we shouldn’t forget about how important it is to ensure employees productivity doesn’t suffer in such uncertain times.

I think can all agree that being productive in today’s working environment is harder now than what it has ever been and with the conflicting information regarding how many hours a week we should work verses presenteeism, and not forgetting achieving that desirable work life balance, it’s no wonder that productivity is easily lost in translation.

There is an increasing pressure upon organisations to improve their workplace experiences, and whilst this is not a bad thing, it needs to be considered that smaller organisations may not be able to be as accommodating as larger ones.

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Thinking of studying a CIPD qualification? Find the one that’s right for you #ICSRealStories

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When I started my study journey all those years ago, I had no idea how much choice there would be when it came to CIPD qualifications. If you are thinking of starting your journey, or not sure on the next steps, then this post may help clear up the confusion that often comes when trying to decide your next development move.

If you are looking for a long and successful career within HR, then a CIPD qualification is an essential part of your CV, as some organisations seek them as a requirement for some roles, and with competition for HR positions increasing, employers like to see a candidate who is ambitious and motivated, especially one who shows initiative to develop their skills independently.

But with so many options, how do you possibly choose the right option for you? Having almost finished my qualifications, I wanted to share my experience to help others decide what CIPD qualification is the right route for them.

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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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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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