I was attempting to have a more creative title for this particular post, but last night at the embRACE event at The Midland Hotel Manchester was an event that spoke for itself.
One word to describe last nights event – pride. This meant so much to people in the room and you could truly feel it, everyone was truly proud of who they were and interested in how we could all do our bit to embrace inclusion.
embRACE is a group set up by the CIPD which is designed to create a safe space within the CIPD for those who wish to discuss racial diversity. This has always been a taboo subject that people don’t feel comfortable approaching and this event was designed to change attitudes towards this; why are we not discussing racial diversity more within our workspaces. A point I raised with a couple of the attendees was that employers often say “we are an equal opportunities employer” just to be clear, diversity and inclusion is not a tick box exercise to satisfy your equal opportunities policy, the conversations just need to simply take place; it is about truly embracing diversity.
Technology has connected us together faster than ever before and whilst that technology has it’s advantages, there is also a darker side which is leading to people having less meaningful relationships and significantly impacts on our productivity. We tap our phones 2600 times a day, that is not just a lot of taps, it can also be seen as an element of control which can have a negative impact upon our mental health.
Loneliness is an epidemic so how can we get the balance right?
With a constant need to feel virtually connected, we need to have breaks to fully appreciate what we have and to just be present in the moment, this is not new, nor is it news to you reading this, so then why do we continue to be addicted and just keep wanting more?
Trust is incredibly valuable to our organisations (tell us something we didn’t know) but what does this truly mean to build trust within our organisations.
Rachel started her session by having a few boos to some influential people, unsurprisingly, President Trump got the most boos (just in case you were interested!)
Trust is very contextual, it is all based upon individual perspectives and what we actually think, Rachel gave a great example of Amazon, when you order from them, you know you’ll get your delivery, but if you ask in the context of how they treat their employees or if they pay all of their taxes, then you may find you have a different answer.
With just over a week to go, the countdown really is on for this years CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition! There is always such a brilliant buzz around this event and this year, the focus is all upon Leading The People Profession which certainly is a powerful theme!
Ok so what does this year’s event have in store for us?
“I believe that everyone has the ability to share their experiences; by doing so, you have the power to inspire the next generation of professionals”.
The above quote is one that I wrote back in April 2017 when I was leading a session for the CIPD Northamptonshire Branch member to member mentoring scheme, so it is quite personal to me, but is is one that I wholly believe in.
As HR professionals, we have a world of resources at our disposal; our network being one of the strongest assets that we have, this may not be unique to the HR profession, but it is certainly one that is powerful and has a solution to almost every challenge. This is particularly useful for mentoring, as the mentee may not even know some of the things that you do.
This was one of the many reasons why I decided to become a mentor in 2012 when I joined the CIPD Steps Ahead programme, since then I have been fortunate to act as one of their ambassadors in addition to mentoring job seekers. In 2017 I successfully supported 8 people into work; this was a range of people with different backgrounds some were returning to work after a period of absence, some were working parents looking for a career or returning to work, and others had just left university and were unsure what options were available to them. In addition to this, I co-founded the CIPD Northants branch mentoring scheme in 2016 which is beginning to grow in popularity.
The beauty of mentoring, is that you are supporting people using your existing skills and knowledge so it is not particularly difficult to do, all it takes is about an hour of your time every other week and you can make a big difference to someone’s life. It offers the opportunity to support others to encourage career development and support whilst unlocking their full potential.