My top HR and business books – World Book Day 2019

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For those of you who know me well, you’ll know how much of a book worm I am! To celebrate World Book Day 2019, I have gathered a list of my favourite top ten business and inspirational books to share with you all to inspire your next read.

I have picked these books in particular, because I think they are inspirational, motivational and brilliant. I couldn’t put them down, and like all good secrets, I had to share them! They have each individually helped me to shape my career and support my career development with helpful tips that I have taken away, and I continue to use them throughout my every day working life.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Continue reading “My top HR and business books – World Book Day 2019”

April’s book of the month: Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly

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We’ve polished off our Easter eggs and now it’s time to get some work done, that includes spring cleaning; so why not spring clean your social media?

This month’s read I cannot recommend highly enough; this book really helped me get into the swing of things on Twitter and has enabled me to make a positive contribution especially in places like HR Hour and Future Leaders. Samantha is incredibly talented and has a natural flair for making Twitter an engaging space full of development opportunity. In this book she shares her tips to help you get what you want out of Twitter and truly make an impact, no matter how big or small your aspirations may be.

With a positive profile being a desirable HR quality, now is the perfect time to get started and whilst the book may focus upon people starting their own businesses, this may certainly help those starting their own business but it can also benefit those who want to start a blog, take that next career step, or simply have a social media presence; this book has something for everyone.

It’s important to remember that investing in your personal profile is investing in yourself, so I hope you enjoy this month’s read and hope it helps you to develop yourselves further.

#CIPDACE17 Embracing The New World of Work

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Today is day one of the 70th CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition or ACE for short which is taking place in the beautiful city of Manchester. Here is a brief summary of what we can expect from his years’ conference and don’t forget, you can follow all the activity in real time via Twitter!

Continue reading “#CIPDACE17 Embracing The New World of Work”

Hip Hip Hurray – My Blog Turns Two Today!

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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!

 

A racing start to CIPD MAP 2017 from Derek Redmond

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Derek Redmond has got CIPD MAP 2017 off to a flying start, I particularly enjoyed his opening line that he used to run around in circles for a living!

Whilst Derek may have swopped lacing up his trainers for driving high performance in his role at Thomas International; his motivation remains the same, to get the most out of people in his role as Performance Director.

Engagement may be a strange term but it is a topic that many are passionate about, even as an individual, we always have a team around us to help us deliver. There’s always a coach behind us cheering us on to achieve our goals.

Derek might have been alone on the track, but he had a team of people around him to help him achieve his aspirations,; a track coach, flexibility coach, masseuse, sports physiologist, physiotherapist, exercise physiologist, S&C coach, partner, agent and his Dad! All have a key role to play in the story of his success and it is no different in the world of work, they are experts in what they do.

Reflecting on Margaret Heffernan’s opening keynote to CIPD ACE 16, this demonstrates the importance of people working together, knowing their roles and ultimately, who has supported you to get you where you are now? These people are vital to our success and achieving what sometimes feels impossible. When people understand their roles, it improves relationships, communication and when they understand what each other are doing, that is where the magic happens.

Recognition to keep people engaged is essential, simply say thank you. It doesn’t have to be a huge gesture but those people will never forget it and they will feel appreciated. Last week, I was speaking to my husband Mark at home and I turned to him and simply said “thank you for everything you do, I wouldn’t be here at this point in my career without you”. He seemed a bit taken back by it but it is true and I realised that I don’t say it enough, we should all do this more often.

Empowerment, alignment, involvement; these words are part of our daily lives, it’s not new but these resources can be constantly applied to every area of our performance. They are supported by our attitude and approach to how we undertake tasks to help us deliver to the best of our ability.

One thing that we should all do regularly is to reflect on our career journey, Derek mentioned that doing this each year is important; ask yourself, where were you this time last year? Are you behind? Have you kept on track? It’s vital to consistently monitor where you are on your journey and more importantly, are they fitting to where you want to be?

High engagement drives high performance; if you have highly skilled people that are not engaged, then you will simply not getting the most out of them. Engagement is as simple as that, so taking steps to improve engagement is essential to driving high performance within your business so the need for investment in this area couldn’t be more critical. Skills are irrelevant, it’s engagement that is truly important.

People and performance; in the world of business, the most common mistake is to judge upon business performance. Too much focus on figures and strategy often sacrifices understanding the role, team spirit and leaves little room for challenging each other; a distinct lack of people focus. If you look after the people, your performance will take care of itself, it sounds simple but too many organisations forget this which hinders the level of performance.

Understanding your people is the key to driving your organisation forward, as Derek demonstrated when he won the Olympic gold medal with his team in 1991. It demonstrates the capability of a truly engaged team, the same principles can be instilled in organisations.

Most organisations have the right people to deliver but they might be in the wrong roles, or there could be a lack of communication, it’s about understanding and mindset. These words will resonate with everyone so why do we continue to stay the same?

We don’t need to be told that the world of work is evolving, if this is news to you then you are already miles behind. You can’t expect to do something different if you’re doing the same thing.

A fantastic start to this years CIPD MAP Conference and a lot of food for thought to take us through the day.

 

 

 

Developing capability for shifting times #cipdmap17

With only 28 days left until the annual CIPD Midlands Area Partnership conference, which is being held at Chesford Grange in Warwickshire and I thought it is perfect timing to start talking about what we can expect from the event.

CIPD MAP 16 was an incredible event, very well organised and everyone seemed to enjoy the day. So what can we expect from this years event?

First and foremost, there are still a limited amount of tickets left so if you would like to attend then do grab your tickets via the CIPD MAP page on their website.

Secondly, if you cannot make the event, do not dispare! I will be blogging and tweeting the event as we go.

The title for this year’s event is developing capability for shifting times and with this year’s keynote speakers being Olympic Athlete Derek Redmond and Influential Professor Rob Briner, this event looks set to be one of the most successful yet.

To start the day, there will be a breakfast session held at 8:30am with Russell Deathridge from LHH Penna to discuss delivering high performance with an agile workforce in uncertain times. This is on my must see list of the day and look forward to hearing Russell’s thoughts on this incredibly relevant topic.

From 9:15am you’ll find me and a host of other branch committee members signing you all in at the registration desks, please ensure you do this in plenty of time so you can get on with some networking prior to the welcome and introduction, plus, it’s a Saturday so grabbing a good coffee is incredibly important!

The welcome and introduction to this event will begin at 10:00am before handing over to our keynote speaker Derek Redmond. Derek, as well as being an olympic gold medallist, has been a motivational speaker for 17 years and is Group Performance Director at Thomas International, so be prepared for an incredibly inspiring start to the conference.

One part of the day I am really looking forward to is hearing from Rob Robson from Tata Technologies, his session is being held at 11:55am and he is speaking about creating the employee experience, this topic is not only relevant now but will be for years to come.

Then we have the breakout sessions starting at 12:40pm;

  • A. New ways of working – myth or reality? which will be led by Professor Donald Hislop and Dr Sarah Barnard
  • B. Back from the future – is L&D ready? Led by Teresa Rose, Digital Learning Expect at E.ON
  • C. Building and developing the skills needed for organisations across the Midlands to succeed in the UK, Europe and the World. Led by Angela Joyce, CEO at Warwickshire College
  • D. The future workforce: an educational perspective, led by Matthew Crawford

I’m planning to attend sessions A and D as my work recently has been influenced by what the future holds within the education system and how that will influence the workforce.

The last but no means least, the closing keynote will take place at 15:15pm with Rob Briner; Shaking the foundations: time to challenge some common assumptions about HR;  be prepared for some fantastic quotes from Rob, he never disappoints!

Don’t forget, there is a brilliant exhibition area too, so make sure you visit the stands as well as taking the time to network with HR and L&D colleagues from across the Midlands.

I hope to see lots of you there!

 

 

Get ready for the working week

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Ok, it’s Sunday and it feels like you’ve barely had a weekend (again!), and whilst we may complain that it’s nearly Monday; whether you like it or not, it is a certainty!  If this sounds familiar then by being organised and preparing for the week ahead could be the key to eliminating those Sunday blues.

A “case of the Mondays” usually comes from the feeling of having a carefree weekend, to the rigid structure and chaos of the working week. On the weekend we can eat whenever, wear whatever you please, and easily lose track of time.

The weekend is usually a time of relaxation, and it’s only when that lack of structure that we have from our working week, no wonder it fees that we are swinging from one extreme to another.

The working week brings forward structure that we generally dislike; knowing that we have to dress in a particular way, having breaks at certain times and sticking to set times especially those weeks where it seems like there’s 101 things to do and yet your diary is crammed full of meetings relating to those 101 things! This leaves us feeling ill-equipped and unprepared which are bigger dislikes than Monday’s. To avoid those situations and feel more in control, there are a few things that you can do which could help you welcome the working week and allow you to enjoy those precious few hours left of our beloved weekend.

If you’d like to give it a go, then here are some quick and easy tips to help you welcome Monday with less grumbles.

Get your to do list in order

We all have those giving us unnecessary head noise which only heightens the dread of Monday; write everything down so you can physically see what you need to do. You never know the list may be smaller and easier to achieve than you think!

There’s an app for that! Try Google Keep or Wunderlist, both are free and available across all devices.

Prepare your outfits

Believe it or not, we waste a ridiculous amount of time each morning figuring out what to wear which is stressful and makes your morning seem even more rushed when you actually don’t need it to be. Plan the outfits you’re going to wear, launder your clothes, iron them and have them together in your wardrobe ready to wear.

Create a food plan

Like outfits, we are even worse when it comes to deciding what to eat. Ditch the usual and expensive bland sandwich plan and plan your meals. Do a good food shop and get creating some yummy meals, cut up fruit, vegetables and have those as snacks. Eating healthily has a huge impact upon our motivation, so if you eat healthy in theory you should feel happier.

Try creating a simple spread sheet and populating it with meals, once you’re in the flow, it’ll take only 10 minutes to complete each week. Plus you’ll save money as you know exactly what to shop for!

Give yourself something fun to look forward to

If it’s meeting a friend after work for dinner, taking time to catch up on that TV series or having a cosy night reading a book. The week is about so much more than work so go on treat yourself!

Spruce up your social media

If you like being on social media but don’t have time to commit during the working day, there are ways you can not miss out. Prepare and schedule your Tweets, Linked In campaigns and blog posts in advance. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite will be your new best friends!

Get your gym bag ready

Get your bag and outfits lined up and ready to go, that way you’re less likely to say “I’ll go tomorrow” which will leave you feeling disappointed and negative when you put it off.

Relax

Yes the above task sounds like a mountain to climb but do what you can to make you feel more prepared to face the week. The last thing you want to do is feel stressed after running around like a headless chicken so make sure you take time to relax and enjoy Sunday.

Even if you just do a couple of these things, you’ll be setting yourself up for a much easier, and more organised week.

Happy Sunday to you and all the best wishes for the week ahead.