There are a number of articles and blog posts which target line managers: top tips on how to become a better people manager. There are far fewer pieces written on how to help your manager help you.
We are all busy. Ask any of your colleagues how they are doing: if the word ‘busy’ doesn’t feature, I’ll eat my hat. Over time, ‘busy’ seems to have become our target state at work. If we are ‘busy’, we must be delivering. Right?
One of the questions I’m most asked is how I manage to balance a full-time job with taking care of my young family. The irony of the word ‘balance’ is not lost on me, as for me it’s never been about balance. My work responsibilities don’t stop the moment I leave the office, and similarly my home life doesn’t switch off between the hours of nine and five. If you look at those individuals who are successfully combining a demanding role in the office with a demanding role at home, it’s unlikely that they’re seeking to ‘balance’ their home life against work. Success comes when we stop thinking about ‘balance’, and start thinking about ‘integration’.
When I first started out in HR, interviewing seemed like something of a black art to me. While there are days that it undoubtedly still does! – I like to think that over the years I have been able to disperse some of the smoke and mirrors around what an interview process that delivers results needs to look like.
I spent part of yesterday delivering one of my favourite training courses we offer via the Benefex University: CPD and Personal Development.
For me, taking ownership of my self-development is always something which has come naturally, perhaps because of my background training as an actor, where ownership of one’s own personal development is essential in order to progress. In the cut-throat world of professional theatre, there are no line managers, annual appraisals, or KPIs. Actors are taught from their first day of training to seek out every opportunity to upskill. After all, if you don’t do it, no one else is going to be doing it for you.
There’s a lot of focus these days in organisations on delivering. Quite right, too. Not before time, we are moving away from the era where performance was judged on hours spent at one’s desk, and to a far more enlightened and productive age, where our stand out performers are those who are seen to be consistently delivering tangible outputs and achieving goals, regardless of the amount of time they spend in the office.
When you think of flexible working, what kind of employee demographic comes to mind? Working parents? Likely primarily mothers? If so, you wouldn’t be alone. Historically, flexible working has very much been seen as the domain of those employees with childcare responsibilities to work around. With the majority of primary carers still being mums rather than dads, it is easy to see how flexible working can have been dismissed by organisations as something which is required by the few, not the many.
Every organisation out there is sitting on a mine of knowledge. In most cases, however, it goes primarily untapped. There is therefore a huge opportunity for business and HR leaders everywhere to grab the source of this knowledge with both hands, to extrapolate it and maximise the impact it can have on organisational delivery.