Time’s up. And it’s time we properly talked about the problem. And not simply talked, either. It’s time to act.
When we set our New Year resolutions, they’re often about achieving particular goals. Whether it’s nailing that particular promotion, or just shifting a few pounds, we tend to think about the end result rather than the behaviours we exhibit in order to get there.
Culture has been a buzz word in the HR industry for as long as I’ve been a part of it. We’re all familiar with the quote attributed to Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The truth of course is that great organisations need both a clear and well defined strategy, and the organisational culture which enables delivery of that strategy.
My attention was caught this morning by a fascinating discussion on BBC Breakfast regarding personal social media profiles. It was off the back of a number of high profile cases where celebrities have been required to apologise after a series of historical comments on social media came to light which contained discriminatory language.
We live in a 24/7, “always on” society. The boundaries between our home and personal lives are more blurred than ever before. With the rise of the internet and its plethora of social networks, there is barely a second in any given day when we are not being bombarded with information, communications and a blur of white noise.
It can’t just be me who seems to have a spate of friends suddenly deciding to leave their nice, safe, stable jobs and branch out on their own. Self-employment is becoming more and more popular, and this is borne out by the statistics we see. In 2008, there were 3.8 million self employed people, according to the Office for National Statistics. By 2015 there were 4.6 million, an increase of more than 20% over just 7 years. With the rise of the gig economy, it seems the trend of “going it alone” is one that is here to stay.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how I make things work as a working parent. More specifically, a working mother. This is partly because I am still a significant minority. Despite the many advances we have made in our approaches to work, we are all familiar with the statistics showing just how few women – and especially those women with young children – progress to Board level. The New York Times published a report sharing studies which show that, while having children penalises women, it actually benefits men. We still have a very long way to go to find true gender equality at work.
Exactly three years ago today I had classic “new girl” nerves. After almost nine years in a job that I absolutely loved, I was moving to head up the HR function here at Benefex. It was a role that I desperately wanted, but that doesn’t stop the first day in any new job being mildly terrifying. However great the recruitment process, waiting to find out if the reality matches your expectations is always nerve-wracking.
We live in an increasingly enlightened age. The world of work is almost unrecognisable to how it was fifty years ago. We have remote working. Flexible hours. The gig economy is thriving and employment mobility is higher than it has ever been.
Time for a bit of theory. Let’s pull up some Maslow, shall we? If we’re honest, for most of us, it’s probably one of the only theoretical models which has really stuck in our head. This is likely for a couple of reasons. One, it’s pretty darn straightforward, compared to a lot of the models out there which you need a PhD in to even begin to be able to get your head around them. And two, it’s directly relevant to every single one of us.
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