Kathryn Kendall

Up Close and Personnel

Tag: human resources

A Very Human Resource

It’s an exciting time to work in business. Technology is advancing like never before. We have the increased automation of jobs, and the prospect of widespread AI on the horizon. We are able to work faster, smarter, and in more remote locations than ever before, in an increasingly diverse spectrum of roles designed to support the growth of technology.

With all of this going on, it is important that we don’t forget the very human side of our workforces.

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Strategy and Housekeeping: Year End Priorities


As the end of year approaches at pace, in between the Christmas festivities it might be time to think about getting your HR house in order.

Most of us will have started the year with some sort of plan of action in the form of our HR strategy. Precisely what that strategy looks like will vary dramatically – anything from a formal strategy document to a roughly drawn out to do list! Either way, it will have outlined our target areas of focus for the year.

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Tough Talking: The Art of Handling Difficult Conversations

difficult conversations

One of the most regular training requests I get asked for is advice on handling difficult conversations. Whether it’s managing a tough client negotiation, dealing with a grievance, or even asking for a pay rise… there are certain conversational topics which we seem to come pre-programmed to want to avoid.

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Breaking Into HR: How To Make It As An HR Professional

human resources

Before I started my HR career, I trained and worked as a professional actor. I made the decision early on to change my career path after fairly rapidly realising that the cutthroat world of professional theatre was unlikely to offer me the financial security I was looking for!

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Policies, Procedures and Painful Processes


If you read my blog post: What Does The HR Department Actually Do, you’ll know that one of the delivery focus areas I referenced was Legislative Compliance. We have a responsibility to our organisation to ensure that we are legally compliant and have people practices in place supporting this.

However, how do you ensure that you strike the right balance? How do you ensure that your policies are compliant and your organisation stays out of any employment tribunals without spending all of your time here, at the detriment of the engagement and experience of your employees, and the achievement of your organisational goals?

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What’s In A Name? – The Rise And Fall Of The Human Resources Department

human resources

Over the last few decades, the function once almost exclusively known as Personnel has gradually rebranded itself as the Human Resources department. Theories abound as to the reasons why: anything from an increasing US influence to a desire to demonstrate a harder edge and move away from the ‘tea and tissues’ stereotype.

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What Does The HR Department Actually Do?

HR function

If someone told you that they were a doctor, you’d probably have at least a vague idea of what they did. Likewise if someone told you they were a gardener, or a taxi driver, or a high court judge. You might not be able to describe their day to day activities in any level of detail, but you could broadly outline the overriding objective of their role. ‘You make people better.’ ‘You plant things.’ ‘You decide who’s going to go to prison.’ Simplistic, but you get the idea.

When it comes to HR, however, I’ve discovered it’s not quite so easy. Respond to the classic dinner party ice breaker of ‘So, what do you do?’, and your reply of ‘I work in HR’ is likely to be met with at best vague recognition, at worst a totally blank stare. Turns out, while most of us have heard of the HR department, not many of us know what it actually does.

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