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Unconference Mini Wisdom

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A few days ago, I co-facilitated one of the LnD Connect unconferences along with three fabulous people I know thanks to Twitter and the insightful chats we often join, along with many others, via #LDInsight.

This is not an attempt to describe the day in full. Indeed, there would be little point as I believe everybody involved will have experienced it differently and taken away their own ideas and inspirations.

Any of you who have experienced the Open Space Technique/Technology will know that it has quite an unstructured approach leading to the co-creation of discussion topics from whoever is there. Those in the room are the right people and the discussions that take place are the right ones that could have happened. People have 'permission' to stay with a conversation or to move on - they can hover like a butterfly or stay, pollinate the conversation like a bee, then fly away to cross pollinate other discussions. As a facilitator, this can be quite daunting. I was so nervous, ye…

Remembering the human beings at the centre of HR change processes – PART 3

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I was looking in my back-up folder for something else and came upon this piece of reflection and advice to myself for the future – written just over 8 years ago, before I blogged or tweeted. I remember sitting down to write this within a few days of completing my involvement with a large-scale change that included a complete restructure and, unfortunately, some redundancies. I nearly said ‘a headcount reduction’ but we all know what that really means!
With some minor editing and anonymisation, I’ve decided to share it in a three-part blog. In part 1, I covered making sure the HR team is resourced, prepared and supported, the importance of accurate data, and engaging with staff, specific and contextualised communications. In part 2, I included timescales and planning, organisational culture, and practical considerations such as consultation, voluntary departures and to use or not to use slotting in.
In this final part, I cover governance, upwards management, appointment processes, more a…

Remembering the human beings at the centre of HR change processes – PART 2

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I was looking in my back-up folder for something else and came upon this piece of reflection and advice to myself for the future – written just over 8 years ago, before I blogged or tweeted. I remember sitting down to write this within a few days of completing my involvement with a large-scale change that included a complete restructure and, unfortunately, some redundancies. I nearly said ‘a headcount reduction’ but we all know what that really means!
With some minor editing and anonymisation, I’ve decided to share it in a three-part blog. In part 1, I covered making sure the HR team is resourced, prepared and supported, the importance of accurate data (more on that in part 3 too), engaging with staff, specific and contextualised communications.
1.Timescales
Need to be realistic! If the change is big and the timescale is short, the more preparation in advance, the better. If the timescale is challenging, be honest with staff and stakeholders as to why. Recognise that a challenging times…

Remembering the human beings at the centre of HR change processes – PART 1

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I was looking in my back-up folder for something else and came upon this piece of reflection and advice to myself for the future – written just over 8 years ago, before I blogged or tweeted. I remember sitting down to write this within a few days of completing my involvement with a large-scale change that included a complete restructure and, unfortunately, some redundancies. I nearly said ‘a headcount reduction’ but we all know what that really means!

With some minor editing and anonymisation, I’ve decided to share it in a three-part blog.
This is my list of what to expect, what to plan for and what to do, following my experience of leading HR for a large-scale change in 2010 to 2011.
It is in no particular order, but starts with preparation, moves onto what to consider, what to do and what employment law knowledge and thorough understanding is essential.

This is very much HR focused, but clearly other teams like Finance and other essential corporate teams such as Communications and …

Nepal November 2020

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I can hardly believe I haven't written a blog in over a year! And what a year it has been, with several ups and downs. Despite some pendulum swings I managed to lose over 4 stone and regain my fitness in that year. I may do some reflective writing about that, but for now, I plan to use this blog to write about my training and fundraising for the challenge of a lifetime.

In Nov 2020, I am taking part in a Himalayan Trek to raise £3500 for Hospiscare, the amazing charity I work for. I am not a natural fundraiser and I can feel awkward making the ask, but I am just going to go for it. I hope that some of you will find what I write interesting and consider donating. For now, here's a poster and my Just Giving Link. Annette Hill Just Giving Himalayan Trek


3,400 metres refers to the altitude, not the distance, by the way :o)

Shopping for a great candidate experience

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We haven’t got the time to do an assessment centre. You haven’t got the time to sort out an appointment that does not work out later on…
We’re so busy, we’ll just squeeze some interviews in next Wednesday. Appointing the right person for the post is one of the main investments you’ll make this week/month/year. This must be prioritised and planned properly.
We’ll try to do the shortlisting tomorrow. What? See above….
Does the above sound familiar? For the last 18 months or so we have been on a bit of a mission to improve recruitment and retention particularly in the retail part of our charity. I blogged about this a while ago A Matter of Manners when we had just adopted this approach. A really important by product is the candidate experience whether or not they get the job. As well as getting the best person for the post, we want every candidate to feel that they had a good morning/day/afternoon with us, received fair feedback and are likely to feel positive about our charity going forwards –…

Leadership and Management. Is there a difference? How much does it matter?

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Once upon a time there was a naïve and idealistic young arts graduate, who was given her first team of 2 people to ‘manage’ in a small office down a dingy corridor in a Civil Service building. A couple of years later, from a shared general office in the middle of a hospital, she was starting out on 20+ years in the NHS in management positions. It was the late 1980s. General Management was the new shiny thing. Administration was well and truly out of fashion. What mattered most for a manager – being liked or being respected? That was a popular question. And of course, the ‘right’ answer was being respected. That person never felt comfortable with that question and the expected response. That person was me.

(Before I continue, please note, or if you are of my vintage, please recall what the 1980s were like generally, and that there was not the wealth of evidence we now have showing the clear link between treating people well at work and better productivity. I always felt intrinsically th…