Equity, fairness and empathy

Looking ahead, pondering equity and the IWD messages, and how we bring fairness into our culture and deliver this through our work with our clients and their people.

Spring always brings a sense of renewed energy, hope of longer days and warmth in the air.

Anyone who knows me can vouch for the fact if there was an option to hibernate through winter I would do.  Sadly, this isn’t a realistic option, so the next best thing is that I spend time looking inwards at any small changes or habits that can be introduced into the everyday, so we are ready for those balmy summer days.

I have applied that thinking to Peony & Magnolia and recently spent time considering the next chapters of the business.  The P&M clients are a wonderful collection of companies who have all come through recommendations, this is fantastic and such a compliment.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know newer clients and their people already this year.

Some recent feedback from a CEO following a sensitive redundancy project was heart-warming, they described our approach as ‘clear, empathetic and considered’ and having spent time with the SLT can see they are a people focused business and genuine when say they say they would happily work with us again.

Unfortunately, the reality is many companies are being forced to look at staffing costs and I regularly see cases in the HR community discussing the consequences of not doing it the right way.  The most recent stats show that there is a backlog of over 50,000 cases of employment tribunals according to the HM Courts and Tribunal Service.  These backlogs are so disruptive to a business and I am sure many could have been avoided in the first place.

The first episode of Playing with Hire discusses why HR can be so undervalued, that some don’t realise until it is too late how important having professional and experienced support can be. Redundancy isn’t just about process; this is how we support people through the whole rollercoaster of emotions and how leading with compassion is paramount.

This week is International Women’s Day, and the theme is to embrace equity.  This year I have decided to take a different approach to previous years.  Not because I don’t support the need to discuss equity, but they whole campaign rubs against our values.  At P&M we focus on empowering ourselves and others and it just didn’t feel empowering to post a selfie of me hugging myself when the reality is we have A LOT of work in challenging equity.

Equity for me is about fairness, something we strive to achieve when working with people on an everyday basis.  I have lost count of the number of times I have questioned if a decision is fair or reasonable, or challenged a practice as it creates bias by design.

So, this year we will promote the partners we work with that are striving for Equity through their vision.

Creative Mentor Network, who exist to make the creative world of work more inclusive, specifically for young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.  CMN wrote in this issue of Espresso about the importance of role modelling and their mentoring programme.

Speeki a ESG solution, which can create huge cultural shifts within business, challenging the systems which can by default create inequity.  Scott Lane and I talked about how HR professionals are a voice in this arena in their podcast – Hear all Voices

Through the Careers and Enterprise work, this month we will be creating a careers event during Careers Week 6-11th March, for the SEND students, where we will talk about their skills and super powers, promoting inclusivity and how these young people can go on and contribute to the world of work in the near future.

Through all the work we do this year, we will be thoughtful in creating that sense of stillness for ourselves and others.  Currently, it is showing up as being a sounding board for others.  This isn’t just for our clients, in the last few months I have had some fantastic conversations with people who are at the start of the HR consultancy journeys, as well as supporting those at grassroots who are just beginning their HR careers.  Taking a few hours of time out to support others.

Would love to hear your thoughts on how equity resonates with you or what you may be looking forward to over the next few months.