Hr Network Volume 16 Issue 4

Page 1

Inspiring People Development

Edit At L or TOM arge: OR WO




Alzheimer Scotland

leading lockdown


FEATURE: Once for Scotland - Recruitment Transformation

the engagement collection

the engagement collection crafted with passion, created for love



COVER STORY Anyone can steer a ship when the sea is calm. But what about steering the ship in times of crisis? HR leaders have had to transform themselves and their leadership style as the COVID crisis continues to present significant challenges in the way employees, teams and groups are inspired and mentored by their leaders. Andy Moore discovers how senior professionals can lead out of lockdown…



8 News 14 Employment Law Update

Continuous Service and Employment Rights

20 Stats


Employers Prioritise Mental Health Communications

22 Feature Two

Hr NETWORK Awards 2021 Preview – HR Heroes to HR Champions

28 The Bookshop

Latest bestsellers to be published

30 Feature Three



Recruitment Transformation – ‘Once for Scotland’

34 Feature Four

Preview of Hr NETWORK ‘Strategic Workforce Planning’ Conference 2021

38 Editor-At-large

Tomorrow’s World – What Next?

42 Insights

38 5

Collaborative Culture Health & Wellbeing Employee Communication Combatting Racism

46 Event Planner

Event Updates for 2021


Founder and Publisher:


Law At Work Employment Law Update: Continuous service and employment rights p. 14

Lee Turner

Senior Associate Editor: Andy Moore


Former senior HR professional and freelance business journalist

Editor At Large: Tomorrow’s World – What next? p. 38

Deputy-Editor: Teresa Flannigan



Domino Printing Sciences

Neil Archibald

Insight: Collaborative Culture p. 42

Editor’s Assistant/Admin: Marion Robertson



Insight: Spotting the signs of poor mental health p. 43

Advertising/Sponsorship: Donna Turner



Alzheimer Scotland

Media Avenue Ltd

Insight: Supporting employees with Alzheimer’s p. 44

Hr NETWORK now available on: LinkedIn:


Pearn Kandola


Insight: Racism at work: Be an active bystander p. 45

Media Avenue Limited 18 Young Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JB 0131 625 3267


The views expressed in Hr NETWORK (SCOTLAND) are those of invited contributors and not necessarily those of Media Avenue Ltd. Media Avenue Ltd does not endorse any goods or services advertised, or any claims or representations made in any advertisement in Hr NETWORK (SCOTLAND) magazine and accepts no liability to any person for loss or damage suffered as a consequence of their responding to, or placing reliance upon any claim or representation made in any advertisement appearing in Hr NETWORK (SCOTLAND) magazine. Readers should make appropriate enquiries and satisfy themselves before responding to any such advertisement or placing reliance upon any such claim or representation. By so responding or placing reliance readers accept that they do so at their own risk. © Media Avenue Ltd. 2020



March 2021


ow that we’re into March, almost a year since the madness of Coronavirus first impacted everything, there is definitely a sense of business returning slowly but surely and we are finally able to make plans for coming out of lockdown. The entire Hr NETWORK team is determined to get back to hosting our exciting events soon and bringing our wonderful community back together at the forthcoming Conference & Exhibition in May – followed by the annual Hr NETWORK National Awards 2021 in partnership with Roffey Park Institute in November 2021. Hr NETWORK ‘ONLINE’ Conference & Exhibition 2021 We are delighted to announce that our Hr NETWORK ‘Strategic Workforce Planning’ & ‘Leading Out Of Lockdown’ Conference & Exhibition will take place on Thursday 13th May 2021. We had hoped to welcome delegates to the May Conference in person but following recent Government announcements and the proposed road-map out of lockdown, it won’t be possible to have the Conference in person as we had hoped, however this will not deter our amazing planning team from delivering a first class and hugely enjoyable and interactive Conference experience for all!

If there was ever a time that Hr NETWORK needed your support, it is now and I want to encourage as many people as possible to book a place at the online Conference. We have reduced the delegate fee to almost a third of the ‘In person’ cost, which I can assure you will not only offer us some much needed support but help us bring everyone together in their numbers and as you would expect with any Hr NETWORK event, we have some amazing opportunities including interactive networking with ‘live streaming’, video, social media and networking tools that offer us all the chance to learn lots about a new world of work and be able to form some long lasting business connections. We have lined up 6 amazing Key Note Speakers plus a minimum of 8+ Breakout Session Speakers (pre-recorded) and we aim to run the Conference, not just for the day, but up to a month after the Conference has taken place, to allow everyone to be able to see ALL sessions. All for just £55+VAT per delegate! BOOK NOW: conference/delegate-booking-form Hr NETWORK Awards Nominations 2021 Nominations for this years Awards are now well and truly OPEN and will close on the 31st May 2021. All nominators who submitted nominations in 2020 will have the opportunity to review and refine submitted nominations in time for the end of May deadline in 2021 Hr MARKET Hr MARKET, which launched in September 2020 as part of our own strategy to pivot the business has created a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase a wide range of


news & blogs, jobs, events and loads of other HR industry activity and we have been able to attract a wide range of members and advertisers and have some exciting plans to grow and develop Hr MARKET in 2021. This Issue In this online edition of the magazine, Andy Moore explores the challenges facing traditional leadership styles and how leaders now interact with their people, in a world where much of their collaborations, once conducted face to face are now conducted virtually. Andy asks how much of their traditional leadership style and ways of working will fit with a brand new world of work? Editor At Large Neil Archibald looks at what the future holds for the workplace in our ‘Tomorrow’s World: What next?’ feature. The regular sections of the magazine include: Stats, the Bookshop and Insights. I hope you enjoy your online copy of Hr NETWORK Magazine and look forward to welcoming you at our events this year – whether they are online only or in person!

Lee Turner Publisher

Contributors: Neil Archibald, Kelly Feehan, Chris Webb, Caroline Miller, Nic Hammarling. Hr NETWORK also available on: LinkedIn: Twitter: YouTube: hrnetworkscotland


Technology and the seeds of mistrust at work Working from home during the pandemic has led to new ways of life: new means of social gathering, new means of entertainment and, for many, a new way of working. An important aspect of an organisation’s ability to function remotely is the trust between employer and employee to work effectively during ‘office’ hours, without the physical presence of a manager to keep check on progress.

“Other strategies to prevent slacking require more attention and planning from management, such as setting appropriate goals with an employee and monitoring goal progress.

To ensure productivity, some companies have implemented technology to keep tabs on their workers by implementing mandatory screen sharing, monitoring web pages visited and clicks-per-minute, and even activating webcams throughout the day.

“Whereas some employees undoubtedly slack and constant review can reduce this, monitoring also decreases trust between employers and employees. If a culture of distrust emerges because of unexpected or overreaching monitoring, employees might lose motivation because they feel alienated from their employer.”

According to Dr Janina Steinmetz, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the Business School (formerly Cass), this intensive scrutiny of employees is of no overall benefit to company morale or productivity.

The technology available to managers during the pandemic may increase temptation to constantly monitor employee activity, especially as they are unable to check in more casually. Research shows that people not only behave differently when monitored – such as staying away from social media when the boss is in the office or when zoom is running – but they also think differently about their work when monitored.

“Employers often monitor their staff because they are worried about employees slacking, and monitoring seems like an easy strategy to prevent this,” Dr Steinmetz said.

Hardworking professionals are feeling the effects of longer working days and unpaid overtime A new study by law firm, Wright Hassall, found that the average worker is performing 9 or more hours of overtime in a given week, which totals more than one working day, compared to just 3 or more hours before the start of the pandemic. The research also found that more than half (52%) is actually doing so without being paid for this. The survey conducted by the firm reveals that 48% of business professionals cite lockdown as the main reason for their extended working day, as 41% say they are working extra hours to help support

their company during an extremely challenging time. Remote working has also had a significant impact, as 34% struggle to log off on time, while 29% say they feel under pressure to perform due to a lack of job security. The data says this is having a damaging impact on workers’ loyalty, with almost 28% saying this has negatively impacted their future commitment to the company, while 1 in 4 say they simply want a better work life balance and the same number say they want to feel supported. Unpaid overtime is having a knock-on effect in terms of workers’ mental


health, with as many as 34% saying they feel more anxious, 31% feel more stressed, while 1 in 4 struggles to switch off. More than 1 in 5 (22%) say they have trouble sleeping, while 17% have lower job satisfaction as a result of longer working days.


Money troubles are more damaging to well-being of the self-employed

How does the largest employer in Scotland manage its recruitment?

Financial distress is more damaging to the wellbeing of the self-employed than those in employment, finds new research from Trinity Business School.

Used by organisations across the UK and beyond, the Jobtrain applicant tracking system manages the entire recruitment and onboarding process.

According to the research, authored by Dr Martha O’Hagan-Luff, Assistant Professor in Finance at Trinity Business School, alongside fellow Trinity academics, Dr Jenny Berrill and Dr André Van Stel, and Dr Damien Cassells from Technological University Dublin, financial problems are more strongly associated with lower levels of well-being for those that are self-employed.

Our expertise and technology empowers a wide variety organisations across Scotland, including: NHS Scotland, Glasgow Airport, Aberdeen Airport, Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership and Teleperformance.

The study, which compared how the relationship between financial distress and well-being differed between those in employment and the selfemployed, as well as comparing how this relationship differed between self-employed individuals with and without employees, revealed a greater negative association between financial troubles and the overall health and life satisfaction of the solo self-employed compared to wage-earning employees.

Based in the heart of Glasgow, we support our clients with a highly experienced and locally based team.

It was also revealed that a negative impact on mental health and quality of life was most pronounced in the self-employed who themselves had employees.

"Jobtrain have, throughout the entire programme, shown a clear focus on delivery. With the customer at the heart and with a very positive "Can do Attitude", Jobtrain have been flexible to meet the size, complexity and scale of NHS Scotland."

In undertaking the research, the academics used data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) database, a European dataset of wage-employed and self-employed workers aged 50 and over. Harnessing four measures of well-being – overall health, mental health, life satisfaction and quality of life, the study offers large-scale evidence of the relationship between financial distress and wellbeing and how this relationship may differ between different types of income and self-employment.

Fast set-up

Martha O’Hagan-Luff, Assistant Professor in Finance at Trinity Business School, says: “The findings of our study are particularly relevant during crisis periods such as during the Covid pandemic, demonstrating the importance of providing adequate financial support for the self-employed, given that we find that financial distress has a more pronounced negative effect on their wellbeing than the wage-employed.”

Flexible platform

Fantastic service

Contact us today.



More than a third of people planning to quit their jobs as promotions drop due to Coronavirus Learning platform HowNow has discovered that UK employees have received 48% fewer promotions in the last 12 months compared to previous years. The platform also found that more than half (52%) of working professionals in the UK underwent no learning and development during the pandemic, despite furlough rules allowing it, with the average company spending 67% less on staff training during the last 12 months compared to the previous year. To help boost promotions in 2021, the platform has created a guide for up-skilling when working remotely. The platform surveyed 2,040 working UK professionals about workplace

development in the last 12 months and only 24% of those surveyed said they had seen promotions on their team in the last year. When asked how this compared to 2019, 72% said that there had been promotions in the previous year, indicating a 48% drop in promotions during the pandemic. To investigate possible reasons behind this, the platform also asked about learning and development during the pandemic. More than half of people (52%) stated that their training had stopped completely since the pandemic, while a further 23% said that it had ‘significantly decreased’. The average company spent 67% less on staff training in the last 12 months compared to the previous year.

Nearly 90% of universities had to delay new innovationdriven projects in lockdown

HowNow discovered that this could lead to many wanting to quit their jobs with more than a third (35%) of those surveyed confirming they are “actively looking for other opportunities”. A lack of growth was selected as one of the main reasons employees were wanting to quit their job (42%). Although the most popular reason was stress related (60%), followed by a clash with management (51%). When broken down into ages, those between 35 and 44, were the most likely (35%) to receive a promotion and employees aged 55+ the least likely (14%). While people aged between 25-34 were most likely to be looking to quit their job with more than half of them (54%) stating that they were actively looking for other opportunities.

to delay a significant proportion (more than 10%) of new innovation projects with external partners, and over a third have reported that projects have been cancelled.” Marshall continued: “Maintaining these types of innovation projects is vital if we are to boost productivity, improve livelihoods, and drive forward economic recovery. Innovation requires collaboration. And we see time and time again that collaboration requires strong partners. We are therefore urgently encouraging all businesses and UK universities to continue to form these vital partnerships.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to many universities’ activities that help to drive innovation in the economy. Nearly 90% of UK universities cited that a significant proportion of innovation projects had been delayed, according to a new survey of 61 UK universities released recently.

Tomas Ulrichsen, Director of the new University Commercialisation and Innovation Policy Evidence Unit at the University of Cambridge, who led the study and authored the report said: “Unless we proactively tackle the many challenges facing universities and their innovation partners to reverse these worrying trends, we risk not only hampering our economic recovery but also the UK’s longer-term competitiveness in key sectors.”

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of NCUB said: “Covid-19 has brought the importance of collaboration between academia and industry firmly into public awareness. Indeed, breakthroughs such as the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are only possible because of the advent of collaborative partnerships. This is why the new survey data released recently is so worrisome. Nearly 90% of universities have been forced



Employer gets staff involved to help working parents with home schooling With working parents juggling parenting, teaching and professional responsibilities, global leader in talent acquisition and managed workforce solutions, Guidant Global, has rolled out a one-of-a-kind education programme to support its employees and their children. The Impellam Superstars home-schooling scheme has been run by the company since early January, with staff across the entire Impellam Group – which includes Guidant Global – offering their time to teach the children of their peers each week, giving parents a much-needed break.

Nicky Hale, Global Head of Talent Engagement at Guidant Global and driver of Impellam Superstars commented: “It’s been a tough time for us all lately, but for working parents it has been incredibly hard trying to juggle home-schooling and work. The feedback we had from our parents was that they just needed flexibility in their hours, which we of course ensured they had. But we didn’t feel that was enough. Our People Services and Senior Management teams came together to discuss what else we could do, and Impellam Superstars was born.”

As part of the programme, Guidant Global grouped children into relevant age categories, before developing a full teaching schedule, with four sessions available each week for every class. Topics have ranged from PE, languages and creative writing, to more entertaining sessions such as treasure hunts, Disney quizzes and even a game of Simon Says, run by CEO, Simon Blockley. To date, the programme has seen around 70 children access the variety of sessions.

Nicky added: “The mental well-being of our staff and their children is a priority in these tough times and we will continue to run this education programme for our working parents and their children as long as it is necessary.”



New Head of Learning and Development joins Leeds Building Society Leeds Building Society has appointed a new Head of Learning and Development to support colleague growth. Kate Fisher takes up the position after more than 20 years’ experience in human resources, talent and training operations roles. Kate most recently held the role of Senior Director of Talent and Capability at Asda, having previously worked at WM Morrisons, Aviva, Goldman Sachs International and KPMG. Drawing on extensive experience in leadership development, talent and performance management, diversity, wellbeing and cultural transformation, Kate will be responsible for enabling learning and growth opportunities across the Society. Kate’s appointment reflects Leeds Building Society’s commitment to

‘Make flexible working requests a day-one right’ says the CIPD Scottish workers are facing inequality due to a stark difference in employers’ approaches to offering flexible working, with just under half (49%) of Scottish employees saying they do not have flexible working arrangements such as flexi-time, part-time working, compressed hours or job shares - in their current role. This is according to new research from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development.

“There is a really diverse array of professional skills within the Society and I look forward to engaging with colleagues across the business and maximising opportunities for our workforce to fulfil their potential.”

colleague development and on-going career progression. Commenting on her appointment, Kate said: “I’m really excited to be joining the team at Leeds Building Society. The business has shown strong growth in recent years and has a consistent track record of investment in people, which is a critical component for building the Society’s future business capability.

The CIPD’s survey of over 2000 employees across Great Britain found that while the Coronavirus pandemic has driven a huge increase in working from home, 44% of Scottish employees have not worked from home at all since the beginning of the crisis. The majority of those employees (94%) say that this is because the nature of their job doesn’t allow them to. The CIPD found that just under two in five (37%) Scottish employees say it’s unfair that some people can work from home while others have to continue to attend their place of work and have little flexibility in how they work with more than two thirds (69%) of Scottish employees agree that it is important that people who can’t work from home can work flexibly in other ways. The research also showed that Less than a third (29%) of Scottish


Becky Hewitt, Director of People at Leeds Building Society said: “Investing in colleagues is fundamental to our business operations, whether it be supporting new starters, or providing existing colleagues with opportunities to explore additional career goals and develop new skills. “We’re really excited Kate has joined us. She has an impressive track record across the financial and commercial sectors, and will bring some invaluable insights on how we can really get the best out of our talent pool. We wish her a very warm welcome to Leeds Building Society.” employers surveyed by the CIPD are planning to try to increase the uptake of other forms of flexible working besides home working over the next six to 12 months. In contrast, half of Scottish organisations (50%) plan to take steps to enable more home and hybrid working over the same period. The CIPD encourages organisations to work in collaboration with their employees to find flexible solutions that are mutually beneficial. Employees who have flexibility report significantly higher levels of satisfaction with their job, work-life balance and control over their work. Encouragingly, over half of Scottish employers (52%) say they will be more likely to grant requests for flexible working, besides working from home, once the pandemic restrictions have been relaxed.


Two thirds of UK companies see digital skills shortfall as biggest business challenge in 2021 Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of businesses see a digital skills shortfall as one of the most significant challenges facing their company in 2021. This is according to new research from the FTSE 250 professional services firm, FDM Group.

(47 per cent) of decision makers revealing that they have no plans to return to the office until at least 2022, even if it is deemed safe to do so later in the year. Rod Flavell, CEO for FDM Group, comments: “The Covid-19 outbreak has wreaked havoc for businesses, with millions of workers missing out on vital digital skills development due to furlough and remote working constraints. With the added pressure of strict lockdown measures forcing many people to juggle childcare alongside their day job, companies need to move quickly to increase digital skills provision as a matter of urgency.

The data was obtained through a Censuswide poll of 200 business decision-makers in large and medium sized companies, which surveyed them on their attitude to hiring and improving IT and digital skills for 2021. Interestingly, 77 per cent of decision makers admitted that they already have plans to increase digital skills training budgets this year to support continued remote working. Additionally, 70 per cent plan to offer existing workers reskilling or refresher tech and IT courses, to help improve digital skills over the course of this year.

With remote working now a key part of our daily lives, the need for every employee to be digitally adept, computer literate and cyber safer should be top of the boardroom agenda. That’s why business should seek to hire in the latest IT talent, to boost technology skills within the workforce and help aid a speedy recovery in increasingly challenging times.”

Over two-thirds (68 per cent) also agreed that they will increase their IT headcount to support remote working, which appears to be a fitting investment, with nearly half

Financial wellbeing solutions. Helping you support your people. We understand how life can throw a curveball and it can quickly feel as if your finances are getting out of control. At Johnston Carmichael, we are here to help your employees get back on track and gain peace of mind. Find out more on our website: 13








Continuous service and employment rights By Jenny Brunton, Employment Solicitor, Law At Work

Under UK employment legislation, many rights as an employee may not arise until a minimum length of continuous and unbroken service has been completed. It is important for employers and employees to be aware of the qualifying service rules for each right before deciding on a particular course of action. Defining continuous service

Unfair dismissal

Continuous service can be defined as the period of unbroken time that an employee has worked. It is governed by statute: employers and employees cannot opt into or agree an alternative period of continuous service. Absences due to holidays, sickness or other granted forms of leave (such as maternity, paternity etc) do not affect continuous service. The most common example of an event, which does break continuity, is a week, Sunday to Saturday, between contracts. As part of the Taylor Review reforms, government has proposed to extend this period to four weeks to provide greater protection for employees.


In order to make a claim for unfair dismissal, the standard minimum length of continuous service is two years. Previously, employees needed only one year of continuous service but this was doubled in 2012. Linked to this is the right to request a written statement explaining the reasons for dismissal, which also does not come into effect until two years of continuous service have been completed. Some claims which are counted as automatically unfair dismissal do not require a qualifying continuous length of service – a few of which are discussed further on such as; discrimination linked to dismissal because



The right to make a claim of discrimination does not have a qualifying period. This is known as a day-one right, however a discrimination claim can be brought

Under the topic of family rights, there are some rights, which are granted from day one, and others, which require a qualifying period of continuous service. Maternity leave, along with adoption leave, parental bereavement leave and unpaid leave for unexpected family emergencies, known as statutory time off for dependants, are all day one employee rights. However, some rights such as paternity leave, and shared parental leave require twenty-six weeks of continuous service. Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay all have a twentysix week minimum service requirement, whilst unpaid parental leave has a continuous service requirement of one year. Pay rights Most rights linked to pay do not hold a minimum qualifying period of continuous service. These are: the right to receive the national minimum wage, the right to not have unauthorised deductions from pay, the right to paid holidays etc.




Family friendly rights


The minimum length of service required for an employee to be eligible for statutory redundancy pay is two years. However, where an employer is obliged to collectively consult because it proposes to make 20 or more redundancies at one establishment, all employees are entitled to be collectively consulted with. Where the employer fails to do so, all employees may be eligible for a protective award irrespective of their lengths of service.

Whistleblowing as an employee’s right is granted from day one. No qualifying period is required and an employee holds the right not to face detriment or dismissal due to blowing the whistle.


of a protected characteristic, dismissal due to whistleblowing, dismissal due to health and safety activities and, dismissal due to exercising a statutory right. Nevertheless, generally an employer has far more flexibility in exiting an employee from their business in the first two years of employment as they do not have to carefully identify the fair reason for dismissal or demonstrate that they have followed a fair procedure in the lead up to terminating the contract.




in respect of treatment which occurs before day one of employment as a job candidate can bring a discrimination claim in respect of the recruitment process. Short serving employees who feel aggrieved will often couch their concerns as a discrimination claim in order for the tribunal to have jurisdiction to hear it.


Absences due to holidays, sickness or other granted forms of leave (such as maternity, paternity etc) do not affect continuous service.


leading OUT OF LOCKDOWN By Andy Moore

Anyone can steer a ship when the sea is calm. But what about steering the ship in times of crisis? HR leaders have had to transform themselves and their leadership style as the COVID crisis continues to present significant challenges in the way employees, teams and groups are inspired and mentored by their leaders. Andy Moore discovers how senior professionals can lead out of lockdown.






ind the clock back to just over a year ago: few HR leaders would ever have imagined they would face such turbulent times in one of the greatest leadership challenges in living memory. Leaders are now better versed in leading virtually rather than by their physical presence – but some may have the self-held view they are shadows of their former leadership selves.

To lead is to be seen and heard. And now leaders have to deal with the unique circumstances of a remote business and colleagues, many of whom are occupied by the distractions of home schooling, caring for relatives and their own anxieties. Atholl Duncan, chair of the Black Isle Group and author of ‘Leaders in Lockdown’ believes that leadership has had to undergo a ‘complete rethink’ during the pandemic. Every long-held belief in the way leaders lead, engage and inspire their colleagues has been challenged by the crisis, he adds.

He says that leaders must reassess how they lead in a post-COVID world, and this will depend on what kind of a working world we will emerge from. It may well embrace a hybrid homeworking model, combined with in-person leadership, fitter for the 21st century.

The people profession has seen the exposure of the superhuman leader as a thing of the past; leaders now have to become more empathic, connected and listening leaders

Leading through collaborative working, he reasons, will remain as important as ever for colleagues to share ideas and socialise in the workplace.

“The fighting your way up the corporate ladder work ethic with only brief holidays begs the question, is this what we’re put on the earth for?” he asks. “The traditional leader generation may see COVID as just adapting to work and not traveling, while younger leaders see this as a watershed moment that will revolutionise the way we work permanently.”

“Leaders must ask themselves what kind of a leader is effective in this crisis and what attributes they need when leading out their people out of it,” Atholl explains. “The people profession has seen the exposure of the superhuman leader as a thing of the past; leaders now have to become more empathic, connected and listening leaders.”

So what are the challenges to inspire in this new world of work? Remote working teams are a new dimension to



leaders. After all, having a physical presence is fundamental so that teams can connect through body language, share knowledge, interact socially and build trust and relationships. “To attract and enrich its employee base in a remote world, leaders must embrace opportunities to recruit people from outside Scotland,” Atholl stresses. “The tech sector, for example, leads in this ‘work from anywhere’ culture – with some countries even offering ‘work from anywhere visas’, regardless of where the employer is based.” So how can HR leaders maintain visibility virtually? Atholl adds that leaders must ask themselves what is effective virtual connectivity? From blending a mixture of group meetings, seminars and one-to-one engagement, the key to leading through lockdown is through meaningful and structured communication. And such an approach goes way beyond virtual conferencing: leaders can inspire using a whole gambit of mediums such as podcasts, relevant staff circulars and even in person at socially distanced meetings in outdoor locations. “Leaders have to become much more inventive about how they make themselves available and how they construct virtual conversations,” he continues. “Leaders must strive to connect and engage with their audience, and there are many ways they can connect – but a good objective is to share a common ground, which includes showing empathy, interest and caring for their people.” Leaders must reinvent the traditional working week and its rhythm to create a whole range of in-person interactions that would have occurred in the workplace. Gone are the five-minute chats about sport, holidays and business on the way to getting coffee. Instead, the approach is to think of new ways to engage colleagues in different situations and times in their homes many miles away. Meeting agendas matter too. They must have purpose – for example for decision making, information sharing, consultative or listening – and staff must also have some autonomy to book time with their leaders to maintain trust and relationships.

this crisis, such as finding new business, revenues and ways of working. I am confident they will continue to adapt and thrive. From managing hundreds of staff remotely to diversifying their business, it is truly inspirational what leaders can achieve.”

Leading through Lockdown • What kind of a leader is effective in this crisis? • Embrace hybrid homeworking with in-person leadership • Leading through collaborative working will remain as important as ever • Leadership will have to become even more creative after COVID • They must reinvent the traditional working week and its rhythm of interactions • Meeting agendas matter and have purpose for decision making, information sharing, consulting or listening • Staff must have autonomy to book time with their leaders to maintain trust and relationships • Effective leadership depends on leaders looking after themselves too Atholl Duncan will be one of the keynote speakers at the forthcoming Hr NETWORK ‘Strategic Workforce Planning’ Conference & Exhibition, which takes place on Thursday 13th May 2021. To book your delegate place visit the Events page on the Hr NETWORK website.

Atholl stresses that leaders must avoid recreating the rituals of the office at all costs, as many ways of working, are damaging to morale and motivation. Effective leadership also depends on leaders looking after themselves in their career path, and also in mind and body in these anxious times. Summing up, Atholl says: “Many leaders and organisations have made remarkable efforts during



Employers prioritised employee mental health and communications as a result of COVID-19 • Over 90% of survey respondents focused on employee mental health as a result of the pandemic • Nearly 90% prioritised communicating with employees • 66% of firms now offer digital GP services to employees, an increase from last year • Use of value-added services such as Employee Assistance Programmes as a key part of an employer’s strategy jumped 14 percentage points • 41% of employers expect to re-evaluate their Employer Value Proposition (EVP) in light of COVID-19 According to Aon’s UK Benefits & Trends Survey, 86% of employers said they prioritised employee communications as a result of the pandemic. In addition, 71% of employers said they now conduct research among their employees to understand their needs, an increase of 9 percentage points on last year. However, this still shows a concerning number of employers who are not tapping into employee opinion. Colin Barnes, director, proposition and development, Aon, said: “The humanitarian and economic challenges of 2020 created a catalyst for long-lasting change in the workplace. The pandemic has accelerated new approaches needed for businesses to survive or thrive. Surrounded by these challenges, employees needed clarity and confidence in the messages they received from their employers. Where communication had long been a priority, last year it became even more important.

“Indeed, wellbeing has been an increasingly relevant boardroom topic as employers connected productivity and profitability to engagement, resilience and the underlying health of their workforce. It is overwhelmingly positive to see the number of employers recognising and responding to this need.” A majority of employers (92%) indicated a focus on mental health. Since the impact of COVID-19, 87% of respondents said they are focusing on wellbeing for homeworking, 83% on general wellbeing and 68% on emotional support. Over half (56%) have targeted their wellbeing initiatives to improve employee resilience. When it comes to physical health, 66% of employers now provide a digital GP service, either available to staff on a voluntary or flexible basis (12%), fully company funded to all staff (40%) or fully funded to some staff (14%). Less than half (48%) provided this benefit in 2020. The number of respondents who said that value-added services such as Employee Assistance Programmes, rehabilitation support and educational content are now very important to them and a key part of their strategy has increased 14 percentage points from 31% in 2020 to 45% in 2021.


The pandemic also impacted employers’ views on their Employee Value Propositions (EVP), with 41% stating they are being re-evaluated. Additionally, 28% said they have a clear EVP, up from 23% last year, while 43% planned to develop one this year. There has also been positive movement in the number of organisations that explain their EVP to employees; two years ago, approximately one third of respondents did not communicate their EVP, but now this figure has fallen to just 14%. According to respondents, the benefits of having an EVP are increasingly clear: 87% said it has a positive impact on recruitment, 85% reported a positive impact on employee engagement and 78% said it improved retention. Colin Barnes added: “In the last year, organisations had to react incredibly quickly to changing situations. The pandemic made us all acutely aware of volatility and the global nature of such threats. The unfortunate reality is that future global risks may not just include more health pandemics, but also other long-tail risks such as cyber threats or natural disasters. Any one of these will test an organisation’s strategy and endurance. What is important is acting on what we’ve learned so that both employer and employee are ready and resilient to future disruption.”

"Can't wait to review my reward and benefits" SAID NOBODY. EVER.

We've built an app to help make your life easier. And it's free.




heroes to HR champions

From HR

By Teresa Flannigan

Nomination’s for this years Hr NETWORK National Awards 2021 in partnership with Roffey Park Institute have opened and this is your chance to RECOGNISE, ACKOWLEDGE and REWARD your Scottish HR heroes in 2021. The awards categories are judged in two sections, People categories and Project categories.

Over the past 12 months, we have seen the incredible and heroic contribution that HR and people professionals have made as they try to manage the effects of an ever changing pandemic, on a scale never seen before.


With 18 awards categories, which are FREE to enter, this is your chance to RECOGNISE, ACKOWLEDGE and REWARD your champions with the awards determining the top performing HR people, teams, projects and organisations in the Scottish people development and management industry.

These categories focus on individuals (except for the HR Team category). Judges are looking for exceptional individuals who MUST demonstrate that they are at the top in their respective role.


The ‘Nominations Intention’ scheme captures early interest from those intending to nominate and provides support and ongoing updates on all the categories during the nominations process, running from 1st March to 31st May 2021.

These categories focus on projects/specific initiatives that have had a measurable impact in the organisation.

With the prospect of every adult being vaccinated against coronavirus by the Autumn, table sales for this year’s awards are in extremely high demand and organisations wishing to host a table of 10, are strongly advised to secure their table as soon as possible.


in partnership with

The winners will be announced at the annual Hr NETWORK Awards Gala Dinner taking place at the hugely impressive Glasgow Hilton on Thursday 25th November 2021.



Award categories and typical nomination summary: Learning & Development Award of the Year

HR Graduate of the Year Sponsored by:

Sponsored by:

Typical Nominees: Nominees will typically be early career graduates who graduated in a CIPD (Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development) recognised HRM qualification, on or after the 1st September 2017. Nominees in this category will be nominated by their lecturers or course tutors rather than their employers.

Typical Nominees: Nominations will either be on behalf of the whole organisation or can be Trainers /Training Managers. Nominees will be nominated by their HR Directors or Senior Manager who has responsibility for training/organisation development within the organisation. For further information visit: learning-and-development-award-of-the-year/

For further information visit:

HR Specialist of the Year

Corporate Responsibility Award of the Year

Sponsored by:

Sponsored by:


Typical Nominees: Nominees in this category provide leadership and expert advice on discreet areas of HR. The types of role are likely to be middle to senior level HR practitioners that may be, for example, responsible for Equality and Diversity, Health and Safety, Wellbeing, Resourcing, Reward, HR Systems. Nominees will be nominated by their HR Directors or Senior Managers who has responsibility for HR within the organisation.


Typical Nominees: The nomination will normally be the whole organisation. The goal of Corporate Responsibility is to embrace responsibility for a company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees and communities within which they operate or have an impact. The Corporate Responsibility Award recognises those organisations and their associated partners who have implemented a highly successful and impactful CR campaign to date. The award also recognises the effective communication surrounding the CR approach and what employee engagement benefits have been realised by the organisation through its CR policy. Judges will be looking for organisations to match the rhetoric with real world practice that makes a positive impact. The Judges would expect to see evidence of commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals or Scotland’s Fair Work agenda or as an accredited Living Wage Employer.

For further information visit:

HR Project of the Year Sponsored by: SOR AVAILABLE TO SPON

Typical Nominees: Nominations in this category will either be on behalf of the whole organisation or be individuals or teams who have successfully delivered a significant people focused project with a sustained high level of excellence throughout the projects lifetime. Nominees will be nominated by the Chief Executive or Senior Manager responsible for commissioning the project.

For further information visit:

For further information visit:



Attraction and Resourcing Award of the Year

Employee Engagement Award of the Year

Sponsored by:

Sponsored by:


Typical Nominees: Nominations will either be on behalf of the whole organisation or senior managers, in-house resourcing/recruitment specialists or teams responsible for key talent attraction and recruitment initiatives. Such individuals may be part of the HR/OD function or may be part of an in-house recruitment function. Nominees will be nominated by the Head of HR, Executive Director or CEO.

Typical Nominees: Nominations will either be on behalf of the whole organisation or can typically be senior managers/ specialists or teams responsible for the overall planning and implementation of key employee engagement and development initiatives and strategies. Such individuals may not necessarily be members of the HR/OD function Read more:

For further information visit:

For further information visit: employee-engagement-award-of-the-year/

HR Business Partner of the Year

HR Assistant/HR Officer of the Year

Sponsored by:


Typical Nominees: Nominees will be senior HR professionals within an organisation who work in partnership with the business to provide specialist strategic, support and influence that enable key clients to effectively deliver their people plans. Provide a service that delivers best practice and commercially focused HR solutions that support the business area in conjunction with specialist HR functions, bringing people management expertise to business decisions and strategies and secures and/or delivers HR interventions and programmes to achieve business needs. Nominees will be nominated by their HR Directors or Senior Managers who has responsibility for HR within the organisation.

Typical Nominees: Nominees will be entry-level HR practitioners whose role generally involves providing administrative support within the HR function. They may work in a general administration support function within HR or within a specific HR discipline such as recruitment, learning and development or reward, for example. Nominees at this level may also include HR practitioners who provide advice and guidance to staff and managers within the organisation. Nominees will be nominated by Head of HR or Manager responsible for HR within the organisation – Read more:

For further information visit:

For further information visit:



Organisational Development Award of the Year

Health & Wellbeing Award of the Year

Sponsored by:


Typical Nominees: : Nominations will be for the whole organisation. This award will take in to consideration the positive culture and health and wellbeing practices being encouraged in the workplace by one of Scotland’s many positive organisations. The category acknowledge will reward organisations that can demonstrate their commitment to the health and wellbeing of their people through the application of a range of health and wellbeing programmes, which meet the needs of all staff.

Typical Nominees: Nominations may either be on behalf of the whole organisation or may be hired by organisations to undertake this specialist work such as Consultant/ Manager/Specialist etc. Nominees in this category can be senior HR leaders or client organisations with regular contact with the individual who have supported the implementation of a programme to improve the organisation’s effectiveness and viability through the introduction of a revised organisational culture allowing the organisation to adapt to new technologies, competition, regulation or other commercial demands.

For further information visit: new-health-and-wellbeing-of-the-year-award/

HR Team of the Year

For further information visit:

Sponsored by:

HR Manager/Advisor of the Year

Typical Nominees: Nominees in this category may be an established HR Team, or alternatively may have come together to form a team to complete a specific project. Nominees will be nominated by their HR Directors or senior Managers who has responsibility for HR within the organisation. Please note that when nominating in this category, a nomination in one of the other categories is also required – Read more:

Sponsored by:

Typical Nominees: Nominees in this category run or assist in running the people management functions that support the business. HR Manager/Advisor nominees must demonstrate leadership and direction to enable them to deliver a comprehensive HR service, be that through the HR Team or the Company as a whole. The role may be concerned with the provision of advice, guidance and support to managers in employee relations, discipline, grievance and absence management. Project management may also likely be a feature of the role and may include advice, support and guidance in organisational redesign, redundancy and restructuring programmes. Nominees will be nominated by their HR Directors or Senior Manager who has responsibility for HR within the organisation – Read more:

For further information visit:

Diversity & Inclusion Award of the Year Sponsored by: SOR AVAILABLE TO SPON

Typical Nominees: Nominations will either be on behalf of the whole organisation or will typically be senior managers or specialists responsible for the overall planning and implementation of a key diversity and inclusion strategy. Such individuals may not necessarily be members of the HR/OD function. Nominees will be nominated by the Chief Executive or Executive Director. For further information visit: diversity-and-inclusion-of-the-year/

For further information visit:



Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR or Lifetime Achievement Award of the Year

Best Employer/Workplace of the Year Sponsored by: SOR AVAILABLE TO SPON

The Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR or The Lifetime Achievement Award is Scottish HR’s most prestigious award specifically given by the Judges to an individual who has an established history of distinguished service to the HR profession either as a practitioner, academic or someone who has successfully transcended different areas of the HR profession.

Typical Nominees: Nominations will be for the whole organisation. This award will take in to consideration the positive culture and health and wellbeing practices being encouraged in the workplace by one of Scotland’s many positive organisations. Judges will be looking for empirical evidence such as external accreditations, for example, Living Wage, IIP, BITC, Healthy Working Lives and the like, but also by experiencing the culture and ‘feel’ of the organisation through a site visit.

The individual will have made a lasting contribution to HR practice and has demonstrated excellent leadership qualities and provided inspiration to others in the sector.

For further information visit:

The Award may be presented to an individual in recognition of their contribution to a new innovation, new knowledge, or ways to improve professional practice.

Chief Executive of the Year

Importantly, the contributions should be above and beyond the everyday and have had a long lasting impact in the HR sector.


Please note that nominations for this award are not requested, as the recipient of this award, will be determined by the Judging Panel.

Typical Nominees: Nominees will be Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Managing Director, General Manager or someone similar who has overall control of the business and to which the HR Director or Head of HR directly reports. Nominees will be nominated by the Chairman of the Board or an Executive Board Member.

Nominations To see the full criteria and to make your nomination, please log on to: awards – and select the Awards Nominations Form

If you have any enquiries in relation to nominations, sponsorship or becoming a table host at the Gala Dinner at the Glasgow Hilton on Thursday 25th November 2021, please contact: Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email:

For further information visit:

HR Director of the Year Sponsored by:

Typical Nominees: Nominees will be the most senior HR professional within the organisation operating at or near Board level. They will be responsible for design and execution of an integrated HR strategy or plan. Roles at this level may typically be entitled Head of HR of Head of Human Capital or similar. Nominees will be nominated by their Chief Executive or Chairman of the Board. For further information visit:



BETWEEN the LINES The Thursday Murder Club By Richard Osman

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the

The Prison Doctor By Dr Amanda Brown Dr Amanda Brown has treated inmates in the UK s most infamous prisons first in young offenders institutions, then at the notorious Wormwood Scrubs and finally at Europe s largest womenonly prison in Europe, Bronzefield. From

miraculous pregnancies to dirty protests, and from violent attacks on prisoners to heartbreaking acts of self-harm, she has witnessed it all. In this eye-opening, inspirational memoir, Amanda reveals the stories, the patients and the cases that have shaped a career helping those most of us would rather forget. Despite their crimes, she is still their doctor.

Just My Luck By Adele Parks

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses

The Kingdom By Jo Nesbo

When Roy and Carl’s parents die suddenly, sixteen-year-old Roy is left as protector to his impulsive younger brother. But when Carl decides to travel the world in search of his fortune, Roy stays behind in their sleepy village, satisfied with his peaceful life as a mechanic. Some years later, Carl returns with his charismatic new wife,

Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

– and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner. But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.

Shannon – an architect. They are full of exciting plans to build a spa hotel on their family land. Carl wants not only to make the brothers rich but the rest of the village, too. It’s only a matter of time before what begins as a jubilant homecoming sparks off a series of events that threaten to derail everything Roy holds dear, as long-buried family secrets begin to rise to the surface...

Hard Target By J.B. Turner

When hacker Trevelle Williams discovers documents that threaten national security and put his life in jeopardy, there’s only one person he can turn to—Jon Reznick. Williams has learned that Rosalind Dyer, a key


congressional witness, is about to be killed in order to stop her testimony. She has stumbled into the middle of a cover-up that goes deep into the United States government. Dyer knows her days are numbered, but that won’t stop her from doing what she has to do.

International Enterprising Impactful Leading Strathclyde The final word in business education

Our Masters programmes are consistently ranked among the best in the UK – and around the world. Our department of Work, Employment and Organisation is Scotland’s leading centre for research, knowledge exchange and professional education in human resource management and employment studies. As HRM experts, we understand the importance of providing high quality education that fits around your career: We offer: • A part time MSc/PGDip Human Resource Management programme which is completed in two years with classes from 1–7pm once a week. • CIPD* approved postgraduate qualifications leading to Associate Membership. • Constructive external engagement with policy makers and practitioners. Make Strathclyde your destination.

* CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. SBS are proud to be offering programmes in conjunction with CIPD (previously IPD and IPM) for almost 70 years.



In 2018 NHS Scotland set out an ambitious plan, under the title ‘Once for Scotland’. The goal was to unite many of the recruitment processes and services that support all 22 Health Boards across the country. A huge task when you consider this is an organisation that employs around 170,000 people and is amongst the largest employers in the UK






gainst a backdrop of traditional ‘silos’ where Boards are naturally encouraged to look after their own population needs, the notion of delivering a ‘one size fits all’ solution across Scotland seemed unrealistically ambitious! So why do it? What was hoping to be achieved? And, importantly, did they achieve their goals? At the start of the project and as part of the Pre-Qualification process for tenders, NHSS set out a number of goals that the project – and the successful supplier had to meet:

In 2020, like no year before, the need to attract staff and then recruit them with increased urgency was under great scrutiny.

1. Enable a high quality, standardised HR function across NHS Scotland 2. Improve NHS Scotland candidate recruitment 3. Improve end manager’s recruitment experience

demonstrated continual improvement and focus on candidate experience, and challenged us to think beyond current practices and processes.”

4. Contribute to completion of the eESS Programme (The Oracle based HR system)

Two years after the first Board went live, and a full year after the final Board moved onto the new recruitment system, an evaluation report was undertaken by the National Project team to see what goals had been met. The story is a positive one!

5. Act as an enabler for HR Shared Services Recruitment So who was appointed – and why?

Aside from the five main goals outlined earlier, all of which were achieved, there are some other measures that probably deserve a mention:

Neil Warbrick, Programme Director with NHS Scotland explains: “We were looking for a supplier who would act more as a partner. We felt we needed to balance the capability of the system we chose with the capability to work effectively with NHSS in delivering our specific needs”.

In 2020, like no year before, the need to attract staff and then recruit them with increased urgency was under great scrutiny. Against this unforeseen demand, the introduction of a new system may have been seen as a barrier. But the reality was far from that; in the 12 months from Nov 2019 to November 2020, the NHSS saw a phenomenal 250% increase in applications. Even more impressive was the ability to manage these greater volumes with even greater efficiency – this is evidenced by the time to hire dropping by 31% over that same period. That saved nearly a month per hire!

After a demanding tender process, the decision therefore was made to work with Jobtrain, the ATS (applicant tracking software) provider who is based in South Manchester, but who also have an office in Glasgow. Neil continued: “The presentation and bid that Jobtrain put together was one that delivered good value, and they appeared to have a system that delivered all the functionality we needed. But more than that, we wanted a supplier who understood and specialised in the recruitment market,



sheer size of the NHS meant that we couldn’t simply make adjustments at will. What we learnt to do was to plan every single minor change to ensure it was agreed upon, captured in the Standards document and reflected in the training material. In that sense it was the classic case of the devil being in the detail and that was a relentless part of the project and continues to be.”

Was it worth it? Anne MacPherson, the national HRD lead for recruitment and the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the largest single Board in Scotland employing around 40,000 in its own right, was a key figure in sponsoring the project at a National level and in ensuring it delivered genuine added value to the NHS and the candidate experience. In response to the review of progress against the original goals, Anne said: “I am delighted with the progress that we have made in a collegiate way across NHS Scotland in implementing so effectively, what was a complex change programme. Jobtrain has to be given credit for that; in particular the way in which they responded to our needs. Our timeframe for change was ambitious, but Jobtrain delivered everything we initially had within our specification and also demonstrated that they were a valuable partner in listening to all the Boards; that proved crucial in ensuring they delivered what we needed ”.

With adverts attracting an incredible two million views over just a three-month period and the NHSS processing around 870,000 applications during that time, it really was a success story that NHS Scotland are proud to share.

So what lessons were learnt? With a transformation project of such size and complexity, surely all was not plain sailing and there were lessons learnt along the way? “Absolutely!” says Neil Warbrick. Neil went on: “Whilst we are delighted with the achievements so far, we certainly had to adapt along the way and internal communications was something that we constantly had to manage to ensure all 22 Boards were all travelling on the journey together. We also created an internal team that managed the processes and standards that everyone could agree to. That team proved critical to the delivery of the project”.

Chris Keeling, concluded: “Winning the NHS Scotland contract was fantastic for us – it gave us the opportunity to work with an organisation such as the NHS in Scotland, that everyone feels passionate about. I spent 7 years of my early career working in the NHS and that knowledge helped with our understanding of the needs of the organisation and the challenges that needed to be overcome. We are thrilled with the success the partnership has delivered so far, but we are keen to continue to deliver even more next 12 months and subsequent years”.

Chris Keeling, CEO at Jobtrain Ltd concurred with Neil’s comments. Chris said: “Communication was certainly critical, as was our understanding and realisation that the




‘ S trategic Workforce Planning’



‘Lea ‘Lea Ou Ou


ading ONLINE ading ut ut of of Lockdown’ Lockdown’ THURSDAY

13TH MAY 2021




he Hr NETWORK ‘Strategic Workforce Planning’ and ‘Leading Out of Lockdown’ Conference & Exhibition 2021 will take place ONLINE on Thursday 13th May 2021

be offered a minimum of eight pre-recorded breakout sessions on a range of hugely engaging topics. As well as the Conference being ‘Live’ and online on the day, the full Conference & Exhibition will be available on the Conference ‘Catch-up’ platform for up to 28 days after the Conference Day.

Strategic workforce planning The strategic workforce planning process sets out important information on a wide range of key people development areas such as talent attraction and recruiting the best talent, area’s of productivity, attrition and other risk factor’s and creates a environment where people can thrive in line with the business’ success.

The organisers of this years’ Conference & Exhibition had hoped to be able to host this exciting event in person however, due to the continuing Coronavirus restrictions, the this hugely exciting and engaging Conference & Exhibition, will be delivered ONLINE.

Leading out of lockdown With the unprecedented challenges and the economic catastrophe brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Conference will also feature incredible examples of how HR and business professionals have dealt with these challenges and pivoted their people practice to ensure that new working practices support the people strategy in businesses in Scotland and the UK and across all sectors.

Unlike our previous ‘in person’ Conference & Exhibition, which only enabled delegates to attend two keynote sessions and four breakout sessions, this year the organisers are offering delegates six keynote sessions, which will be streamed ‘Live’ and delegates will also

Speakers from a range of award-winning organisations who have created and implemented a sustainable strategic workforce plan and are reaping significant



Keynote speakers & session topics Session topics include: • Skills for the Future • Employment Law • Strategic Workforce Planning • Workforce Mental Health • Organisational Effectiveness • Creating Resilience within the Workforce • Employee Engagement Metrics • Creating a Competitive Advantage Through Your People Please note that this is a sample of session themes available and the full speaker programme will be published on the Hr NETWORK website very soon!

organisational benefits that have led to increased productivity, enhanced job satisfaction and gained a clear competitive advantage in their marketplace, will provide valuable insight into implementing a successful strategic workforce plan.

Please note costs include full access to the Keynote sessions, Breakout sessions and online exhibitor area plus networking.

The ONLINE Conference & Exhibition will also feature a range of traditional HR and people management sessions also.

Delegate package includes: • Six ‘LIVE STREAM’ Keynote Speakers • Eight+ Breakout Speakers (Pre-recorded) • Delegate Profile Information • Interactive Networking Area • Live Chat • Online Exhibitor Area and Video Meeting Access • Social Media Wall

ONLINE Delegate Cost: £55+VAT each • Group Bookings Discount Available (6+ Delegates) • Payments can be made using Credit/Debit Card or BAC’s Transfer Full terms & conditions for booking are available on request and the booking form is available at the link: For further information on Sponsor and exhibitor options or to book your delegate place, please contact the Conference Planning Team on Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email:






w’s World:



Those of us who doubted some of the quirky, futuristic-sounding experiments portrayed in sci-fi movies and which formed the basis for the highly acclaimed and influential Tomorrow’s World series may now be thinking our cynicism was a little misplaced.




unning for nearly 4 decades the BBC TV programme examined the changing technological world profiling inventions and ways of working that in its day was more than likely scoffed at but is now reality in some cases.

Keller, a world-wide employer of 10,000 people and the world’s leading geotechnical contractor to the construction industry, is one organisation that has made and continues to make, changes to the way staff are engaged, supported and developed – much of it driven by the challenges encountered by the current pandemic. Graeme Cook, the Scottish, London-based organisation’s CHRO, reflected: “We’ve viewed and used this crisis as an accelerator to put in place interventions and initiatives aimed at better supporting our people.”

The increase in automation, for example, has been predicted for years by the experts which, according to research from McKinsey, a business advisory firm, is likely to happen to more than 40% of jobs within two decades. It’s happening now as initial recruitment activity becomes less about human interaction and more to do with decisions being made as a result of Artificial Intelligence (AI) screening out applicants who don’t fulfil certain criteria.

A three-pronged approach is seeing accelerated digitisation, improved communication and an inclusive culture overlap across a multitude of activities, some of which are already underway. Building and developing employee engagement was already one of the aims of this programme of work for 2020 and the impact of having to deal with the pandemic, particularly on the company’s 7,000 frontline workers, according to Cook, has also informed the work being undertaken.

The use of technology, its evolution and how it’s used is currently the biggest challenge facing UK businesses and their people. So says the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), a government-funded organisation that commissioned a Future of Work Study looking out to 2030. The research covered work, jobs and skills noting that ‘if an unanticipated event befalls us, who knows where we are likely to be.’ We’re currently living through one such ‘event’ but the trends identified as part of the survey involving demographic change, changing work environments, digitisation and new business ecosystems, aka innovation and creation, are valid whatever the prevailing conditions.



Major efforts have been made by Keller’s management to communicate with and support staff across the globe caught up in the ever and rapidly changing world of the pandemic. Innovative and far-reaching changes are now being mooted to support senior teams to embrace different and alternate ways of working leading to both meeting changing employee expectations as well as supporting diversity and inclusion programmes. One such activity involves the concept of reverse-mentoring which sees senior management supported by younger, tech-savvy individuals. Subjects covered range from making more effective use of digital technology to exploring newer ways of inspiring dispersed teams and understanding the importance of encouraging and practising inclusion across their teams.

He said: “What has happened over the last 12 months or so has meant we’ve taken a higher moral stance in terms of how we support our staff, particularly field-workers based on construction sites. In many ways, the culture of the organisation is evolving to be much more in-service of those who operate remotely. Communication, or working with technology, wasn’t previously always seen as a priority by our employees or their managers. The introduction of some of our apps and platforms is helping change this”.

There have been well publicised positives and negatives of people having to work differently but one element that has been stifled to a great extent is that involving innovation and creativity.

This has meant radical changes to how the organisation views, deploys and uses technology. Activities ranging from gaining consent from remote employees to install apps on personal mobile phones to facilitate communication to the onboarding of the new CIO to take charge of technology, has meant rapid change for an organisation and industry that, in Cook’s words, has typically been ‘traditional and hierarchical’.

Cook, who, as a GlobalScot appointed by the First Minister, helps Scottish companies scale and develop their organisations in his spare time, reflected: “By undertaking this type of initiative we are, amongst other things, aiming to build an even better culture with our workforce fully engaged and better representing the communities that we work alongside.”

Employees have seen and experienced how their employers have reacted to the crisis which, as a result, has placed additional demands on organisations. There have been well publicised positives and negatives of people having to work differently Graeme Cook but one element that has been stifled to a great extent is that involving innovation and creativity. Cook comments: “People have needed to default to a transactional way of working of late which is totally understandable. However, it has now become clear that the lack of opportunities for face-to-face interaction with colleagues and the fact most business travel no longer happens, has meant that the chances to engage, discuss concepts and innovate have all but dried up”.

This work will reflect heavily on and support Keller’s diversity, equality, and inclusion agenda. It will also help the planned shift from the industry’s traditional commandand-control management style to one of improved collaboration and actively listening to the workforce. Cook is under no illusions as to the challenges facing him, his people team and his fellow, senior colleagues not least because of the fact that operating across 40 countries presents its own challenges. He said: “The corporate priorities when COVID-19 hit was to protect our people and conserve cash. This focus has been effective to date and we will further evolve our people priorities from here as the positive impact of the vaccine roll-out starts to become apparent.” Advancements in technology make it inevitable that Artificial Intelligence and its associated robotics, smart algorithms and automated decisions will become an increasing aspect of working life. Hence, The World Economic Forum’s ominous warning in June 2020 that the world ‘should prepare for a COVID-like global cyber pandemic that will spread faster and further than a biological virus, with an equal or greater economic impact’ should jolt the powers that be into ensuring plans are in place to ensure survival in this world never mind the one of tomorrow.

Encouraging these traits in people at the best of times is hard enough never mind trying to do so under prevailing conditions, so Keller are putting this aspect front and centre of the work they are doing. Cook said: “Despite performing well in 2020, we need to be mindful of the gaps in innovation and creativity. Enhancing technology and developing relevant platforms is seen as critical to the collaboration needed to stimulate creative thinking and get access to the whole of our workforce.”



The MAGIC FORMULA for a great place to work


hat makes somewhere a great place to work? Often, when you ask people about what they look for in an employer, the initial focus is on the benefits and perks that make a workplace more flexible, convenient or fun – but this is only part of the picture. Here, Chris Webb, HR Director, Domino Printing Sciences explains why the foundations of any great workplace lie within a company’s culture, and outlines what he believes to be the magic formula for making somewhere a great place to work.

company values should act as a mirror for individuals, to assess how their actions echo those of the company that they work for. In this way, company values should resonate individually with each member of an organisation, providing an opportunity for self-reflection and learning.

A substantial salary, generous employee benefits scheme, subsidised gym membership, and free onsite canteen might be enough to convince someone to join a company – but is it enough to get someone to stay?

Employees need to be free to challenge the normal way of doing things, to share ideas, put forward suggestions, and not be afraid of making mistakes. We recognise the value to be found within a fresh perspective. An open mindset culture and setting challenging goals for continuous improvement allow us to keep evolving our business for growth.

A culture of collaboration ensures that everyone has an opportunity to express their ideas and to help improve the business. Collaboration helps to broaden perspectives and challenge conventional wisdom so that we can reach better outcomes, together. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is in the value of listening to the thoughts, ideas, and concerns of our colleagues and customers. This focus on building employees’ expertise represents an opportunity for everyone, as we embark on a journey of learning and development and invest in the experts of the future.

It’s important to make sure that employees are well looked after and rewarded for their service; this is something that all companies should be able to achieve. But to create a great workplace – the kind of place that attracts, retains, and inspires the very best talent – requires more than just the fulfilment of basic, intrinsic human needs.

The magic formula An honest purpose and a set of clear values together provide a shared framework and mindset for employees, a magic formula which, when done right, positively impact the employee experience and provide the building blocks of a truly great workplace. Of course, competitive salaries and a generous employee benefits scheme are important – but they are just one small part of what makes a company a great a place to work. A much bigger part of this is having something that everyone shares, everyone can believe in, and everyone can all work together to achieve.

The purpose of a purpose Developing a coherent purpose helps to motivate and inspire employees, and, as such, is an essential part of any successful organisation. As human beings, we are inherently social, and so having a unifying belief that aligns us with our colleagues, and with a business as a whole, is crucial to feeling valued. One of the biggest pitfalls in drafting a company purpose retrospectively is creating something, which isn’t true to the business. A purpose needs to be honest and believable to be effective.

Living by company values Company values are the principles that drive a business – those underlying philosophies that support the purpose by emphasising what a business and its employees stand for. Values also provide insight into what each member of an organisation can expect from their colleagues and the business as a whole. When developed carefully, and truthfully,



Spotting RED FLAGS in your colleagues


he coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions to stop its spread have impacted almost every aspect of our lives, in a way that we would have never imagined back in early 2020. Here, Kelly Feehan, Services Director at CABA provides some tips on how we you can spot the signs of poor mental health within our colleagues.

Another indicator is if a colleague is appearing overwhelmed by their workload. Often, if people have these feelings, they are likely to look stressed or concerned as they’re being given actions or tasks. If you feel as though you’ve noticed this in anyone, check in and see if you can give them a hand or help them manage their to-do list and support them in identifying their key priorities. Covid-19 has made it harder than ever to spot changes in our colleagues, especially if they are withdrawing from conversation and the workplace culture. This used to be easy to notice; for example, they might eat their lunch alone, not engage with those around them or choose to go on solo walks in their lunch break. Likewise, it used to be obvious if someone was having a bad day, but it can be harder to spot that virtually.

For many of us, working from home has become the new normal, and whilst we have come to terms with the initial teething problems of these makeshift offices, there are now bigger issues facing our teams. Now more than ever, it’s easier for those who are suffering with poor mental health to go un-noticed.

If you spot a colleague lacking concentration, failing to focus on simple tasks or even struggling with memory, these could be signs that they are struggling with poor mental health. Other signs might include difficulty in problem solving, and increased frustration. All of these feelings can lead to people believing they need to double down, and work harder than ever. If you feel as though this is the case for a colleague, check the standard of their work.

If you notice that a colleague is often tired, or complaining of lack of energy, this could be a sign that they are struggling with their mental health. Lack of sleep or exhaustion are classic signs of burnout and shouldn’t be ignored, but as many of us are still working from home, this sign might be more difficult to spot. Be sure to check in regularly with your colleagues and take time out to ask how they are feeling.

If you feel as though a colleague is experiencing any of the above, it’s really important that you engage with them, and ensure they’re aware of the help that’s available. If you feel uncomfortable doing so, or as though you aren’t the right person for this conversation, share it with a line manager, who should be able to assist them and provide further support. When a team member’s mental health is flagged as a concern it is the role of a manager to have the courage to start a conversation. Try an exploratory approach that invites the team member to open up. Questions like ‘How have you been feeling?’ and ‘Are you OK, I’ve noticed you don’t seem yourself?’ are more effective than simply telling a team member that you’d like them to tell you what’s wrong. The most important thing though, is to ensure that your colleagues feel as though they have a safe environment where they can share these feelings.



SUPPORTING people living with DEMENTIA


he pandemic has been devastating for people living with dementia. Social isolation during lockdown has increased the progression of dementia far more quickly with countless stories of people feeling their loved ones’ condition has deteriorated significantly during the past year. Here, Caroline Miller, Stakeholder Engagement Lead at Alzheimer Scotland offers an insight into what support is available for people in the workplace coping with their own symptoms or caring for a loved one with dementia.

work aims to make our voice heard, fight for the rights of those living with dementia and influence positive, lasting change. We have also seen a 30% increase in calls to our Helpline and calls taking around 30% longer due to the stress and distress people are in. Our focus over the past year has rightly been on re-directing our services to offer personal support where we can through online groups to deliver some of our therapeutic exercises to help people stay connected. As we move out of the crisis we will be re-focusing on dementia in the wider community and this includes business. Dementia does not discriminate and it is present in all walks of life. It doesn’t affect just older people – and therefore it is helpful for business leaders and colleagues to have an understanding of the condition. With many of us working from home, wellbeing at work is even more important. Over 90,000 people in Scotland are currently living with a dementia diagnosis. There may well be a colleague whose life is being impacted by dementia. They could be trying to balance caring responsibilities for someone with dementia with their work or worried about someone they love. Perhaps they are concerned about their own cognitive function.

Alzheimer Scotland is Scotland’s leading dementia charity. We offer a wide range of vital support services, information and emotional care to people living with dementia, their families and carers across Scotland. Our aim is to ensure that nobody faces dementia alone. We achieve this through a portfolio of person-centred support services, including our 24-hour Freephone Dementia Helpline, a network of local Dementia Resource Centres, specialist Dementia Advisors and Link Workers, dementia research programmes and NHS Dementia Nurse Consultants.

From a business perspective, understanding the needs of people living with dementia can help you to make your business as welcoming as possible. Research shows that 83% of people surveyed with dementia, had changed their shopping habits to somewhere more accessible.*

People living with dementia often experience discrimination, isolation and stigma. Alzheimer Scotland works to confront and eliminate these negative associations, to ensure people with dementia remain active, respected and valued members of their communities. To that end, our policy and campaigning

Alzheimer Scotland works with organisations to help them make simple changes that will make the business accessible for people with dementia. We can also help organisations develop their own knowledge of the condition and offer advice on supporting colleagues with dementia or people with caring responsibilities. A great starting point for this work is our Dementia Friends programme. Dementia Friends is a social action movement to increase knowledge of dementia and decrease the stigma around the disease. We offer interactive workshops to businesses where your colleagues can gain an understanding of how to interact with people with dementia. For more information, please visit: https://www.alzscot. org/ or *Alzheimer’s Society



RACISM AT WORK: Be an active bystander


When do we need to challenge inappropriate behaviour?

or many, the conversation around racism that arose following the death of George Floyd last year has faded away. But it’s no longer enough to be ‘not racist’. Here, Nic Hammarling, Head of Diversity at business psychology firm Pearn Kandola, is all about challenging racist behaviour in the workplace and discusses why it’s important to challenge racist behaviour, the power of social norms, and how to be an active bystander.

The answer to this question is simple: always. Inappropriate racist behaviour happens often, and whether you’re in a work setting, public setting, or personal setting, it needs to be challenged. The most obvious examples that might spring to mind are more overt acts of racism. For example, making jokes about someone’s nationality or using racial stereotypes. But racism can also manifest itself in more subtle ways that are less blatantly inappropriate, but still have a corrosive impact. In these situations, the behaviour is likely to go unchallenged.

It’s more important than ever that we challenge racist behaviour when we see it, and that applies to workplaces too. Over half of Brits have observed racism at work but sadly most of them do nothing about it. When was the last time you heard someone say or do something racist at work? Perhaps it was a derogatory comment made based on a racial stereotype, or something as subtle as watching a colleague be ignored or talked over. Did you think it was acceptable? Did you challenge that inappropriate behaviour? Did you even identify it as racism? In a study carried out by my fellow psychologists at Pearn Kandola, it was found that over half (52%) of Brits have observed racist behaviour at work. Although we’ve recently seen an increase in reported levels of inappropriate behaviours, sadly, most people who do witness racist behaviour do nothing about it.

Saying that an organisation is meritocratic when there is diversity at one level but not another, for example, is an act of racism itself. This is because it suggests that the issue of a lack of diversity isn’t an issue caused by the organisation, but that the issue instead sits with the diverse group of individuals.

All of us who witness inappropriate behaviour are bystanders. But it’s your choice as to whether you’re a passive bystander or an active bystander.

So, now, think back again to the last time you saw or heard someone say or do something racist at work. How would you now go about challenging that behaviour?

A passive bystander is someone who witnesses a behaviour but does nothing about it. An active bystander is someone who chooses to act when they witness a behaviour, challenging it in an attempt to prevent it from happening again.

Make sure that you are comfortable and confident in challenging behaviour, perhaps practicing what you might say if you find yourself in that very situation again. Being an active bystander takes conscious effort, and it may feel unnatural at first. But, with a little conscious effort, we can all start to help mould more positive social norms.

So, to those of you who claim not to be racist or claim to be actively anti-racist, I ask: Are you an active bystander?



Welcome to our Events Planner Page. With a route-map out of COVID restrictions recently announced by the Scottish and Westminster Governments, we are excited at the prospect of starting to plan on getting people back to our events. Here are some of the forthcoming events being held in 2021 by Hr NETWORK in partnership with a wide range of partners and supporters.

Forthcoming events: Hr NETWORK Conference & Exhibition 2021 ONLINE The ONLINE Hr NETWORK ‘Strategic Workforce Planning’ & ‘Leading Out of Lockdown’ Conference & Exhibition 2021 will take place ONLINE on Thursday 13th May 2021. Details relating to the speaker programme, including the keynote presentations will be announced on our website very soon! If you would like further information on exhibiting or sponsoring at the Conference, please contact the Conference Planning Team Tel: 0131 625 3267 or Email:

Hr NETWORK Awards Gala Dinner 2021 The Hr NETWORK National Awards & Gala Dinner 2021 in partnership with Roffey Park Institute will take place at the hugely impressive Hilton Glasgow on Thursday 25th November 2021. If you would like further information on sponsorship or hosting a table of 10 at the Gala Dinner, please contact the Awards Planning Team Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email:

If you have an event you would like us to promote or review, please contact the events planning team – email:






in partnership with

Gala Dinner, Glasgow Hilton, Thursday 25th November 2021 For further details contact the Awards Planning Team on Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email:

Prime your Future. Design your Change. Transform your People. Roffey Park Institute primes organisations to build skills for everyone, everywhere. We provide distance, digital, blended and face-to-face programmes, coaching, diagnostics and research services around the world to develop individuals, teams and organisations. Our work is driven by our core principles of breaking down barriers within organisations, making workplaces the best they can be. Delivering high impact learning in leadership development, management development, change and resilience, organisational learning, organisational development, and HR, we offer open programmes and conduct international research both for our clients and to fulfill our charitable purpose. We help your people understand, create and perform better, together. Connect with us and start your journey. +44 (0)1293 854042