Hr Network Volume 17 Issue 3

Page 1

Inspiring People Development




Great Resignation THE

FEATURE: Psychology of Change: Post-pandemic People Preparation

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COVER STORY The Great Resignation Should I stay or should I go? Many employees are asking this question as they seek to develop their careers in 2022. With 25% of workers planning to leave their current job in the coming weeks and months, what can HR do to attract and retain their top talent? Andy Moore discovers how practitioners can address ‘The Great Resignation’ in the New Year.



8 News 14 Employment Law Update



20 Stats

Imposter Syndrome

22 Feature Two

Introducing the Winners of the Hr NETWORK National Awards 2021

32 The Bookshop

Latest bestsellers to be published

34 Feature Three

The Psychology of Change




Dealing with the Menopause

42 Insights

Drug & Alcohol Testing, Menopause & Miscarriage, Engagement Roadmap, Team Building

46 Event Planner

42 5

Event Updates for 2021


Founder and Publisher:


Director of Learning & Thought Leadership, Roffey Park Institute

Lee Turner

Feature: The Psychology of Change p. 34

Senior Associate Editor: Andy Moore




Insight: Alcohol and Drug Testing in the Workplace p. 42

Teresa Flannigan

Editor-At-large: Neil Archibald


Senior HR Business Partner, Head Resourcing

Insight: Supporting Staff Through Difficult Times p. 43

Editor’s Assistant/Admin: Marion Robertson



Donna Turner

Managing Director, Just Eat for Business

Insight: Outlook On Team Building p. 44

Design: Media Avenue Ltd


Hr NETWORK now available on:

Insight: Dicovering Top Talent p. 45


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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



January 2022 With the continuing uncertainty of Omicron since late November, it’s difficult to plan a large-scale event like our annual Conference & Exhibition in May, however we are doing all we can to be able to host this extremely popular event, even if it means we have to impose some restrictions for people while attending. Despite the continuing threat from the Coronavirus, we do know that our events are extremely important for many people to feel connected and we are committed to ensuring that we can continue to bring everyone together, albeit in a safe and secure environment.


elcome to our January issue of Hr NETWORK magazine and on behalf of our entire team, I want to wish all our readers, contributors, advertisers and sponsors a very Happy New Year and look forward to continuing to work with you and support you during 2022.

It was a huge relief that we were able to host Hr NETWORK Awards Gala Dinner in November, especially when the impact of the recent Omicron variant of COVID was felt so soon afterwards. The feedback from finalists, sponsors and guests for the Gala Dinner has been overwhelming and plans are well underway to make sure that we can repeat this amazing event again in November 2022, with even bigger and better plans.

If we are unable to host the Conference & Exhibition in May, we will look to host some smaller events that are within the regulations, whilst ensuring that we can still bring people together.

levels of resignations in the workplace due to working from home as a result of the pandemic, with continuing challenges being presented by the recent outbreak of the Omicron strain of the Coronavirus. The regular sections of the magazine include: Stats, the Bookshop and a range of Insight features on some hot topics in the people management & development world. 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 or in-person!

Lee Turner Publisher

Awards Gala Dinner 2022 We are very excited at the prospect of hosting the Gala Dinner in November this year with most of last years sponsors already indicated their intention to sponsor the awards categories again and we already have a number of people who have confirmed their intention to host a Table of 10 too. We are extremely grateful to all our sponsors and table hosts for their support this year. If you would like to join us at the Gala Dinner with your guests, please contact the Awards Planning Team as soon as possible. This Issue In this latest online edition of the magazine, Andy Moore takes a closer look at ‘The Great Resignation’ with employers experiencing increasing


Contributors: Dr. Arlene Egan, Matt Ephgrave, Nicole Alvino, Sarah Prasad and Suzannah Robin. Hr NETWORK also available on: LinkedIn: Twitter: YouTube: hrnetworkscotland


High levels of mental distress and a reluctance to seek professional help among UK construction workers Early findings from a major new study of the mental health of self-employed construction workers and those working in small firms show that intense workloads, financial problems, poor work-life balance and Covid-19 pressures on the supply of materials are combining to significantly raise stress and anxiety levels. This mainly male workforce has long been known to contain workers who are reluctant to talk about their mental health. Preliminary survey findings from over 300 respondents suggest that almost a third are now living with elevated levels of anxiety each day. Construction workers from a range of trades that are often too hard to reach, from bricklayers, to groundworkers to plasterers, told researchers from Mates in Mind and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) that the continuing stigma of mental illness prevents them from discussing it beyond close friends or family members.

‘This represents a real hidden crisis which threatens the viability of a major sector of the UK economy and many of those who work in it’. The study, funded by a research grant from B&CE Charitable Trust, is investigating both the extent of mental health problems in this important workforce and the extent to which new, more accessible, forms of support and guidance on mental wellbeing can be offered to individuals experiencing distress, depression, or anxiety. As reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the suicide rate among construction workers is already three times the national average for men, equating to more than two construction workers taking their own life every day.

‘We have a real concern that the data shows that sole traders and those working in smaller firms with more severe anxiety were least likely to seek help from most sources. This means that too many construction workers every day are going under the radar and are not seeking support from healthcare professionals or mental health charities’ says Sarah Casemore, Managing Director of Mates in Mind.

Police Now announced in Top 10 Most Inclusive Employers for the Charity Sector The Top 10 Most Inclusive Employers for the Charity Sector list recognises inclusive charity employers in the UK and shines a light on best practice across all strands of diversity – age, disability, gender LGBT+, race, faith and religion. The list was released recently by Inclusive Companies and compiled by a dedicated advisory panel, based on organisations’ performance in a range of areas within the diversity arena. Paul Sesay, CEO and Founder of Inclusive Companies, said: “Police Now’s progress in the D&I space has been making steady strides over the

past couple of years, significantly increasing HQ representation. “Our judging panel were particularly impressed with the changes made to their recruitment process, which includes utilising an accessibility toolkit within their application system and implementing blind screening to help remove the potential of implicit bias or adverse impact at the screening stages of their process. “Their D&I committee help us set, monitor, and evaluate our D&I strategy, and have developed a ‘D&I book club’, which circulates newsletters and resources to promote understanding and share awareness. “Police Now have strong female representation across the organisation which remains steady and have established three networks (LGBTQ+, Parents and Careers and Neurodiversity) with others being created (Women’s, Race and Disability).


“Sustainable change takes time, but through their continued focus on active inclusion, I have no doubt Police Now will continue to increase their ranking and create a workplace representative of the community they serve.” Joni Ferns, Chief Operating Officer for Police Now, said “We are dedicated to ensuring Police Now is an inclusive place to work, and we are proud to be included in the Top 10 Inclusive Employers in the Charity Sector this year alongside some fantastic organisations. “Achieving true diversity and inclusivity is a journey, however, and there remains a long way to go until we can confidently say workplaces reflect our communities at every level and that anyone from any background can thrive regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or disability.”


Having more women on boards makes companies more ethical

managers use of RPTs, therefore reducing the number of RPTs, as long as they are independent directors and members of the audit committee. “This is because a woman’s ability stems from their independence and involvement in boards. They are also motivated because of the risks associated with validation of questionable and disputed transactions,” says Haithem Nagati.

Having more women on boards makes companies more ethical, as they reduce the number of related party transactions (RPTs), otherwise known as backdoor deals, reveals new research by emlyon business school, Le Mans University and Montpellier Business School. The study, conducted by Professors Haithem Nagati of emlyon business school, Mehdi Nekhili of Le Mans University, and Moez Bennouri of Montpellier Business School, investigated the relationship between gender diversity and RPTs.

The researchers add that a female’s demographic, social, and psychological differences from male peers provide them with additional means and incentives to carry out strict monitoring. “By breaking through the glass ceiling, female directors involved in monitoring duties are more inclined to assert their role as a substitute for weak protection of minority shareholders and weak regulation of RPTs,” says Mehdi Nekhili.

The researchers analysed a sample of French firms both before 2011, and after when the gender quota law was introduced, and counted the number of RPTs listed in the special reports. They then compared these numbers to the proportion of women on the boards – they considered three positions of female directors: inside directors, independent directors, and audit committee members

RPTs are viewed worldwide as a major policy issue, and as unethical, because they are seen as a conflict of interest – and an issue for minority shareholders. For this reason, the researchers suggest that female independent directors and female audit committee members are good candidates to effectively monitor managers – which will in turn reduce the number of RPTs. The researchers analysed the French firms over the period of 2001 to 2017, with 1260 firm-year observation across 97 companies.

They found a significant negative correlation between female directors’ proportion and the number of RPTs. The researchers say that females were more likely to challenge



NHS Scotland honoured with Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR award The winners of the hugely exciting and much anticipated Hr NETWORK National Awards 2021 in partnership with Roffey Park Institute were announced at the ‘star-studded’ annual Gala Dinner, which was held at the impressive Hilton Glasgow on Thursday 25th November. The event, the largest of its kind for HR professionals anywhere in Scotland, which historically attracts around 800 guests, attracted a post-COVID guest list of around 600 guests to recognise, acknowledge and reward the champions of the Scottish HR profession showcased winners including: Three UK (HR Manager/ Advisor) ScottishPower (HR Team) and NHS Scotland’s Workforce winning the Outstanding Contribution to Scottish. There was also a surprise presentation of the Spirit of HR award, last presented

at the Gala Dinner in 2015, which was presented to the family of the late Shona McKenzie, a senior recruitment & HR expert, for her dedication and professionalism during a 40 year career, who suddenly passed away on the 27th August 2021 leaving a huge sense of loss for family, friends and colleagues. The Gala Dinner theme was etched with moon and stars throughout the presentation which was inspired by two of Shona’s favourite songs, Life on Mars by David Bowie and The Woman in the Moon by Barbara Streisand from the 70’s movie A Star is Born, and the flagship event for HR professionals across the whole of Scotland was once again hosted by radio & TV presenter and broadcaster Stephen Jardine.

commitment and dedication to the people of Scotland during the pandemic. Front-line workers Jan Ferguson, a senior charge nurse at NHS Lothian and NHS Vaccinator Donna Turner, collected the award from Stephen Jardine on behalf of Jacqui Jones, Director of Human Resources and Workforce Development at NHS National Services Scotland and her colleagues, who were unable to attend the Gala Dinner.

The coveted Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR award was presented to NHS Scotland’s Workforce for their

A full review of the Awards Gala Dinner including a list of all the winners is available on page 22 of this magazine edition.

Office embargo: 40% of new dog owners completely avoiding office

only 3% would — a huge decrease of 80%. Although many of us felt frustrated with the need to turn our homes into a makeshift office, it appears that those with new dogs feel increasingly unable to return to their usual place of work. With the number of remote-working vacancies falling, it’s clear that employers are keen for a return to the workplace. However, balancing pet care with commitments outside the household is new territory for many new dog owners. Both employers and dog owners are being urged to adapt and compromise to reach a solution that works for everyone.

As a new study also reveals that half of new dog owners are spending less time in the office to stay with their pet, employees are being urged to balance both dog-caring duties and working in the office. Of the estimated 12 million pet dogs in the UK, around 3.2 million were brought to their new homes as puppies during the pandemic. But as employees are being encouraged to return to their usual workplaces, how are new dog owners coping with the need to balance both office working and caring for their dog during the day?

How are employees reacting to balancing dog and work responsibilities? The RSPCA recently warned of a ‘major welfare crisis’, as many new owners feel unable to care for their dogs postlockdown. A worryingly high figure of 48% of new owners revealed they are unhappy with the decision they made to bring home a dog.

A new survey, carried out by the pet experts at YuMOVE, revealed that 78% of ‘pandemic pups’ have shown physical signs of separation anxiety since their owners began returning to the office. This has had a clear impact on how often employees visit the workplace, with 48% of new dog owners reducing the amount of time they spend working away from home.

Although lockdown may have seemed like the perfect time to bond with a canine companion, one in eight owners now frequently wonder if getting a dog was the right decision. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that, in hindsight, one in five owners felt they weren’t prepared for the responsibility that comes with owning a dog.

Before the pandemic, 16% of owners felt comfortable enough to leave their dog alone for over six hours a day, whereas now



Virgin Money appoints Syreeta Brown as Group Chief People and Communications Officer Virgin Money recently announced the appointment of Syreeta Brown as Group Chief People and Communications Officer, with effect from 22 November 2021.

senior-level experience embedding a digital agenda within a major financial services business. Prior to her time at Citi, Syreeta worked at BT Group for 11 years in a number of senior roles.

Syreeta joined Virgin Money from Citi, where she spent 11 years in a number of HR roles, the most recent of which was Managing Director, Head of HR for Global Functions, Operations and Technology, and led the HR strategy for 20,000 employees across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Syreeta holds an Executive Masters in HR leadership and completed the HR Executive Programme at University of Michigan. She won ‘Leader in Financial Services’ category at the 2018 Black British Business Awards.

Syreeta brings with her a wealth of experience in cultural transformation, talent development and in building a workforce that is fit for the future. In addition, Syreeta has hands-on,

Syreeta Brown said: “It’s a hugely exciting time to be joining Virgin Money, as it launches a compelling new package for colleagues that reflects its modern and progressive outlook. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to the great


work already underway to embed a digital-first culture across the organisation as Virgin Money accelerates its growth agenda.” David Duffy, Virgin Money CEO, said: “Syreeta’s experience, particularly in cultural transformation and on the digital agenda, will bring huge benefits as we enter our new phase of digital growth, supported by our talented and empowered workforce that is set up for the post-covid environment.”

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Stagecoach boosts its apprenticeship goals with almost 800 people in ‘earn and learn’ positions Stagecoach, the UK’s largest bus and coach operator, has today been awarded Silver membership with the 5% Club meaning they are now more than halfway to reaching the goal of 5% (currently 3.3%) of employees in ‘earn and learn’ positions. The 5% Club is a UK-wide charity that aims to contribute to the alleviation of poverty through increased levels of employment. It works with UK employers to inspire, educate and retain a growing body of people into ‘earn and learn’ placements to increase the number of apprenticeships, sponsored students and graduate trainees. A total of 790 Stagecoach employees are currently in ‘earn and learn’ positions, with the majority carrying out

apprenticeships, from its total UK workforce of 24,000 employees. The number of employees in Stagecoach currently undergoing apprenticeships places them in the top five of the organisations participating in this year’s Employer Audit and means they the only transport operator to been awarded silver membership this year. Stagecoach is committed to training and development and has recently launched their Sustainability Strategy, which details its objective of having 40% females in leadership roles by 2026 and 25% of their workforce from ethnic minorities. Stagecoach’s commitment also includes offering more work placements for 16-24 year olds.

Stagecoach was also the first public transport organisation to offer a flagship driver apprenticeship scheme as well as an industry-leading engineering apprenticeship programme. It also offers a ‘Trade-up’ scheme, giving existing employees the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship with the engineering team and are now hoping to develop this further by introducing human resources, IT and learning and development apprenticeships in future. Tracey Smyth, Head of People Services & Talent at Stagecoach said: “We are delighted to have been awarded Silver Membership with the 5% club. This shows our commitment to developing our people when they join us and helps us to attract the best people from our local towns and cities.

Travis Perkins plc signs up to Disability Confident scheme Travis Perkins plc, which is a leading partner to the construction industry and the UK’s largest supplier of building materials, recently announced that it has joined the Disability Confident scheme run by The Department for Work & Pensions which encourages companies to improve how they recruit, retain and develop employees with disabilities and long term conditions. As part of its Disability Confident Level 1 membership, Travis Perkins has committed to ensure its recruitment process is inclusive and accessible, that adjustments are made to accommodate colleagues with disabilities and long-term health conditions, and to provide employment, workplace and training opportunities.

leadership agenda, joining the Disability Confident scheme will help us accelerate change by making new connections, gaining access to information, support and guidance and other activities that will help us improve. “This is about eliminating stigma and removing the barriers that might be preventing our colleagues from realising their aspirations, so we create a workplace that is fully accessible and where everyone can thrive,” said James Mackenzie, Managing Director of Toolstation and Group Leadership Team Sponsor for the Travis Perkins Group’s Ability Network. Membership of the Disability Confident scheme follows Travis Perkins’ announcement earlier this year of its commitment to disability inclusion after joining The Valuable 500 in 2020, to make the business fully accessible to colleagues, as well as customers and suppliers, with disabilities and long term health conditions; both seen and unseen, over time.

We acknowledge that creating a more inclusive environment, which celebrates and nurtures diversity will be crucial to our future success as a business and as an industry. Whilst we have started to put disability on our



Energy workers look to new opportunities outside industry says report

– 40%. African based workers are the most likely to stay, with 31% saying they did not see themselves in the energy industry in five years. Almost a third of replies, including from companies and recruiters – 31% - noted that the skills shortage is the biggest challenge facing the energy industry. This was attributed to lack of planning for knowledge transfer – 39% - and loss of expertise due to aging workforces – 36% - and lack of training – 34% - by recruiters and energy companies.

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Nearly half of all energy workers – 43% – are considering leaving the industry within the next five years according to new research from leading global energy recruitment specialists and Brunel.

The report noted that employers are tackling the skills shortage with a number of initiatives including 10% stating they are paying retirees to fill openings.

The research, based on nearly 17,000 responses from energy professionals worldwide, reveals that exactly a quarter name personal lifestyle changes, lack of good benefits and low salary as reasons for considering leaving the industry. Young workers’ (25-29 years) feedback, while slightly lower percentage wise, ties in closely with responses from across all age groups.

While workers are seeking opportunities outside their current sector longer-term, many are looking to transfer to renewable energy companies than want to leave the energy industry entirely.

Diversity is also covered in the report – 31% of employees say they have been a target of discrimination, but only 8% of employees are considering leaving the energy industry owing to it. Over three-quarters of respondents say there is not a clear way within their organisation to report discrimination.`

Oilandgasjobsearch’s global business development manager See the full picture Gareth Ford comments: ”The skills shortage has been a

challenge often represented in our Outlook Report in the past decade. So, retaining existing skillsets has never been so important given the workforce impact from the pandemic and the on-going energy transition.”

Energy professionals in Asia expressed the highest ! the percentage of those predicting they tuffleave s swould i h t sector– 44%- followed by Europe – 41% - and North America with

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The changing landscape of employment law What next? By Alan Sutherland, Head of Employment Law, Navigator Employment Law The pandemic has obviously changed the way we have all been working. The question now is whether this shift in working practices is permanent. For instance, I have had a number of clients contact me requesting a Hybrid Working Policy as they consider that the 5 days a week, 9-5, working from the office set up is no longer desirable for their workforce. Others, however, are keen to bring employees back to the office. This shift has also been recognised by the government and may be reflected in some proposed legislative developments. In this article I will be looking ahead to 2022 and beyond and discussing some of these changes and how they will affect employers. The government has committed to legislation to introduce a duty on employers to take reasonable


steps to prevent sexual harassment. The official government response to the consultation on sexual harassment that has led to this commitment stated that as employees start to return to the office it is the perfect time to create a “fair environment” for all. It also commented that the phrase “build back better” extends to the workplace. What does this mean in practical terms? Currently employers can avoid liability for sexual harassment committed by its employees if it has taken “all reasonable steps” to prevent that harassment. However, the new proposals will impose a positive duty by forcing employers to be more proactive on this issue. This could mean that an employer faces liability for failing to tackle sexual harassment even if no incident has taken place. The focus is very much


The working landscape is shifting, and employers must be ready to adapt to any changes in the law over the coming years.



Under the current rules an employee must have been employed for 26 weeks before they can make a flexible working request. The government has

Another proposed change is that if a flexible working request is denied, an alternative work arrangement needs to be suggested. Under the current rules a request can only be denied using the set statutory reasons. If the changes are implemented, it will be crucial for employers to ensure all hiring managers are very familiar with the key procedural aspects of flexible working requests.


Additionally, a consultation is currently underway which will consider the case for extending the right to request flexible working as a day one right. This was a commitment made in the government’s manifesto in 2019. It is probable that if the consultation concludes that legislative changes are to be made that these will be included in the Employment Bill, which was announced in the Queen’s speech. Although it has not yet been confirmed some of the measures included in this bill may be in force in 2022 and 2023.


It is unclear that imposing these duties on employers will achieve the aim of achieving a safer work environment for all employees or if the result will be extra admin and what is effectively a box ticking exercise.

It is always crucial for employers to handle these requests in an open-minded way and be mindful of the potential for discrimination. According to a survey of just under 13,000 mothers conducted by the TUC, half had a flexible working request denied or partially accepted by their employer. If the flexible working request is made to accommodate childcare arrangements or school pick ups, rejecting this request out of hand may lead to a sex discrimination claim. Similarly, if a disabled employee has found it beneficial to be able to work from home, a rejected request to continue doing so may be seen as a failure to make reasonable adjustments.


This law was repealed but there have been growing calls for this to be reinstated. Again, how an employer is supposed to successfully utilise the ‘all reasonable’ steps defence is currently unclear although the government describes this as “flexible” and “proportionate” meaning that there is likely to be a wide range of appropriate responses. Employers would be well advised to include clauses regarding harassment in third-party contracts. It may also be useful to have notices in the workplace stating that there is a zero-tolerance approach to harassment.

One unforeseen consequence of the pandemic is that flexible working requests are, in many cases, harder to reject. Imagine a scenario where employees had been working from home, but the business owners are now seeking to have people return to the office. If an employee submits a flexible working request it may be more challenging to turn it down if the arrangement had been working successfully, or perhaps more accurately if the employer can’t show that the arrangement had been unsuccessful.


This obligation will also extend to taking reasonable steps to prevent employees being sexually harassed by third parties. This will include customers or clients of the employer. This is not a completely new idea. Between 2008 and 2013 there was legislation that made employers liable for third party harassment but only if the harassment had occurred on at least two occasions.

stressed that the aim of this proposed change is not to make flexible working the default position and it will not seek to prohibit employers from being able to refuse these requests. However, the business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has stated that the proposals aim to make flexible working “part of the DNA of businesses” throughout the UK.


on prevention rather than reaction. It is still uncertain if this will apply only to sexual harassment or other forms of harassment. However, it would be prudent for employers to provide training on harassment in the workplace in order to satisfy this proactive duty.



Resign n 16



nation Should I stay or should I go? Many employees are asking this question as they seek to develop their careers in 2022. With 25% of workers planning to leave their current job in the coming weeks and months, what can HR do to attract and retain their top talent? Andy Moore discovers how practitioners can address ‘The Great Resignation’ in the New Year.




here’s something stirring within the living rooms, spare bedrooms and offices across Scotland. Since the nation went into lockdown in March 2020, workforces have adopted a new sense of perspective to examine the future path and direction of their careers.

And now, as we start 2022, the dilemma on whether to stick or up-sticks to pastures new is gaining momentum. Radically-changed working environments and values have given employees a different vision on who they would like to work for and where – and these career aspirations are being catalysed by a candidate-driven market.

So what can HR do to attract and retain staff? Wendy believes a pragmatic place to start is to address the main reasons employees give for quitting: lack of growth opportunities, the desire for better benefits and more concern for their wellbeing. Given the turbulence employees have been through over nearly two years, it’s understandable that so many have reassessed their priorities in life, she reasons.

The EY Work Reimagined Employee Survey found that those most likely to move jobs are managers/leaders and people who work in technology or finance or as caregivers. Attitudes to job retention differ by age, with millennials twice as likely as baby boomers to quit, the survey discovered.

“A big challenge for HR professionals has been to help organisations cope with the interruption caused by the departure of team members and the effort involved in rehiring,” Wendy continues. “Yet many HR professionals have used the opportunity to create positive outcomes by encouraging the rethinking of roles. These reassessments to fine-tune job descriptions have made vacancies better suited to the jobs market and employers’ needs.”

Wendy McDougall, CEO of Glasgow-based Firefish Software, whose platform supports over 550 recruiters across the UK with vacancies and applications, says: “2021 saw a record number of employees quit their jobs. While recent data suggest a slight cooling of the jobs market, it’s still much busier going into 2022.”

According to a study from talent solutions company, Right Management, nearly a quarter of UK employees plan to leave their job in the next year, but over a third don’t know their next step.



“Pay is still a number one priority for 71% of UK workers, and it’s something that will continue to be important for years to come,” Amy explains. “But we must recognise the need to create an environment in which employees can achieve more and develop their careers with their current company rather than feeling the need to go elsewhere to progress.”

2021 saw a record number of employees quit their jobs. While recent data suggest a slight cooling of the jobs market, it’s still much busier going into 2022.

As for shaping people policies in 2022, Firefish Software believes that employers and HR teams can work with hiring managers to look at skills available in the talent pool. Those who adapt to the skill sets in front of them are more likely to win the battle for talent.

Lack of support in career development goals, a written career path and insufficient pay are among the key reasons why employees seek new roles, the firm discovered.

For HR, it’s important to be clear with employers about the market in which they are operating by comparing the number of competing job listings in their sector. This will enable organisations and HR to see the live vacancies they are up against and help to manage expectations.

Amy Smyth, Head of Career Management, says: “The right to receive support and guidance about your career is incredibly important, especially in a time when people are unsure about their next move. Too many employers have overlooked their already significant investment in career development.”

“It’s essential to build confidence by demonstrating HR expertise and showing that you have used tools and knowledge to source candidates despite the challenges,” Wendy McDougall sums up. “During a talent shortage, the hiring process will always take more time. The key for HR teams is to be up front and give regular updates about which parts of the process are being worked on and why it’s taking longer.”

Amy believes that many employers have missed opportunities to develop and retain talented workers at a time when the global skills shortage is presenting huge challenges for businesses. The study found that employees don’t feel supported in their career development goals, with 73% of employees believing they have had sole responsibility for it. Only 55% of employers said they offer “all the tools” for career mentoring.

Key tips for dealing with The Great Resignation:

So why is career mentoring seen as undervalued? “This could be for a whole host of reasons; perhaps employees don’t feel comfortable talking about their careers,” adds Amy. “It might also be that leaders haven’t been trained enough in their guidance. Either way, companies are failing to maximise a huge benefit, one that employees really do want.”

• Nearly a quarter of UK employees plan to leave their job in the next year • Millennials are twice as likely as baby boomers to quit • Reasons for quitting: lack of growth opportunities; the desire for better benefits; need more concern for their wellbeing

The study found that most responders rate pay as one of the most important aspects of a job. This has created the perfect recipe for employees to feel underpaid and underappreciated in a candidate-led market, the study found.

• Essential to build confidence by demonstrating HR expertise • Support and guidance on careers are incredibly important • Many employers have missed opportunities to develop and retain talented workers • Employers and HR teams can work with hiring managers to look at skills available in the talent pool



Three quarters of UK working population experience Imposter Syndrome You may read the phrase “Imposter Syndrome’ and be surprised that there’s a term for something you feel without realising it’s a common thing. Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough for the career you have? Do you doubt yourself and feel like an imposter in the workplace? Do you have a nagging feeling that you’re winging it? You’re not alone. Signs of imposter syndrome include: • Doubting yourself • Being unable to accurately assess your competence and skills

syndrome in 2020 compared to the year before, when we were in the physical office. This may not be the case for everyone, however, and some workers may have experienced intensified feelings of self-doubt combined with feeling deflated and isolated when working from home. Working remotely for significant periods of time can impact company culture, social integration, and being in the general swing of it all.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

• Attributing your success to external factors

If your feelings of imposter syndrome have subsided, you might be worried about them flaring up again upon return to the office.

• Criticising your job performance

Facts over feelings

• Being afraid of disappointing

Has the pandemic made imposter syndrome worse? Interestingly, research has found that working from home can mitigate these feelings. According to the University of Nottingham, there was a 75 per cent decrease in feelings of imposter

We can be prone to letting emotions override logic. Focusing on facts over feelings can apply well to many different areas of our lives, but particularly imposter syndrome. When you perform well, are given praise, or are generally getting things done, congratulate yourself for your achievements that you’ve worked hard for.

We’ve all got to start somewhere If you’re doing something new at work or are given a new responsibility, don’t put pressure on yourself to master it first time. Everyone has to start somewhere and learn. Whenever we start a new job or try something new, we want to master it on the first try. Requiring additional guidance can make us feel like we’re weak, especially if there was an audience. Instead of feeling as though we need to prove our worth, we need to remember that we all have to start somewhere. We all try and fail before we succeed.

Talk to your colleagues If you have friends you feel comfortable opening up to at work, confide in a colleague. If not, speak to your friends outside of work. Chances are, saying your thoughts out loud may help you realise how wrong you are when there’s no evidence of you underperforming at work. Plus, others may be going through the same thing – being honest and open about your feelings to those close to you can have tremendous benefits on your wellbeing and theirs.

Take a break from social media Returning to the office? Cue an influx of LinkedIn posts as workers race to post optimistic and motivational posts about getting an ounce of normality back. Like all social media, LinkedIn can be tough on us if we’re feeling down. People only post their best and highest achievements rather than the times they’ve failed on a huge project or are struggling to keep up with their workload. Look at what you’ve accomplished so far in your career and be grateful for all you’ve achieved. Overcome feelings of fear and anxiety and recognise your successes.


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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.








Scotland’s workforce By Teresa Flannigan


he 14th Hr NETWORK National Awards 2021 in partnership with Roffey Park Institute took place at the hugely impressive Hilton Glasgow on Thursday 25th November 2021.




he star-studded event, showcasing fifteen award category winners from a wide range of sectors ran like clockwork throughout, before the serious job of networking between the guests began, which followed safe Covid protocols, with the organisers introducing the vaccine passport scheme for all guests attending. opportunities for the profession, over the next few years.

The annual event, the largest of its kind for HR professionals anywhere in Scotland, which usually attracts around 800 guests, attracted a post-COVID guest list of around 600 guests to recognise, acknowledge and reward the champions of the Scottish HR profession and showcased winners including: Three UK (HR Manager/ Advisor) ScottishPower (HR Team) and NHS Scotland’s Workforce, winning the Outstanding Contribution to Scottish.

The chosen charity for the charity raffle was ‘Career Ready’, a very committed and deserving charity at the heart of a network of employers and educators who all believe that every young person, regardless of background, deserves the opportunity to kick-start a rewarding future. The charity was founded in 2002 by leading business figures with a mission: to boost social mobility and social capital by empowering young people, whilst at school, and who face barriers in education and employment due to their socio-economic-cultural background. Almost £4,000 was raised on the night and the charity expects to be able to claim gift aid back, which would take the final total to around £5,500.

The flagship event for HR professionals across the whole of Scotland was once again hosted by radio & TV presenter and broadcaster Stephen Jardine. The coveted Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR award was presented to NHS Scotland’s Workforce for their commitment and dedication to the people of Scotland during the pandemic.

Hr NETWORK has supported Career Ready previously, however their renewed support for this great charity was inspired by the family of one of their most avid supporters, the late Shona McKenzie.

Front-line workers Jan Ferguson, a senior charge nurse at NHS Lothian and NHS vaccinator Donna Turner, collected the award from Stephen Jardine on behalf of Jacqui Jones, Director of Human Resources and Workforce Development at NHS National Services Scotland and her colleagues, who were unable to attend on the night.

Sadly, Shona passed away suddenly on the 27th August 2021 leaving a deep sense of loss for her family, friends and the entire Recruitment & HR sectors in Scotland.

In his welcome address, founder of Hr NETWORK Lee Turner thanked all the sponsors and table hosts for their tremendous continued support of the Awards and reminded guests that despite an increasing number of new events and networking initiatives for HR professionals in Scotland, it is Hr NETWORK that is credited with reigniting the energy, excitement and passion back into the present day HR community, making it extremely easy for the HR profession and associated professionals to tap into the vibrant and wonderfully engaged community it is today.

For many years, Shona played a committed part with Career Ready, which supports 1000’s of young people to ensure they are ready for work upon leaving school. Hr NETWORK believes it is a fitting tribute to Shona that they continue her work in helping disadvantaged people get access to opportunities and they will continue to work with and support Career Ready, who already have plans to honour Shona with an award in her name, which will be presented to a future recipient of their mentoring programme.

Dr. Robert Coles, CEO from principal sponsor Roffey Park Institute, expressed his sincere thanks to Lee and the entire Hr NETWORK team and all their partners for creating such an exciting event that recognises the champions of the Scottish HR profession and looked forward to continuing the ‘great collaboration’ that exists between Roffey Park Institute and Hr NETWORK as they develop a range of exciting

Spirit of HR award Following the main awards presentations, Lee Turner returned to the stage and provided a tribute to Shona McKenzie before presenting the Spirit of HR award to her younger sister Joanne Munro, who accepted this special award on behalf of Shona’s family.



Category winners of the Hr NETWORK National Awards for 2021 are:

The Search Consultancy Learning & Development Award of the Year

Winner: Menzies Aviation

The ZLX Business Solutions HR Specialist of the Year

Winner: Julia Stevenson, Scottish Water

The Brodies LLP HR Graduate of the Year

Winner: Fraser Gillespie,

Strathclyde Business School



HR Project of the Year

Winner: Aegon UK

HR Assistant/Officer of the Year

Winner: Clare Marshall, Falkirk Council

The Three UK Diversity & Inclusion Award of the Year

Winner: SSE plc



The Right Management HR Business Partner of the Year

Winner: Jenny Douglas, aledonia Housing C Association

The Guardian Service Employee Engagement Award of the Year

Winner: Turning Point Scotland

The Roffey Park Institute Organisational Development Award of the Year

Winner: TSB Bank

The ScottishPower HR Manager/Advisor of the Year

Winner: Kathleen MacLeod, Three UK



The Love Your Employees Health and Wellbeing Award of the Year

Winner: Morgan Stanley

The Navigator Employment Law HR Team of the Year

Winner: ScottishPower

The Jobtrain Best Employer/Workplace of the Year

Winner: Tata Consultancy Services



The LHH HR Director of the Year

Winner: Lesley Naylor, Gilson Gray LLP

Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR

Winner: NHS Scotland Workforce Supporting sponsors

Additional sponsors

Plans are now well underway for the next Hr NETWORK Awards and Gala Dinner, which will celebrate 15 years of the Hr NETWORK Awards and promises to be even bigger and better and takes place at the Glasgow Hilton on Thursday 10th November 2022. The official video from the awards gala dinner along with all the pictures is now available on the Hr NETWORK website. For further details on attending the 2022 Hr NETWORK Awards Gala Dinner taking place at the Glasgow Hilton on Thursday 10th November either as a sponsor or table host, please contact the Awards Planning Team on Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email: 29


2021 Winners 30



in partnership with



BETWEEN the LINES The Love Hypothesis

Shuggie Bain

By Ali Hazelwood

By Douglas Stuart It is 1981. Glasgow is dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life, dreaming of greater things. But Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and as she descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, yet one by one they must abandon her to save themselves. It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest. Shuggie is different, he is clearly no’ right. But Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest, he can be normal like the other boys and help his mother escape this hopeless place. Shuggie Bain lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride. For readers of Hanya Yanagihara, Emma Donoghue, Alan Hollinghurst and Frank McCourt, it is a heartbreaking novel by a brilliant writer with a powerful and important story to tell.

When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman’s carefully calculated theories on love into chaos. As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships, but her best friend does and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive on her way to a happily ever after was always going to be tough, scientists require proof. So, like any selfrespecting woman, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees. That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when he agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire and Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support (and his unyielding abs), their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. Olive soon discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

Rick Stein At Home By Rick Stein In Rick Stein At Home, he takes us into the rhythms and rituals of his home cooking. In his first book to celebrate his all-time favourite home-cooked meals, Rick shares over 100 very special recipes. Rick explores family classics that evoke childhood memories and newer dishes that have marked more recent personal milestones – along with unforgettable stories that celebrate his favourite ingredients, food memories, family cooking moments and more. Sharing the dishes he most loves to cook for family and friends throughout the year, Rick takes you inside his home kitchen unlike he’s done in any previous book.

It Ends With Us By Colleen Hoover Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.


Over My Dead Body By Jeffrey Archer The clock is ticking in this roller-coaster ride of a thriller.... In London, the Metropolitan Police set up a new Unsolved Murders Unit – a cold case squad – to catch the criminals nobody else can. In Geneva, millionaire art collector Miles Faulkner – convicted of forgery and theft – was pronounced dead two months ago. So why is his unscrupulous lawyer still representing a dead client? On a luxury liner en route to New York, the battle for power at the heart of a wealthy dynasty is about to turn to murder.



12th 2022 ‘Our New World of Work’

Hybrid Conference & Exhibition 2022 Grosvenor Hotel, Edinburgh & Online Plus Hr NETWORK Leaders Dinner 2022 Wednesday 11th May 2022






Following the past 18 months, I am making a very conscious effort to change some of my less useful and unhealthy habits into something much more beneficial for me. I understand how small but consistent effort and change can lead to greater improvements in my work-life balance, which holds value and importance for me. Of course, understanding this logic is only one part of the change puzzle.




hanging my mindset and behaviour is more complex. Recently, following a brisk 30-minute walk in the nearby woods, I sat down with my coffee and logged into Zoom to participate in a Roffey Park event on the psychology of change.

Sitting at my kitchen table, communicating via an online platform, spending time-sharing ideas with people from all over the world, certainly is a change from the way I was working pre pandemic. I would consider these positive changes to my work practice. However, others may not agree. We understand through research and experience that there are key reasons why people react negatively to change. These include, a sense of fear or loss, reduction of control, a feeling of threat or imposition, a change in expertise or status, lack of confidence and a lack of understanding of how the change will affect them. While those of us with people or change management responsibilities may recognise this list, we often get swept up into the change fog while neglecting to focus on what will remain unchanged.

The very nature of change quite often leaves us in predicament that we may not have all the answers in relation to key aspects of change.

Often, despite change some things remain. Perhaps it is function, or process or teams. Psychologically, although we can protect ourselves and mitigate discomfort by focusing on loss, through practice, effort, and effective communication we can also help to open people up to the idea that all change has both opportunity and risk and through change some thing’s will remain. If being more mindful of the psychological impact of change on people post pandemic is of interest to you, these two ideas may help:

Communication is key

their words sends clear messages to all in the organisation about key aspects of the change. Second, gaps need to be closed. These could be gaps in understanding, which if not addressed can be closed with misassumption and inaccurate storytelling.

The very nature of change quite often leaves us in a predicament that we may not have all the answers in relation to key aspects of change. Yet, as change agents or leaders in an organisation it is important to understand two fundamental psychological concepts. First, in times of change people look up. How leaders ‘walk the walk’ comes under intense scrutiny. How their actions match

Regardless of whether change is sudden, gradual or planned, having a comprehensive and cohesive communication plan will help ease the transition.



responding to those we perceive as strongly resistant? Both can be assets in times of change. Having change champions or advocates from across the organisation can ultimately provide leaders, managers and those with a HR or transformation agenda access to a wider range of people. Knowing who is best placed to help demystify or clarify ideas around change is important, as it may not be someone in a leadership position. As trust and engagement play important roles in enabling change, it is important to think about the value of having champions communicating and engaging with others across the organisation and providing feedback on any ideas that they pick up along the way. Similarly, there is learning to be gained from including people resistant to the change. While many of us shy away from such situations and hope that the tide of change will bring those resistant along with it, eventually, it is the case that many fears, concerns and alternatives can be understood better and responded to by engaging with those less in favour of change. When the celebration is over, we typically ask “what’s next?” Having milestones identified, marked and publicised, psychologically this helps people to understand where they are in the change process and how their organisation is responding. By breaking parts of a change process into chunks, people are better able to cope psychologically and it becomes easier to identify where extra support or education may be required to equip people for the next phase of change.

It can also keep people informed of new information, mistakes or changes in direction. Honesty in communication goes a long way. Trust in the change process can erode quickly if leaders or change agents are found to be insincere. In creating space for those affected by change to ask questions, even the tough questions or those you might not have an answer to right now, helps create momentum, build relationships and even identify change advocates that can offer their support.

As many organisations plan for work practice post pandemic, more change will be inevitable. Keeping people informed, allowing them space to talk, ask questions, and be listened to is one of the basic foundations, which if done correctly can help create momentum in times of change. One final thought is the question “are we there yet?” which is synonymous with long journeys.

Engage staff across the organisation Change, like leadership is not the preserve of the senior leadership team. Staff (especially those in an effective team) often have greater levels of resilience than expected and great ideas on how to help manage or embed change. As I mentioned in the beginning, change is experiential. What might illicit fear, dread, or fatigue in one can excite, motivate, or energise someone else. Champions of change can exist at all levels of our organisations, how are we including them? How are we

When we think about the psychology of change, this is one of those questions that people ask too. Be sure to close change off for people, or at least phases of change. This can help the journey feel less like a boring, tiresome trek and more like a purposeful adventure.



Menopausal women suffer chronic pain due to aching joints and muscles A new real world poll carried out for Deep Relief the topical pain specialists – reveals 39% of us have struggled through chronic pain (described as pain lasting more than 12 weeks). This jumps to almost half (48%) for menopausal women living a life interrupted by pain.






hese alarming poll results align with current research including a large-scale review published in the British Medical Journal, involving nearly 140,000 UK participants, which found that chronic pain affects more than four in 10 people. This is particularly worrying when you look at the effect pain is having on our ability to get on with life, with 40% of poll respondents saying pain has stopped them from achieving their potential. This was even more evident for menopausal women in the research carried out by Deep Relief. Facing hormonal and lifestyle changes – 47% were left feeling that pain has stopped them reaching their potential.

Others still said they experience pain in the neck (12%), leg (11%), wrist (10%), and foot (6%).

Affecting more than just our physical health

Hitting us where it hurts

Besides physical discomfort, the survey data reveals a number of ways pain can affect daily life and wellbeing. Muscle or joint pain has stopped menopausal survey respondents from carrying out a range of essential everyday activities, including:

Certain key areas of the body come under fire more than others, according to the new Deep Relief research. The findings highlight a range of pain hotspots that can be so severe as to stop menopausal women from enjoying their favourite pastimes or getting a decent night’s sleep:

• Sleeping – 38%

• Lower back – 32%

• Walking – 32%

• Knee – 19%

• Exercising – 30%

• Hand/finger – 17%

Overall, two-thirds of menopausal women’s (66%) had been stopped from undertaking their favourite pastimes due to aches and pains – compared to less than half (46%) of non-menopausal women and post-menopausal women (49%).

• Shoulder – 15% • Upper back – 12%



Hang on to your hobbies

Shockingly, menopausal women were 93% more likely to have been stopped by joint or muscle pain from attending social occasions – compared to nonmenopausal women.

Hobbies are important for staying active and keeping our brains engaged as we age. So, it’s important to stop pain getting in the way of our favourite pastimes. GP Dr Gill Jenkins says: “Topical therapies like the Deep Relief and the Deep Relief Actiflex Patch help provide targeted soothing relief and can be used regularly and long-term to self-manage joint and muscle soreness. The benefit of topical therapies is that they are always on hand, don’t need a prescription and help you get back to doing the things you love.”

They were also more likely to have been stopped by the pain from meeting friends (60%), sleeping (44%), going on holiday (42%), going to work (34%) or walking (33%).

Go-to self-care solutions One of the most popular solutions is to rest – with a third of those in the menopause managing joint or muscle pain by putting their feet up. However, as Dr Jenkins points out: “While resting is an appropriate response to acute pain or injury, it’s not a long-term solution and neither does it address the root causes of muscle and joint pain, which stop many of us doing the things we love”.

While resting is an appropriate response to acute pain or injury, it’s not a long-term solution and neither does it address the root causes of muscle and joint pain, which stop many of us doing the things we love.

Maximise your movements

Keeping active helps us maintain well-lubricated joints and healthy muscles. Chris has an important message about strength training: “Everyone can benefit from resistance exercises, regardless of age or fitness. Strength work helps to maintain muscle mass and core stability, which are the foundations of good posture. The deadlift is a fantastic all-round exercise – and it’s a myth that it’s only for weightlifters.”

When it comes to tackling stiffness, menopausal women used a range of options to deal with their creaking joints and tight muscles, including: • Having a bath 44%

Get out of the right side of bed

• Taking oral painkillers 36%

The report’s top self-care tips include:

Dr Jenkins advises getting to the root cause of particular sleeping problems by tackling pain, improving general mobility by ensuring that we don’t sit for too long. Dr Jenkins says: “Pain and sleep issues can become a downward spiral. The cycle needs to be broken, so even if you’re feeling tired and depressed, try to keep moving and maintain a good posture.” Topical muscle and joint relief like the Deep Relief Actiflex Patch is a simple way to target localised soreness that can be used overnight.

Relieve anxiety and stress

Ease into exercise

• Resting 33% • Stretching exercises 28% With respondents having their own ideas about how to deal with musculoskeletal woes, the Deep Relief report – also shares what the experts have to say on the matter highlighting how we can better deal with pain angst.

Stress can have a knock-on effect on muscular tension. Personal Trainer Chris Ruxton recommends gentle mobilisation, such as a Rag Doll stretch, to release upper body tension. He says: “Stand up with your arms stretched above your head, then grasp each elbow and flop forwards like a rag doll, keeping your knees slightly bent. Sway gently from side to side while folded forward. Repeat 8 to 10 times, breathing in as you stretch up, and out as you flop down.”

With 34% of menopausal women polled saying they wouldn’t bother with a warmup before exercising, Personal Trainer Chris says this needs to change: “Taking 5-10 minutes a few times a day to stretch as part of your normal routine can make a real difference to your joint mobility and help to release areas of tension and pain. I would recommend 8 leg swings on each side, 8 squats, and 8 good mornings, repeating until your 5 minutes are up.”



Why BUSINESSES need to be talking about MENOPAUSE and MISCARRIAGE


ousehold brand Kellogg’s has recently announced that it will provide more support for staff experiencing menopause, pregnancy loss or fertility treatment. While we’ve seen some improvements in recent years and more people have spoken out about their own journey, each remains somewhat of a taboo topic – especially in the workplace. Here, Sarah Prasad, HR Business Partner at Head Resourcing highlights how employers can support their people through difficult times.

Most women tend to return to work after a miscarriage and for some, the routine of work helps to manage the physical and emotional trauma, but for others who need to heal with their family, they should be given the time to do so. Not only for the sake of their mental and physical wellbeing but by allowing them time away from work, they are likely to be in a better place to operate when they return.

Kellogg’s has said that it wanted to break the silence on issues often not discussed in the workplace and will, under the plans, train managers on how to talk about the menopause and pregnancy loss, while leave for pregnancy loss will be given without the need for a doctor’s note. It also intends to give staff going through fertility treatment three blocks of leave each year as well as access to a private space to administer treatment if necessary.

Likewise, women can often go undiagnosed as they struggle with menopause. You might find that colleagues are suffering with memory loss or anxiety, and if left undiagnosed, they are not getting the support that they need. They might take time off or their work is affected. However, if your organisation is properly educated on supporting the team, they will be able to signpost help, look after the individual and in turn, ensure staff are healthy, happy and able to work.

However, the majority of people will experience at least one of these challenges within their lifetime. Stark data tells us that suicide rates in women of menopausal age have risen by 6% in the last 20 years (Office for National Statistics), while one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage (Tommy’s charity) and one in six couples have fertility issues (NHS). So whether it’s experiencing miscarriage, fertility challenges or menopause personally, or supporting a wife, mother or friend through this time, most of us will encounter the struggles associated with each.

The latest move by Kellogg’s is a fantastic step in the right direction and we need to see more companies looking at their own policies to create a space that is safe and protected for all employees. At Head Resourcing, we offer leave and specialist support for pregnancy loss, menopause and fertility treatment and we are working towards better education in these areas for all our colleagues.

While mental health and wellbeing is becoming more of a focus for businesses, and we have seen investment in this area across the board in recent years, and rightly so, the case for further support on menopause, pregnancy loss and fertility is still uncommon across the board.

There is still much to be done in this area but if organisations begin with an open conversation and provide simple educational resources to break down the taboos, then actions can follow to better benefit individuals, teams and the whole organisation.



ALCOHOL and DRUG testing in the workplace – what are the postlockdown SAFETY PROTOCOLS?


he UK vaccination programme is a clear success, yet even those who are doublevaccinated can still catch and transmit the virus.

Sanitise between tests

These hygiene concerns have led some businesses and organisations to scale down their alcohol and drug screening activities for fear of breaching the ‘hands, face, space’ recommendations. Latest government guidance states that everyone should be cautious while managing the risks as cases of COVID-19 remain high. So how can employers safely reinstate or introduce drug and alcohol screening without compromising covid safety? Here, Suzannah Robin, a drug and alcohol safety expert at AlcoDigital, says it’s important not to substitute one risk for another by ignoring the dangers that misuse of drugs and alcohol can present in the workplace.

Wear appropriate PPE

If testing is taking place indoors, all hard surfaces in the vicinity should be cleaned between tests with alcohol-based sanitisers and disinfectant. Whether indoors or outdoors, all test equipment should also be thoroughly sanitised, and a minimum of ten minutes between cleaning and testing is required to ensure alcohol-vapours have dissipated.

Masks and gloves should be worn by both operator and donor while following testing procedures and handling equipment. The mask of the donor can be lifted to carry out a breath or saliva test, but immediately replaced afterwards. PPE should be removed and safely disposed of after each test.

Ensure Covid-safe breathalyser use The exhaust-end of any alcohol testing device should be directed away from the test operator or any other staff members in the vicinity. Exhaled breath as an aerosol travels much further than normal exhaled breath – all hard surfaces within a 4-metre radius that could be contaminated should be cleaned after each test.

Research has shown that levels of drug and alcohol misuse have increased during the pandemic. More people are drinking at home, and now that pubs and clubs have reopened, some are making up for lost time by over-indulging during nights out.

‘Selfie sticks’ can be attached to some breathalysers, allowing the operator to hold out the device while maintaining a suitable distance from the donor.

No employer wants to be a killjoy, but at the same time they have a legal duty to protect the safety of staff by ensuring that these issues do not create risk in the workplace.

Take extra care when fitting breathalyser mouthpieces

Most drug and alcohol screening programmes use breathalysers to check for alcohol and saliva tests to screen for drugs. AlcoDigital recommends the following five tips to ensure that testing is carried out with Covid safety in mind.

Individually packed disposable mouthpieces should be attached to the breathalyser with the ‘mouth end’ of the packaging intact. Ideally, fitting should be carried out by the donor rather than the operator. Once fitted, the packaging can be disposed of hygienically.

Test outside, if possible

With these safety measures in place, there’s no reason why drug and alcohol testing cannot be resumed, or introduced for the first time as part of a new post-lockdown health and safety policy.

Where possible, testing should take place outdoors. If this is not practical, indoor testing should be carried out in a well-ventilated area and protective ‘sneeze guard’ screens should be used to ensure additional safety for both the person being tested (the donor) and the employee carrying out the testing (the operator).

COVID-19 has proved that testing is nothing more than a minor inconvenience, yet it can deliver major benefits in terms of the health and wellbeing of workers all over the UK.



Paving the ENGAGEMENT ROADMAP for the future


esearch from Firstup, ‘The Deluge of Unhappy Workers’, has made for some sombre reading, with employees feeling undervalued, and uninformed. With over 50% of those surveyed feeling that their role was not valued by their employer, the results were both fascinating and alarming. Here, Nicole Alvino, Co-founder and CSO, Firstup offers some insight into ways employers can create a culture, which both attracts and retains top talent.

Technology to support productivity To establish a culture that employees want to be a part of you must make life easier for them. That means making tasks more efficient, freeing up time, and building trust. It is vital that business leaders critically assess the blockers and barriers that are preventing people from doing their job to the best of their ability and take steps to make these processes easier by providing workers with the best possible tools and apps to do their jobs. In addition to boosting productivity, demonstrating this level of understanding of what employees need, and being prepared to invest in it, will go a long way in boosting feelings of worth to the organisation.

As with so many things, getting the basics right is the first step in achieving success. What this means for businesses is alignment. This requires real conviction and role modelling from leaders, in order to bring that journey to life in a compelling way. Taking the time to ensure this level of alignment will then cascade, and impact, every other element of an organisation’s internal engagement.

Roadmap for the future


With so many employees seemingly disengaged and contemplating leaving their jobs, it’s easy to become discouraged. However, this also means that there is a huge amount of talent with itchy feet, and a massive opportunity for businesses to take steps to ensure they are the ones attracting top talent and creating a culture where people don’t want to leave. Going forward, senior leaders need to ensure that they are taking heed of data insights and using it as a roadmap for the future. Employees have given a very clear indication of what they want and need to feel valued in their roles, and it is now down to those at the top to deliver this.

A sense of ownership throughout the organisation plays a huge part in how valuable employees feel. In order for the whole business to be aligned with an organisation’s strategy, everyone – from the shop floor to the C-Suite, should feel that they have a contribution towards strategy. Taking the time to engage workers from every level of business in strategy development will ensure that people feel part of the journey and, more importantly, feel they can influence this. This will have an incredible impact on the energy and commitment to deliver the strategy across the whole business.

Ignoring the signs is not an option for those businesses that want to stay ahead of the game. Employee expectations of feeling valued, having a purpose, and of being engaged, are only going to increase, particularly as younger generations (who have grown up expecting personalised two-way engagement thanks to social media) enter the workforce.

Supporting middle management With 38% of workers wanting better communications between employers and employees, it is clear that, at present, communications aren’t always reaching every level of the business – particularly the frontline. Understandably, this has a detrimental impact on an employee’s ability to understand where the company is headed, and how they contribute to that goal. Importantly, the research tells us that employees will feel more valued if they feel seen and heard by the leadership team.

It is vital to remember that employee engagement is a journey. There is no end destination – the finish line will continually move and change. This presents an exciting opportunity for leaders and employees to build a sense of cultural and behavioural change as they embark on this journey together.



Employee VERSUS employer outlook on TEAM BUILDING


mployer and employee attitudes around team building activities – including the ideal outcome and favourite activities – have been revealed in a brand new business survey. The Lunch Break Bonding survey, conducted by Just Eat for Business, delves into office workers’ perception of social lunch breaks, scheduled meetings and team building events, and is paired with expert commentary on the importance of positive office relations at work. Here, Matt Ephgrave, Managing Director at Just Eat for Business takes a closer look at some of findings from the study.

when required to pay towards it, while those in the North East were the least bothered by a cash contribution. Another key aspect of the study was, understanding how team building events can improve a workplace. For CEOs and business owners, the most important outcome was creating a friendlier work atmosphere (67%), while executives valued showcasing company culture. Regardless of the ideal outcome, the survey also found that most workers at all levels (82%) would find their work more enjoyable if team building activities happened more frequently. Interestingly, CEO and business owners accounted for the highest proportion of people (97%) who would enjoy their workplace more with regularly scheduled activities. It’s encouraging to see that office workers at all levels are eager to increase the frequency and quality of team building activities, particularly given that many organisations are either heading back into the office, or learning to operate remotely.

The results from our research were collated from over 200 UK-based organisations, and were segmented by role (executive, management, CEO), region, and business size.

The study shows that team building events don’t have to be extensive or costly, as team lunches came out as the favourite activity. Corporate catering services are designed to make organising office lunches hassle-free, so it’s never been easier to provide regular opportunities for teams to socialise during the working week.

The survey found that employee and employer perceptions differed when it came to favourite team building activities, with business owners (42%) naming escape rooms as their preferred organised event.

Other key findings of the survey included the ideal time of week to host them, who is responsible for organising them, and how well workers feel they know their colleagues.

Meanwhile, employees voted team lunches as the top organised activity (38%), followed by team vs team competitions (36%), escape rooms (29%) and mixology classes (29%). When asked about the most important aspect of a team building event, employees believed it’s the team bonding potential (48%), while employers felt the level of enjoyment proved the most important factor (58%). And while both the team bonding potential and level of enjoyment is important, the survey found that there are some obstacles that may deter workers from attending events. More than half of office workers (51%) said they were less likely to attend a team building event if they’re required to pay for all or a portion of the cost. Within teams, it’s management-level employees that are the most put off by having to contribute financially. On a regional level, workers in the North West were found to be the most likely (89%) to skip a team building event



Welcome to our Events Planner Page. We are delighted to announce new dates for events taking place from May 2022 and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone! Here are some of the forthcoming events being held in 2022 by Hr NETWORK in partnership with a wide range of partners and supporters.

Forthcoming events: Hr NETWORK Leaders Dinner 2022 Hr NETWORK will host the annual Leaders Dinner in Edinburgh at the Grosvenor Hotel on Wednesday 11th May 2022. Details regarding the after dinner speaker will be announced in due course however if you would like to attend the Leaders Dinner, please contact the Conference Planning Team – details below. If you would like details about sponsoring the Leaders Dinner or hosting a Table of 10, please contact the contact the Conference Planning Team on Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email:

Hr NETWORK Conference & Exhibition 2022 The Hr NETWORK ‘Our New World of Work’ Conference & Exhibition 2022 will take place at the Grosvenor Hotel in Edinburgh’s West End on Thursday 12th May 2022. Details relating to the speaker programme, including the keynote presentations will be announced in due course. If you would like further information on exhibiting or sponsoring at the Conference, please contact the Conference Planning Team on Tel: 0131 625 3267 or Email:

Hr NETWORK Awards Gala Dinner 2022 The Hr NETWORK National Awards & Gala Dinner 2022 in partnership with Roffey Park Institute will take place at the hugely impressive Hilton Glasgow on Thursday 10th November 2022. If you would like further information on sponsorship or hosting a table of 10 at the Gala Dinner, please contact the Awards Planning Team on 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:






SAVE THE DATE! NATIONAL AWARDS 2022 in partnership with

Gala Dinner, Glasgow Hilton, Thursday 10th November 2022 For further details contact the Awards Planning Team on Tel: 0131 625 3267 or email: 35

Look no further. Connect with us. Transform your future. Big change offers great opportunity. As you step forward into 2022, the need for new leadership and management skill sets and an even stronger coaching and collaborative mindset is already upon you. At Roffey Park Institute we hear your call. The change and transformation agenda. The need for managers to connect and empower teams to perform. For colleagues to become stronger business partners and internal consultants. Critical thinking and decision making at speed will be crucial to the organisational task ahead. Relearning working and reworking learning will be imperative. At Roffey Park Institute we can help unlock your and your organisation’s potential. With our partnership approach we can deliver tailored solutions to realise organisation goals.

Together we can make a difference. Let’s talk. +44 (0)1293 854042