The Essentials

Last week I attended a session on “Essential Employment Law” run by Nikki Peck from Elephant. First up, high five’s to Nikki for her facilitation style which ensured she had my attention for the entire day on a subject I admit doesn’t exactly float my boat, but is an essential component of my job.

Which is exactly why I was there. As an HR practitioner I prefer to focus my attentions on the likes of culture, engagement and employee development; but the reality is employment law comes into play in all aspects of HR. Over the years I’ve ensured that I’ve kept up to date with relevant law changes, as they’ve come up, but a whole day focusing on relevant acts and case law was time well spent in refreshing my knowledge. The benefits of which were threefold; networking, employee and self-development.

I met a group of HR peer’s I hadn’t previously engaged with, including one I’d been LinkedIn stalking only days before in relation to a potential new role for a friend! The value of networking and meeting peers in your industry but outside of your organisation is immense. The discussions, ideas, ways of working, suggestions and solutions that were bandied around on the day certainly left me thinking and provided me with new opportunities to research and implement in my own role and organisation.

I realised there are many roles with core skills, or knowledge needed in my organisation and that we either hire or train staff dependant on the situational need – but are we following up on that? Are we stretching them further and ensuring a constant development of their skills? A good example for me is product training; we thoroughly induct all staff into our culture, values, style of selling and product offerings, but our products and platforms change constantly. So I’ve resolved to ensure that in all cases we are adequately communicating and training staff on these changes, that there is a feedback loop for the changes and a clear go to person for any questions that may arise. While I’m at it I will be relooking at role tasks and PD’s to ensure that the essential competencies and tasks in our team roles are properly captured and that our staff are meeting the required standards.

And thirdly as HR folk are we focusing too much in any one aspect of our own roles? Are there areas you could use development in that maybe you haven’t focused on for some time that would in turn be complimentary to other facets of your role? In other words have you been focusing on your favourites and leaving the rest out? And if like me this is something of the case then research your options, as if you can find a situation like mine where the course material and facilitation made a subject that’s not my favourite fun and enjoyable then it’s a win win situation.

If we all get the essentials right in our roles and ensure we are continuously developing and progressing in these areas, they will in turn ensure all aspects of our role, skills and knowledge are heading down the right track.

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