‘HR holds the moral compass of an organisation’

27 September 2021

Story by
Sarah Rice, Editor and Director, The HR World

Jayne Casey

Strong roots gave me stability to make big life choices young

He hates me saying this, but I didn’t go to university because I met my husband when I was 16. I realised I did not want to leave so stayed and started an apprenticeship at BT instead. Now my children go to the same school, and we live next door to my parents. I left BT this year after 23 years having grown up with it as my dad worked there, too. The growth and adventures I have had have been inspirational and rewarding.

To get on in your career you have to seize your chances

People always said I was an old head on young shoulders. I don’t know if this is true, but I do remember taking every opportunity that was open to me from a young age. On my apprenticeship there were 200 of us that started but as we went along more people started not turning up. I was like ‘get your fingers out your backsides’! Don’t throw this away. So, I held a company event to re-engage with them. It was that moment I realised I wanted to be in human-focused work and propelled me from there to gain my masters and CIPD.

Line managers can make or break an organisation

When I came back from my first child, I had mild postnatal depression but didn’t recognise it at the time. I did not want to leave my son, so decided I was going to train to be a teacher to have the holiday time off. I went to my boss and he did not accept my resignation. He said he could tell there more to it and asked me to see a doctor. From there I went on to work a more flexible week way before flexible working was available. I wholeheartedly believe that line managers can make or break the employee experience of working with an organisation and therefore it’s a short-sighted organisation that doesn’t pay attention to how good their leadership teams are.

As HRs we hold the moral compass of an organisation

During the pandemic we have been looked to as being able to understand and tap into the ‘right’ things to do for our people – morally, ethically and with the right engagement approaches. I’m not saying we are perfect, but it has been a real test of our capabilities and I think for the most part HR has proven its worth in helping the C-Suite know how to handle an experience that has been traumatic on every level.

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