Hello PPMA members and friends

Martin Rayson, PPMA past president and now HR Director at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, writes for us this week and he looks back on our Annual Seminar held in Birmingham in June. He believes that making individuals feel valued, is a major part of keeping our workforce engaged.

“As I was reflecting on the highly successful and thought provoking seminar held by the PPMA, one of the themes that struck me was the extent to which we recognise our workforce as a collection of very different individuals, each with their own needs and wants, driven by their particular circumstances and motivations.

Whether it is in terms of contract arrangements, the way we reward or the ways that we engage and communicate, we need to show greater flexibility, to tap into the individuality of our people. And expectations that we will show flexibility if we want to attract, keep, and motivate our talent are growing. Someone at the seminar told me of an employee who wanted their working life to consist of stints of working of around three years and then a year away from work, travelling. When you think about it, this is not an unreasonable response when faced with the possibility of having to work much longer than previous generations.

To be able to offer greater flexibility though, we need a level of insight into our staff that we do not currently have. Lucy Adams, ex Head of HR at the BBC and a keynote speaker, said many insightful things, but none more so than that those businesses who apply the same techniques for understanding their customers to understanding their staff enabling them to inspire loyalty. This means a complete departure from some of our traditional methods of getting a view of our workforces as individuals and almost certainly will mean abandoning the ‘one annual survey’. We need to find ways to better understand our people as individuals and then be able to differentiate our employment offer to reflect what they want from work.

There are, of course, practicalities in meeting everyone’s needs, but perhaps it is about making everyone feel valued as an individual. There are also idiosyncracies and I was amused by Lucy’s story of the person who said she could not possibly relocate to the North because she was a vegetarian. Her individual package might need to include a briefing on the fact that they grow vegetables north of Watford and there are even one or two vegetarian restaurants!”

Martin Rayson

PPMA Past President & HR Director – Nursing and Midwifery Council