Hello PPMA members and friends

Our blog post this week comes from Anastasia Simpson who is Head of People, Performance and Projects at Tendring District Council and as she explains below, she is also the new VP for the East of England region. She shares with us the highlights from a recent, very inspiring event held in Tendring.

“As your new East of England Vice President, I have the pleasure of writing this blog following the PPMA Regional Event last week, and rather than the Beast from the East we are basking in autumnal sunshine over here in Tendring (for those that are new to Tendring, the area covers Clacton-on-Sea, Harwich, Frinton-on-Sea, 36 miles of beautiful coastline).

The PPMA conference focussed on a number of key challenges in the East Region. It was positive to see that many of the current challenges resonate with colleagues from across the country and amongst these challenges there are many opportunities for innovation and creative practice across the HR community. There were also a number of new HR colleagues who joined the East of England event and a very warm welcome to PPMA.

The event consisted of some lively presentations from PPMA sponsors including Osborne Thomas, Neyber and Mary Gober International.

PPMA members were given the opportunity to undertake psychometric tests prior to the meeting, which provided very insightful information regarding drives (motivations and values) and dimensions (the best fit environment). The two tests combined provided a complete overview of personality and environmental fit, a very useful resource, and I am pleased to report that my own feedback suggests I am in the right job and right environment, which is always reassuring.

Julie Osborne, Managing Director of Osborne Thomas, provided feedback nationally on the combined findings across the HR profession and there were some surprises as the feedback indicates that a number of HR professionals may be less achievement-orientated, analytical or socially confident than others. There were some excellent examples of what to do next with this information and the need to really understand staff, developing aptitude to deal with individual preferences and assessment plans to draw out individual personality drivers alongside the right skills.

Andrew Collins from Neyber provided a very insightful presentation regarding the concerns of employees, at whatever life stage, and the challenge of finance, budgeting and financial management. It was both shocking to see the statistics but also reassuring to know that with some financial education and tools employees could start taking back control. In terms of the quote of the day, this quote from Stephen Covey set the scene for Neyber:

“One of the greatest unnoticed drains on productivity is the distraction that financial stress puts on people” (Dr Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

Outside of the HR community the presentation and financial tools have a much wider application – it would be great to see this information and advice given particularly to the younger members of our communities so that they start out understanding finance with increased confidence.

Greg Fradd from Mary Gober International gave a motivational presentation regarding positive mindsets in the workplace, which provided a positive end to the afternoon and plenty of tips to take back to the workplace.

The regional members provided feedback about their challenges and what they would like from future sessions – digitalisation was a theme, alongside mental health, pay and wellbeing. Alongside themes for discussion, networking opportunities and table discussions were also cited as priorities for members, which I am sure can be all accommodated at future events.

In terms of my own thoughts about the event I found each of the presentations informative, helpful and interesting with plenty of ideas and tips to take back into the workplace. A few colleagues also mentioned that just having the time away from the day job for half a day felt like therapy in itself and a chance for busy HR professionals to just take stock and network with colleagues.

A thank you also goes to Michelle Kirk and Lucy Ashwell at EELGA for letting PPMA back onto the Heads of HR meeting.

I am already looking forward to our next PPMA event in the East and I hope we are able to continue to build our network across the region.

With best wishes to all in the HR Community.”

Anastasia Simpson

Vice President, East of England , PPMA