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What secret did I learn about the future of HR from a room of experts?

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

Last week I attended Sympa’s Future of Work breakfast at Duck and Waffle with guest speaker Annette Andrews. It was a crazy busy week for me and I wasn’t sure what to expect from the event. I’m sure you’ve had it too where you’ve turned up to an event and left wishing you could have your hours back, but I’m happy to say this breakfast left me feeling optimistic, inspired and energised by the enthusiasm from every person in that room (and the stunning complimentary breakfast helped put me in a good mood too). Plus, I left with a few secrets about how the HR space has changed, and how to stay on top of the changes, one of which I’m going to share with you below now.

Learning from Annette was a fantastic experience. Annette has held senior HR roles at Ford, Lloyd’s of London and Lloyd’s Banking Group. She now works with organisations to help develop post-pandemic working practices and considers how ongoing societal changes will affect the workforce.

When Annette was discussing with us what candidates want, she said something that surprised me, she said people care more about belonging than they do about pay. At first that didn’t seem right to me, especially for Gen-Z. All the reports I’ve been reading have shown that we’re a financially concerned generation. It didn’t click for me until she told the story about a young family member, who chose the company he’s at now because of the LGBTQ+ and diversity policies. As humans, we’re obsessed with security and we are tied to our identities. Although pay is important, the story showed pay means nothing if you don’t feel you belong.

The more I thought about this, the more I realised the truth in what candidates really need from workplaces, especially when people are trusting governments less and less with each news cycle. Annette gave another insight, (2 for 1 special, you’re so welcome) and said that companies need to look to create a community to effectively retain candidates.

It inspired me to look into what a community actually is and it led me to the term ‘sense of community’. I found the term so fascinating that I've decided to do a three part series post event. Throughout this series, I’ll be exploring what makes some communities more successful than others, how to use memory design in a digital/physical workplace, and will finish off with some interviews on what community in the workplace means to a community that I’m a part of, Gen-Z.

Thanks again to Annette and Sympa for hosting such a great event. It’s such a pleasure to be back to in person knowledge sharing with new people.

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