Ten years ago I was knee-deep 😉 in nappies and bottles and taking full advantage of flexing stay-at-home mumhood with a bit of further study – on paper a great option until the bi-hourly wakeups for six months kicked in!  

I’m not sure I retained much in those first few months of study, but I was finally tackling something that had been nagging me for much of my HR career – why did that idea work?  I started an MSc in Occupational Psychology in January 2012 delving into the world of academia and discussions with our class of 20 odd students was my idea of heaven (and useful respite from baby duty if I’m honest!)

I’d often implemented new initiatives in my various central government, private sector, and third sector HR roles over my career but I’d always wondered…..why did that work?  Why did my 1:1s with employees bring down sickness absence levels?  Why did risk assessments reduce musculoskeletal injury?  Why did a shift in recruitment practices increase our diversity of candidates?

Never being one to accept the ‘because it does’ or ‘because our competitors are doing it’ ‘because I read it in the latest Employee Benefits magazine’ answers – of which I had many!  I discovered the McLeod report, Engage for Success and the vast array of evidence EFS has amassed on employee engagement as part of my studies.

Reflecting on the past ten years, I’m so glad that design thinking, agile working, evidence-based practice – whatever you want to call it is now firmly in the organisational lexicon. It’s hard to imagine how organisations could have survived the past two years without piloting new ways of working, gathering evidence and adapting their approach along the way. 

It’s been a huge privilege to be part of the EFS journey in helping to give these evidence-based stories a much wider platform.

As for me, I’m still collecting evidence, at the moment trying to understand why marginalised groups are underrepresented in volunteering roles with a couple of projects on the go – still asking why ten years on and I’m not sure it will ever stop!

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