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Don’t be a D**k

25 Sep
It’s been hard to come back to reality and feel that I am not making a substantial difference to lots of people everyday. I was in awe of all the workers there, from the outreach team, talking to the kids on the streets and trying to gain enough trust for them to follow them to the Retrak centre. The nurses that deal with kids with nasty open wounds to potentially having contracted malaria/typhoid. The social workers that try and get to the bottom of any child abuse and explain to them what a ‘bad touch’ is and that ‘no means no’. The list goes on, they were all fabulous and working hard towards Retrak’s mission of ‘No Child Forced to Live on the Street’.
However today I witnessed something that both upset me and gave me some hope and purpose. My colleague Jonathan was walking on the street to the office when he witnessed someone verbally attacking and abusing a homeless woman on Peter Street. The individual was throwing her belongings in the middle of the road and asking her to move on from that pavement. Instead of walking off, Jonathan decided to get involved and urged the individual to stop his aggressiveness and leave. The person was so out of order that the police had to be called out and my colleague waited until they arrived.


This incident reminded me and really brought to life a conversation I had with one of the volunteers Sandhya Sharma. We were talking about coming back to reality, chasing business objectives and not feeling a sense of purpose. She told me that if only we looked after 10 people around us, then the world would instantly be a better place. This is obviously very true and we should all work harder to display more kindness to one another. Or to put it more plainly, just Don’t be a D**k to people! 

You don’t have to raise masses of money or donate if you can’t, you don’t have to give up your job and volunteer for no money. Just be nice. Be nice to those around you. The ripple effect that follows would surprise us all.




The Power of Values at

4 Nov

I love attending conferences as it is an opportunity not only to learn more, but to realise how much more knowledge and confidence you have around the HR/L&D/OD and Recruitment topics that are being discussed.

The CIPD Annual conference has always been a great opportunity for me to do this. I can look at my progression and knowledge each year and each year learn something new or cement even further what I already know.

At all the HR events I attended in the last couple of years I heard the words ‘values’ and ‘culture’ a lot and was always fascinated by the stories around these. However, until recently, I did not understand how powerful these concepts would be for me and for my organisation.

I was involved in helping articulate its values and we did it in an ‘anything but ordinary’ way. We launched a week-long event called V-Festival (V for Values) in order to involve as many colleagues as possible in a number of different activities to get meaningful feedback and data. If you heard our People Director Ryan Cheyne speak at #cipd15students on 3rd November 2015 you will know all about the bunting and the activities, however if you have missed it, have a look at this interview.

ryan c

It was a truly historic moment for and thanks to an interactive format, live music and by having lots of fun, we discovered what truly glues us together, our DNA and what makes us act like we do. Having those defined will make us work on an even better culture.

But what is culture?

Ryan defined it as something hard to nail down. Something that you can’t touch, but you can definitely feel. Culture is also about the stories. Some might not be true, but they help build the culture of businesses. If you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change the culture, change the stories.

Culture is ingrained and developed over time and of course what made so successful over the past 10 years is still important, therefore involving the team in articulating our values and culture was an essential exercise in order to include the past, present and future of Rentalcars. Over 1000 colleagues (out of 1200) took part in the events. Themes were pulled out and by involving everyone in recognising the company’s past and getting excited about our future aspirations. we started our journey to drive cultural change.

no repeats car word cloud

10 years ago was founded and some ‘long for those days’, but the majority look back at the journey with a smile on their face and a sense of achievement. Most see that without the stories and the past we wouldn’t be where we are and we can progress even further by using the same principles, the same ‘know how’ that led us to where we are.

What will keep us on the right track, what will remind us of ‘how we do things around here’ are the values. Values that were relevant then, are relevant now and will be relevant in the future. However much we change, we expand, we grow, values are the glue that will hold us together and allows us to feel as one company. Embedding them now, showing how important they are and how they led us to our success, will make us even more successful and unique.

Our values will make us remember where we have come from, live the present, launch us into the next step of our exciting journey and help us build the right culture to create an amazing place to work.