My top tips: Isabelle Simon-Evans

Isabelle Simon-Evans is an assistant director at the Children's Society.

See HR as an investment, not a cost If you have got quality HR, you will recruit talented people and nurture them so that they perform well. If you see HR as an investment, you must also measure your returns through staff surveys, monitoring absences and by measuring the percentage of staff who take voluntary redundancy.

HR must support line managers Most people leave because of their line managers. We launched lunchtime management workshops, which include practical advice for line managers. In the past three years, we have seen voluntary resignations drop from 15 per cent of the whole workforce to 13 per cent, and I'm aiming for 10 per cent.

Help staff develop their careers The Children's Society isn't a very large organisation, so we have to accept that we may not be able to offer people a career path all the way to where they want to go. But we can still develop their employability - even if some leave, they might come back.

Do not view the union as an adversary We work in partnership with Amicus, and our chief executive, Bob Reitemeier, has signed up to its Dignity in Work principles. Amicus defends workers' rights, whereas management wants to get the most out of them - but these two aims do not have to be seen as divergent.

Include clients in decision-making One of the things I'm most proud of in my time here is that young people are now included in staff induction days, are on the panel when we are recruiting people and take part in performance reviews. The more you work with clients, the better the services you will deliver. I have worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors and I don't think there are any real differences - the aim should always be to have a high-performing organisation.

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