My top tips: Joe Bennett, acting director of HR, Scope

Back to basics: Get the basics right, such as payroll, contracts and policies.

Otherwise you won't get asked to do interesting stuff like organisational development and culture change. 

Value your employees I've worked in all three sectors, and I believe there is a greater passion and willingness to change in the voluntary sector than in the private or public sectors. It's important to harness this passion by linking employees' personal objectives and values to the organisation's mission. Valuing their contributions and celebrating success is also vital. The charity sector may not always be able to pay the highest salaries, but we need to find other innovative ways to reward and recognise our staff.

Organise I'm proud of restructuring Scope's HR team and putting into practice what I preach in my own department. We went through some pain, but everyone was incredibly professional and we now have a fantastic team that is focused on achieving the best outcomes.

Diversify We've always believed that disabled people should be at the heart of everything we do at Scope, and we've been increasing employment opportunities for disabled people by reserving posts, improving the work environment generally for disabled people and ensuring that we provide the relevant training for managers. Importantly, many existing staff have also felt more comfortable about declaring their impairments because we have changed our working environment and culture. I've seen the proportion of disabled employees rise from just over 3 per cent to just under 20 per cent in less than three years.

Love your job Choose an organisation that inspires you. If you stop enjoying the job or believing in what you are doing, leave. It may seem obvious, but I'm always surprised by the number of people who don't do it, and it saps their confidence.

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