My top tips: Philippa Laughton, director for people, Barnardo's

Prepare for resistance: Always have an idea of how to respond if staff say "no" to any initiative you or your organisation has.

All too often, people assume that anything they embark on will be fine and people will agree to it. But if you anticipate resistance, you will be better prepared to respond effectively. 

Balance risk management with action: Having worked in HR and personnel for many years, one big change I have noticed is the ever-increasing amount and complexity of employment law. All organisations have evolved by introducing new policies and changing practices as new legislation has come in. However, you do have to make sure you don't get too bogged down with it all.

Don't be too risk-averse: There's a balance to be struck between being completely risk-averse and getting on with running your organisation. You've got to be aware of the risks, but if that's all you spend your time thinking about, you'll never get anything done.

Understand your employees' motivations: You should really understand what is important to the person or people you are working with so you can work together to achieve the best outcome. Sometimes, people don't actually tell you what's important to them, but if you can work out where they're coming from, then you can work with them to get the best results for your organisation.

Focus on the mission: We try hard to engage our staff in the work Barnardo's does to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people. It is not always possible to get all office-based staff out to our services, so one of the things we do is to get our managers from children's services to come and talk to our office staff. It is always an excellent reminder of why we all work for Barnardo's.

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