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Continuing our series of Adviser Diaries, giving a glimpse into the daily routine of our team members during lockdown, we meet Natalie Hacking, HR Adviser.

Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do at Progeny.

I’m Natalie Hacking, HR Adviser at Progeny HR Consultancy & Advice. I am responsible for the delivery of a full range of outsourced HR services. One of my main roles is providing employment advice to our clients and assisting them with a wide range of services from staff development, performance, recruitment, as well as complex issues such as disciplinary, grievance and people strategy.

How have you found the last few months?

I would definitely say better now than at the start. We are such a close-knit team that not being around them was very difficult at the beginning, but I think both as a team and a wider group we have all adapted really well to the new world of work.

Talk us through your daily routine.

I have tried to keep to the same routine where possible. I think it’s so important to get up as normal and get ready for the day ahead. Once I’m ready for the day, I make myself a coffee and sit down to look through my emails. I like to start the day with a ‘things to do today’ checklist which helps me plan my existing workload.

I check in with my clients where necessary to ensure they have everything they need and then manage my inbox as and when things come in. We are reactive to our clients’ needs depending on their individual situation however alongside our daily work we balance consultancy projects such as settlement agreements, restructures, employee surveys and appeal hearings

What are the biggest professional challenges you’ve faced during lockdown?

The biggest professional challenge for me has been the unknown and dealing with things that I may not have experienced in my career before (I think plenty of people will share this feeling with me).

It’s been extremely important to keep up to date with the ever-changing government advice to ensure I have the necessary knowledge to support my clients and their businesses in what has been a very challenging time for them.

However, I can say that the last few months have been a fantastic learning curve and this period is one that I will always remember.

What are your proudest achievements of this period?

Whilst I’m happy with quite a few things I have accomplished in a professional capacity since lockdown, one of my proudest achievements across this period is completing my CIPD Level 7 postgraduate diploma in Human Resource Management.

The CIPD Level 7 diploma is an advanced qualification in Human Resources developed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. This qualification emphasises strategic thinking and covers all bases for handling complex HR needs. It has enabled me to develop the essential skills necessary to support organisations to thrive in an ever-changing environment.

The final part of the qualification was to complete a research project and the write-up deadline fell right in the middle of lockdown. As you can imagine, this was a very busy and challenging time for the HR team at Progeny with my main priority being to support my clients and navigate them through the unknown whilst also completing the project in my spare time. It was a nice reward to know it had all been worth it!

I am also proud of how we have worked as a team to deliver a fantastic service in very uncertain times with evolving government guidelines.

What has changed about your role to enable you to continue to operate?

The implementation of Webex has been fantastic (thanks to the IT Team). The use of video conferencing has been a lifesaver for me. Whilst it’s not the same as face-to-face contact, it’s really helped me stay connected with my colleagues and clients whilst continuing to provide the high level of service we pride ourselves on. I will definitely continue to use this moving forward.

What has stayed the same?

The service we provide to clients. Whilst we have been unprecedentedly busy over the lockdown period, it has been our number one goal to support all our clients in the way we normally would and be there for them when they need us.

What are you looking forward to doing most once lockdown is over?

Wedding planning! I’m getting married next year so I can’t wait for the virtual planning to end with the hope of face-to-face planning returning. Being able to celebrate with all our family and friends after this year will be fantastic!

Any final thoughts you’d like to add?

“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day” – Dalai Lama