Why were you interested in joining the NHS graduate management training scheme?
I joined the NHS Graduate Management Training scheme as I wanted to be able to balance a challenging and fast-track career, with giving something back to my community. Working in the NHS runs throughout my family, and is often the centre of much debate. First hand, I’ve seen great care and I’ve seen bad care. I wanted to be able to get involved with something so fundamental to our society, and make a difference.
What talent do you bring to the role and the wider NHS? What leadership qualities do you think a scheme like this instils and develops?
I am still in the early stages of my development so answering what talent I bring to the NHS is quite difficult for me – especially when I’m surrounded by such talented people! However, I think I bring a huge sense of curiosity and eagerness to learn. I like to understand why we do what we do. I also think I bring a sense of fairness and honesty in what I do – I like to take on a challenge and stretch myself, but I hold my hands up when I need help or have done something wrong.
I think the Graduate Management Training Scheme develops resilience in people, and encourages you to step out of your comfort zone – as this is often where you learn the most. Personally, I take joy being outside of my comfort zone – it makes me feel like I have achieved something.
What do you hope to achieve in terms of your development and career over the coming 2-3 years and beyond?
Over the next 2-3 years I want to be working alongside clinicians to transform the way things are traditionally done, to help make their jobs easier and to improve patient outcomes. I want to be in a role where I can confidently challenge operational leaders to make honest and fair decisions with regard to staff, and I want to integrate HR into the business. Ultimately, I want to change the perception of HR – I want it to be known as a centre of transformation which enables change and promotes integrity, not just a corporate ‘pen-pushing’ department looking issue a warning.
As someone who may be viewed as an emerging talent and possible future leader in the NHS, why do you think it’s important to have schemes like this one and attract, retain and develop talent in the NHS? Why is it needed? What would happen if we didn’t?
I think it’s important to have schemes like GMTS , and in-house talent development programmes, as they encourage organisations to shake things up and look at different ways of working. They harness creativity, curiosity and a fresh perspective. The NHS does lots of amazing things, but we don’t always get it right. We need talent to challenge complacent practices, and we need to be able to provide environments which encourage people to do so.
What does success look and feel like to you? How will you know when you’ve achieved it?
To me, success was seeing the first person being admitted into the community rehabilitation unit I recently helped set-up – I felt my work having a real impact on people’s lives. However, I don’t think success is something you can just achieve or not achieve. I think it’s something that you constantly need to strive for, especially in the public sector – no one decision will meet everyone’s needs. In that example, I felt success by seeing the unit up and running and the patients being cared for, but I also felt anxious as I knew there was more to do.
What has been the most impactful conversation you've had about your career to date?
I don’t think I can specific one impactful conversation. Fortunately, I can picture one impactful person, who I have had many conversations with. This would be my current director who has given me very honest and interesting insights into her HR career, and what HR should be about. She was able to put herself in my shoes and give me some practical advice or what is important to the profession, and what isn’t.
Lastly, what do you value most from an organisation you work for? What’s important to you? (this is about what’s important to you from a values, benefits and organisational perspective – what do you need or want from an employer to ensure they get the best from you and you feel like you’re valued and supported?)
Pay is important, but like most people who work in the NHS, this is not my driver. For me, I value having the opportunity to grow much more than my pay packet. This doesn’t mean a set PDR plan, but knowing that I am working for an organisation that wants to develop me, and one that offers an environment which supports me to stretch myself and learn from my mistakes, is important to me. Looking at an organisation’s values is also important to me. I don’t want to be working for an organisation where values are some buzz words advertised on a website – they need to be lived and experienced across every level of the business. These will be the things I will be looking at over the next coming months when I am looking to secure a new role off the GMTS.