Noetic’s new COO on Balance in the Workplace
This week Noetic welcomes Denise Cardew-Hall as its Chief Operating Officer. Denise brings her experience across many disciplines including corporate services, strategy, financial management, and process improvement. Having worked in both the public and private sectors, Denise provides her thoughts on the modern workplace.
What do you see as some of the main challenges for workplaces today?
Modern workplaces are changing quickly. It’s not the change itself, but the pace of change that poses the challenge. Staff’s and clients’ expectations about balance in the workplace have moved on and organisations need to ensure that they are ready to respond to these. As the COO at Noetic, I’m looking forward to applying my skills and experience of many different workplaces to make sure we keep pace with the changes underway and are seen as best practice.
Can you outline what you mean by balance in the workplace?
Often when people talk about balance in the workplace, they focus on gender balance and just mean having more women on the team. But balance in the workplace affects all employees. It’s about enabling people at all levels and stages of their career to better manage their work commitments alongside their family, study, sporting or community activities.
What can organisations do to promote this balance?
I think organisations need to be aware of the different ways people might wish to work and have appropriate ‘systems’ and arrangements in place to attract and retain the best possible staff. One size does not ‘fit all’ and organisations need to be flexible. We know that inclusive and diverse workplaces are more productive, so having policies that support all employees to achieve balance between their personal and professional life is beneficial to the organisation as well as its staff. The best organisations have policies about flexible hours, part-time employment and working remotely, while leave policies recognise that parenting and carer obligations are not only the domain of women and that there are many reasons beyond maternity leave why staff may wish to take a career break or extended leave. These days staff expect to have many careers, so organisations that value personal growth and organisational renewal will recognise this through its workforce planning, mentoring and development policies.
How do you achieve balance between your professional role and your life outside work?
When I’m at work, I’m ‘at work’ and focus on spending my time doing my job as productively and efficiently and effectively as possible. I may catch up with my professional networks for coffee or lunch during the week keeping my weekends free for time with my family and dogs. I run three mornings per week all year round, which is a great start to the day and really wakes me up. I’m a regular cinema goer and I enjoy overseas travel. I think it is important to always be planning the next trip.