Learn how to manage disruptions in the workplace

9 Jan 2020

Lucy Adams, one of LEAP’s main speakers, is a fan favourite among HR audiences, and you will soon discover why. As the founder of Disruptive HR, a consulting agency that also offers workshops and mentoring programs in the field, her mission right now is to bring back the “human” in Human Resources. And in an industry ruled more and more by Big Data and Machine Learning, you will definitely fall in love with this empathic approach.


Her years of experience, as Group HR Director at Serco plc and Eversheds, and as HR Director of the BBC, have formed Lucy into the capable manager and speaker she is today. During her time at these companies, she delivered significant changes in complex situations and even handled high profile crises, reforming People Management along the way. But what about the future? Well, let’s see what Lucy has to say about it herself:


What do you think might disrupt the workplace in the years to come? 

This is a huge question and there are lots of answers, but I’ll focus on three:

  • The gig economy and the role that technology plays in facilitating it. Traditional workplaces will look and feel very different.

  • Artificial Intelligence and the way in which it will change and hopefully improve the employee experience. 

  • Working flexibly, remotely and virtually will change the nature of teams, leadership and the notion of the workplace.


Do you think that there is any room for playfulness in a corporate environment?

If you mean people experimenting, trying new things, enjoying the energy of that, then I think it’s vital to stimulate innovation and growth. Sadly however, I think sometimes we try and force playfulness onto people with ‘organised fun’ and that’s never a good idea!


What can a manager do when there is a considerable age gap amongst the team members? 

I think managers need to be careful of assuming that people are the same just because they are the same age group. The key thing is to understand their differences as humans, rather than their age range. So, what different personalities they have, whether they are an introvert or an extrovert, what are their key drivers and motivations, how do they like to be managed or communicated with, and so on. If the manager has this insight and understanding, he/she can try and provide a range of styles to accommodate their different needs.


How can a company differentiate itself from the competition on a hot market, like the Romanian one is, where there aren’t enough candidates? 

It’s all about focusing on an employee experience that is special and unique to you. Be clear on how you’re different and what your brand is. Then think through how you want your people to feel, rather than the processes you should implement. You need to stand out through creating that experience, through ‘moments of truth’ that are truly you. Of course there are multiple ways to get your company noticed, but I would suggest using your current employees and building an employee advocacy campaign. This will have more impact than a glossy campaign 


How does an attractive employer brand look like in 2020? What are the key elements that appeal to candidates, in your opinion?

Honesty and integrity. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Clarity of what you are about and having a strong sense of purpose. Plus fantastic feedback on social sites like Glassdoor. Your current employees are a vital part of your brand story.


In Romania, candidates complain that they don’t receive enough feedback from employers during the recruitment process. How can we determine HR experts and managers to start providing feedback in all stages of the candidate journey?

I think you have to question why they aren’t providing feedback in the first place. I think it’s because managers are not invested in the process enough and see it as being HR’s responsibility to hire someone for them. Companies we see that do this well have the manager much more engaged from the outset.




Curious to know more about what Lucy Adams has to say? Then join us on February 27th at LEAP for a day filled with relevant insights in HR and People Management. Get your tickets now! Buy LEAP tickets   



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