Seven Questions With Laura Jones

Laura JonesIn the first in a series of OrgDev Institute (ODi) interviews with leading Human Resource and OrgDev professionals, we asked Laura Jones seven questions.

Participant: Laura Jones
Role: Head of Shared Services, People & Culture
Organisation: UnitingCare Queensland
LinkedIn Profile:

Seven Questions With Laura Jones

Q1: ODi’s goal that drives everything we do is to ‘make the world a better place with happier, more productive people’. What are you most passionate about in your career and why?

Laura Jones – I am passionate about the overall wellbeing of a workplace and how everyone contributes to that.  Improving causes of disharmony, rather than just treating the symptoms, can have sustainable impact on helping people reach their full potential.

Q2: What do you believe will have the biggest impact on HR in your industry in the next two years and why?

Our Industry Changes:

Laura Jones – Being able to meet consumer expectations and influencing their decision making behaviours.  Significant reform in our industry means we have to fundamentally shift the way we do business and how we engage staff to deliver great customer experiences.

In order to enable our changes our supporting systems need to change.  We have a major IT improvement program which requires a lot of change management.  Of particular focus are systems that give us great customer data which is connected between all our services.

Longer term, we need to harness innovation to meet the challenges of the future.  We need to define what new ideas and best practice looks like and determine how we shape our workforce to meet those needs.

Impacts for HR:

Laura Jones – We need to define and set expectations of our leaders that align to the future needs of the organisation and then help our leaders to deliver on this.  Building leadership capability in such a large organisation is a challenge and requires creative approaches to reach everyone.

We also need to build Organisation Design skills in our leaders, so they are able to diagnose and improve the functioning of the organisation.

Our challenge is then to capture the hearts and minds of our employees by creating an environment where they are supported to reach their full potential.

Specifically for UCQ, data and analytics will be an enabler.  We have over 17,000 staff and 9,000 volunteers.  We have a high percentage of female, part time workers and 93% of our workforce is on Enterprise Agreements.  Having better insights internally about what staff really want helps us build a value proposition for them.  And looking externally to trends and innovations will help us determine the size and shape of our future workforce.

Q3: What product / service would you most like to see available to help HR/OrgDev professionals?

Laura Jones:

  • Data analytics systems and capable specialists who can translate this for our business needs.
  • Frontline leadership interventions – easy to implement and use solutions that are scalable. This would include communication skills improvements.
  • Organisation Design capability for senior leaders
  • Employee experience options for disparate people who only have mobile phone

Q4: Many of us have similar challenges, what major challenge do you have that you would like to hear someone else’s experience in a similar situation, and how it unfolded.

Laura Jones – I love to hear about any of these challenges!  Hearing examples of engagement uplift programs which have achieved success in similar size and scale to our organisation would be great.  Also any stories about how harness innovation and foster a culture of innovation.

Q5: What experience have you had recently that was a great learning for you (positive or difficult) that you would be prepared to share with peers?

Laura Jones – Never underestimate the energy you get from being out in the field and talking with employees who are customer facing. Get out there and engage those people, see they joy they get from the work that they do and hear the suggestions they have for improvement.

Q6: What’s the biggest challenge you’d like our audience to share their experiences of with you and why?

Laura Jones – Simple ways of exploding employee experience – sometimes we over complex this, so I’d love to hear what’s the simplest thing that has had the most impact.

Q7: What’s the best piece of wisdom you’d like to gift?

Laura Jones – Use the phrase “help me understand” every single day.

Have a Question For Laura?

If you have a question for Laura or would like to share your learning, please either contact us (quoting this post) or reach out to Laura via LinkedIn.

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