The HR Juggler

Posts Tagged ‘HR Blogs

Today my blog is two years old. 

Two years, 130 posts, 29,409 views and 933 comments, including my own.

It seems pretty amazing really, I still remember how terrifying it was to press ‘publish’ for the first time, the rediscovered joy of writing regularly and finding my own voice. It’s been a source of real personal development, a great way of connecting with others and sharing  views and ideas. My personal highlight so far has been curating the Advent series of guest posts last December, which I loved doing.

These days I’m more ambivalent about blogging – I still enjoy it, but don’t feel the need to force the regularity of writing. I’m sure at some point I will stop entirely, but not yet…definitely not yet!

And the most read posts? The all-time top 10 are below…

With A Little Help From My Friends More stats 2,072
LinkedIn: 5 Reasons Why I Won’t Connect More stats 934
Do Reporting Lines Matter? More stats 882
Back to School More stats 622
A Little Less Conversation? More stats 621
My First Year on Twitter: Lessons Learned And Questions Asked More stats 506
I’m Hiring…and Experimenting!                                                More stats 485
Why Are HR The Worst People Managers Of All? More stats 439
Day 12: Reflections of an HRD More stats 398
The Art of Conversation More stats 380

So, thank you for reading, for commenting, for sharing and for being a part of my first two years of blogging…I appreciate it hugely!

So, last month last year, I ran a series of guest posts on the theme of 2011 Highlights and Horrors, which formed an Advent Calendar of blogs. A New Year should undoubtedly be more about looking forward, rather than harking back to what has been…and yet there have been many powerful points of learning for me in the experience of facilitating this experiment, that will influence how I move forward in 2012.

These then are my learnings and my own inspirations from your fantastic contribution of blogs:

Experimentation can result in amazing and unforseen consequences. Approaching tasks differently is immensely powerful and is something I want to do a lot more of, not only in blogging, but also in professional and personal spheres. Making suggestions without fear of failure, trying new ideas without concern for what might go wrong and giving the benefit of the doubt to the best possible outcome can undoubtedly transform everyday thinking and decision processes. That the entire advent calendar series evolved from a single tweet in (very!) late November, asking if anyone would be willing to contribute a guest post, is testament to the power of Twitter and also the wonderful creative force that collaboration can bring.

Openess leads to opportunity. With only a handful of exceptions, I did not ask anyone directly to contribute a guest post; it was truly crowd-sourced and available to anyone who wished to participate. Whilst it felt daunting in the very early days of December to have only a day or two of posts in advance, it undoubtedly led to a richer and more diverse end result. Some of the people who contributed were new connections who I came to know as a result of the experiment; others, like my sister-in-law, I have known for many years.

Collaboration. Asking people for help and inviting them to contribute is a powerful action. Allowing and enabling them to be a part of and influence the end result, undoubtedly enhanced the overall achievement. Together, we become more than the sum of our parts and I’d definitely like to do more of this type of collaboration not only on the blog, but also at work and at home, where asking for help can seem more problematic and difficult…perhaps I am simply more set in my ways in those contexts…;)

Consistency of delivery. It was a great feeling as the month progressed that people started to share links to posts before I had tweeted them. It was very important to me that the posts were similar to an advent calendar, in that they were available to consume and enjoy from early morning onwards. And, now that I have found the scheduling button on my blog, I shall be using it more frequently…which can only be a good thing for ongoing quality control :).

The guest posts themselves were varied, diverse and I genuinely enjoyed reading and publishing every single one of them. I am particularly proud that over a quarter of the posts were written by individuals who had never blogged before and felt inspired to share their highs and lows of 2011. To me, that made the experiment extra special and worthwhile.

In terms of the measurables, my blog had its busiest month ever in December, with 3,962 views, more than double my previous monthly record. Below are the ten most read posts of the month, as of 30th December 2011 – impressive again how many new bloggers are in this list.

Title Views
Day 12: Reflections of an HRD More stats 290
Day 13: An Emotional Rollercoaster More stats 192
Day 15: Failure, Courage and Happy Endings More stats 168
Day 21: A Christmas Carol Concert More stats 165
Day 8: Merry Christmas…A Hindu Perspective More stats 140
Day 6: Sinead Carville’s Highlights and Horrors of 2011 More stats 123
Day 10: All Change Please More stats 122
Day 19: It’s Not About The Money, Money, Money… More stats 119
2011 Highlights and Horrors: Guest Post from Kate Griffiths-Lambeth More stats 118
Day 7: Hopes and Fears More stats 104
Day 14: Breakthrough More stats 104

Hosting so many wonderful guest posts has inspired me to keep writing…not necessarily more frequently (daily posting is hard work!) but to grow this blog in terms of high-quality, thought-provoking posts. At the end of 2010, I resolved to blog more and better…I suspect that 2012 may be the year of blogging slightly less and yet better still…continuous improvement is certainly my aim ;).

I have had a huge amount of positive feedback on the Advent blogs, which I have appreciated hugely. Thanks so much for your part in making it a success!

This weekend marks my first ‘blogday’, the anniversary of my first post, written as a direct result of the first ConnectingHR Unconference.  I’m amazed that it has already been a year and I can honestly say that although I embarked on blogging with little thought to where it would lead me, I have really enjoyed writing regularly and found it a real source of personal development and support.

Why Do I Blog?

  • I like articulating my thoughts and experiences and find it makes me reflect on them more deeply than I otherwise might have done
  • It’s a great way of engaging with like-minded people
  • I enjoy the creative process
  • Getting feedback and comments on posts helps me to explore my thoughts around a topic and often adds many dimensions that I have not even considered
  • It’s fun and enjoyable…and possibly a little addictive once you’ve started 😉

Some Facts and Figures

I originally started my blog on Posterous and moved to this WordPress platform at the end of November 2010. Since this time I have had 11,285 individual hits on this site, with the highest daily traffic peaking at 260 views and the busiest month of September 2011 bringing in 1,694 hits. I have written a total of 73 posts and have an amazing 570 comments, although that includes my own responses. All of this is obviously small-fry in comparison to many other blogs out there, but I’m really proud of the way this site has developed and hugely grateful to all of you who take the time to read and comment.

The most popular posts are not always the ones I would have expected, but for those interested in having a browse through some of the archives or just plain curious, the most-read ones are as follows –

Title   Views
Home page More stats 2,983
LinkedIn: 5 Reasons Why I Won’t Connect More stats 505
My First Year on Twitter: Lessons Learned And Questions Asked More stats 410
Four New HR Blogs to Brighten Your January! More stats 251
Breaking The Ice More stats 238
The Art of Conversation More stats 237
Why Are HR The Worst People Managers Of All? More stats 234
To TheHRD With Love and Thanks More stats 225
ConnectingHR: The Best Kept Secret in HR Networking More stats 223
Back to School More stats 217

So, all that remains is to say thank you. For reading, for commenting, for making suggestions, for challenging and most of all for encouraging…I appreciate it enormously.

Let’s see if I can make it to my second blogday 🙂


One of the things I enjoy most about being on Twitter is the number of thought-provoking, current, informative, funny and entertaining blogs I regularly read. Of course, there is no need to be on Twitter to access these; however the comments and sharing of links remind me to check for updates and points me towards the latest posts, as well as leading me to discover ‘new’ blogs. There are some blogs that I come back to again and again and always read, others that I dip in and out of depending on the topic.

The list of my favourites is by no means exhaustive and is only very loosely grouped for ease of reference. I have only included blogs that are regularly updated and have posted within the last month (although I love some of the more sporadic bloggers too!) and for the most part have excluded those that are promoting businesses. But these are some of the blogs that I really do love to read –

HR/Generalist Blogs

  • Neil Morrison’s Change-Effect: a thought-provoking, at times provocative and always articulate discussion of some of the big organisational HR issues around at the moment
  • Doug Shaw’s What Goes Around Refreshing, innovative, passionate and thought-provoking…sometimes even with music too 🙂
  • Emma (@onatrainagain) who has recently moved her excellent blog to My Blog, My Rules (check out her old blog here)
  • Kevin Ball’s People Matters A brilliant and talented writer about leadership, people and HR, I will buy his book when he finally writes one!
  • Karen Wise has a different kind of HR  experience to me, mostly working in the NHS, and her blog is both insightful and entertaining
  • Rick’s Flip Chart Fairy Tales is not just HR (sometimes not HR at all!), but also a mix of politics, current affairs and occasionally poetry. His incredibly well-researched articles are fantastic at simplifying and demystifing complicated issues

Learning & Development/Coaching

  • Sukh Pabial’s Thinking About Learning Insightful, intelligent and often highly informative on all things learning and development and occupational psychology…and a good deal more besides
  • Rob Jones Masters or Bust blogs about his masters degree, leadership and development and addresses some really thought-provoking issues
  • Christine Livingstone A Different Kind of Work Another hugely talented writer who addresses work/life balance and creates some fantastic blog posts to inspire, challenge and debate


  • Katie McNab’s RecruitGal Blog is a great read for her insight into the recruitment industry
  • Mervyn Dinnen T Recs blogs not only about recruitment but about social media in general, often with some very cool accompanying music videos
  • Gary Franklin has a huge amount of interesting things to say about recruitment, work, customer service and lots of other things besides


  • Jane Blackmore’s hilarious Northern Mummy with Southern Children just has me in stitches most of the time…except for when she makes me cry with some of her more touching posts.
  • Keith’s Reluctant House Dad blog narrates his role-swap with his wife, who is now the main bread-winner. Funny, relevant and entertaining.
  • Rob Harrison’s Thinking Fox deals with divorce, parenting, the critical role of Dads and many other topics in an excellent blog
  • SpeccyWoo’s Straightforwardly Me is random, entertaining and funny.  I particularly enjoy the insights into his domestic bliss 🙂
  • Mel Buckenham’s Random Lightbulb Moments is a great read and never fails to cheer me up and more often than not, make me laugh out loud.
There are also lots of non-UK HR blogs I enjoy reading…perhaps a post for another time 😉
I’d love to hear about your favourite blogs…the only rule is that you’re not allowed to nominate your own!

What does community mean to you? Where do you experience a sense of belonging?

I think I am perhaps unusual in that I still live in the same town that I grew up in and that all of my extended family (parents, both my brothers and their families and my parents-in-law) live within a 2 mile radius of my home. My children go to the same primary school that I went to as a child, and one of their teachers also taught my brother there 30 years ago. Two of my children’s three cousins also attend the same school and the connections become ever more intertwined: my daughter’s best friend is the sister of my niece’s very close friend; the mum of a child coming to tea with us tomorrow was taught by my mum in a local secondary school many years previously. I understand that to some people this may seem claustrophobic, but I love it and I love the true sense of community I get from continuing to be involved in the school and the local area.

I also love that I have a close supportive network of family and friends; my mum and mother-in-law help me out hugely with childcare and I have made many friends, some old and long-standing, others much newer, who live in and around the local area. I go to the same church I attended as a child and many of the older generation remember me as the 5 year old that my daughters now are. Visiting the library and the local leisure centre also, rather inexplicably, make me feel very connected to the local community.

We talk a lot about community and sometimes I think we are in danger of diluting the real sense of the word behind it. For me, community is powerful and strong, it is unconditional and accepting, it binds and centres you. It is lasting and real and plays a large part in defining who you are.

There is a much newer community that I also feel part of; tentatively, gradually strengthening its bonds and defining its relevance for those that are part of it…and that is ConnectingHR. It is early days and I would not yet put it anywhere near the level of the things above, and yet it is real and vibrant, it connects people who genuinely support and trust and help eachother….and it is only just beginning. All communities start somewhere and, if nurtured, will grow, develop and strengthen. I for one want to be a part of that.

What communities are you part of? I’d love to know what real community means to you.

So, today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent and traditionally the time when we give things up for forty days until Easter Sunday. In the past I have given up chocolate for Lent, sometimes I have chosen not to give anything up.

This year I am doing something different and have added a twist: I am taking something up instead!

The challenge I have set myself is to widen my reading of different HR blogs: every working day during Lent I will be seeking out, reading, commenting and retweeting a link to at least one blog that is relatively new to me, that I have not read or commented on before. There are so many fantastic HR blogs out there that I am certain I will have no shortage of material. I’m really excited about doing this and I’d love to hear any recommendations!

Are you doing anything for Lent – either giving something up, or like me, taking up a new challenge ? I’d love to hear all about it!

So, today is Blue Monday, January always feels like the longest month ever and Christmas seems a distant memory.  But have you noticed how fantastic this month has been so far for new blogging talent?  There are four new HR blogs that have really brightened my January and I am genuinely excited to read all the new posts and hear the fresh voices.  The new blogs I am avidly following at the moment are as follows –

1) Alison Ashford (

Started on New Year’s Day, Alison is delivering consistently fabulous, life-affirming posts that are really well written and thought-provoking.  Her blog has never failed to lift my spirits, warm my consciousness and bring a sense of calm perspective.  The blogging equivalent to a lovely warming mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day.

2) @onatrainagain (

I am truly loving this blog.  From a twitter conversation with theHRD, Emma was inspired to try blogging. Despite initial concerns about whether anyone would be interested on what she had to say, she has found her voice over the last week and has become a prolific blogger.  I love the fact that Emma does a ‘real-life’, gritty HR role, which she balances with being a Mum and that she writes on a whole range of subjects.  Really great and a must-read.

3) Ailsa Suttie (

Ailsa is an established HR Director, who is taking a massive leap into the unknown by deciding to leave her job and become the founder of a new, not for profit start-up. Her blog will be charting this story as it unfolds and I can’t wait to read all about it.

4) @HRHopeful (

Katie Davis is also a newcomer into the blogging world and has already written two great posts which I would urge you to check out.  An HR Advisor who loves working with people and finding solutions, her blog reflects real-life, day-to-day HR in a coaching and learning and development environment.

I love the energy behind these new blogs and will be following them with interest. It’s great to have more UK female HR bloggers….and since writing this I have seen another very first blog published by Beth Mayes ( so I’m going to check that one out too 🙂

Keep them coming!

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