Encouragement is one of the six Gravitate HR values which influences the way we work, and I chose to write about this value as I feel now more than ever it plays a crucial role in ensuring organisations are equipped to overcome any challenges and/or obstacles of the 21st century.

The last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a steady stream of curveballs to all industries and has reshaped how people work across the globe. In this uncertainty and the challenges that we all faced; it was very easy for us to feel discouraged. With hybrid working models becoming the new norm, where people’s homes became their new offices, it posed the question of how organisations could continue to keep their employees engaged in a virtual environment.

We all enjoy encouragement. Encouragement feels good regardless of what form it takes, whether that is an approving smile from a co-worker, a pat-on-the-back from a peer, a note of thanks from a client, a kudos on LinkedIn or just a Microsoft Teams message to say good work. We often underestimate the power of positive words and/or actions from our peers but embedding a culture of encouragement and appreciation in the workplace has a demonstrably positive impact across the board.

Encouragement is something that I have always been an advocate for. In my previous role encouragement was a tool that I consciously used to build rapport and confidence in my team. In my opinion, those little spouts of encouragement went a long way for my colleagues and the ripple effect it then had on our customers were tenfold. In my current role with Gravitate, encouragement ensures that I feel valued, and it gives me the reassurance that I need to consistently carry out my work effectively and to overcome any obstacles that lay in between.

Similarly, encouragement should not be limited to inside our organisation. I think it’s extremely important that we adopt a culture of encouragement within our organisation but one which extends to all stakeholder groups. As HR is responsible for all aspects of the employee lifecycle, it is inevitable that there will be times where difficult and/or challenging situations arise, and we need to ensure our clients are equipped to deal with these in the most appropriate manner. By providing advice and different options to think about, we are encouraging our clients to make the right decisions for their organisation and its people. I think our team truly understands the value of encouragement and it enables us to provide a tailored service to our clients.

Paula Green Associate CIPD, HR Assistant at Gravitate HR