An open letter to our Network – HR Update


04 Sep 2020

An open letter to our Network – HR Update

From all of us in the HR practice at Penna, we would like to thank our clients and interim networks for all their support throughout this difficult and unexpected year. We’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on our journey so far. 

The government’s response to the recent pandemic has pushed businesses to rescope the workplace and this has been testing for us all.  Together we’ve had to rethink how we work, communicate and learn. In HR, we have been at the forefront of making this change happen. From our conversations with you, we know that employee welfare is at the heart of what you do. The decisions you make that advocate for employee welfare are filtering through HR – whether that’s gearing up staff for remote working, sustaining positive health and wellbeing (both physical and mental), or making the difficult decision to redeploy or furlough staff.

Priorities for HR: 

As we know, employee health and wellbeing are critical to the survival and success of any business. A priority for HR is to communicate with employees. We want to find out: how they’re doing and what do they need? The future of HR strategy and the future of work needs some fine-tuning but we’re making the right moves forward. The outbreak has shown us the importance of a friendly check in with our colleagues and supporting them through hard times.

HR teams are having to rethink how they best invest time and resource to achieve the ideal balance of an open-door policy and productivity to maximise engagement. Across all Authorities is the need to juggle daily BAU with the more pressing demands, all whilst supporting the senior leadership teams in a way that helps safeguard the long-term future of the organisation. 

Organisations are investing significant time in “re-imaging and re-thinking” many aspects of the future of work. To this end we are beginning to see demand for specialist interim resource for organisational development, change and transformation to support new operating models, service redesign, culture and behavioural changes and to lead and drive these initiatives forward from a people/employee centric perspective. HR interims will be key in providing high quality subject matter expertise to support organisations in safely navigating an ever-dynamic landscape and changing world.

Keeping in touch:

Lately we’re using video and phone calling to recruit, onboard and induct new employees; and all amazingly, while working completely remotely. If you find yourself becoming more familiar with platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom while you stay connected with colleagues, congratulations! You’ve upskilled during one of the biggest recessions. You may not know it but we’re already joining the computer revolution and for a lot of us, these changes mean we are revitalising our skillsets with technology by using these applications to transform team working. Here at Penna we have successfully shifted our recruitment processes online and have made numerous placements whilst recruiting in lockdown.

This crisis has also taught us to focus more on the skillset of our interim managers. It is the flexibility, professionalism and dedication of our interims who can adapt, change, learn and deliver on the job which is key to helping organisations survive any future crisis. We are continuously speaking with our network new and existing and we are very much looking forward to speaking and working with you all.


If you have any tips as a senior leader, reach out to your contacts at Penna! We want to hear your take on remote working. With every new conversation, from a phone or a screen, we’ve been able to leverage your lessons learned to implement even more improvements in the workplace. We’re making HR better with you. Now more than ever, thank you.

Fiyin Fayeye, Senior Consultant in HR