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Kate Wallwork APHRNZ

What led you to a career in HR/ the position that you are in currently?  

After completing my Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in Employment Relations & Organisations studies, I ventured into the recruitment industry. However, when I relocated to London in 2013, I discovered there was more to an employee's career trajectory than just recruitment. This led me to join Morgan Stanley's graduate HR team, where I developed a passion for the field. Over the past 15 years, I have held several fantastic positions in HR across the UK and NZ. Fortunately, I joined a company that prioritizes its employees' growth, and as a result, I progressed to the role of P&D Manager at OMD, where I have remained for the last 7 years. 


What do you love about working in HR?  

The thing I love most about working in HR is the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of our employees. HR isn’t about hiring and firing; it's about ensuring that employees have the resources they need to succeed and that they feel valued and supported in their roles. One of the things I find most rewarding is helping employees to develop their skills and advance their careers within the company. Seeing someone go from a new hire to a seasoned professional, with the help of the resources and support provided, is incredibly fulfilling. I also appreciate the strategic role that HR plays in the overall success of an organisation. By understanding the needs and goals of both the company and its employees, I can help to create a culture of collaboration and innovation that drives the business forward. Finally, I love the diversity every day brings new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow, whether it's staying up-to-date on the latest legal and compliance issues or exploring new approaches to employee engagement and development. 


What is an achievement so far in your career that you are proud of?  

One achievement that I'm particularly proud of in my career is the support that I was able to provide to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic created unprecedented challenges for businesses, and I was at the forefront of supporting employees and helping the agency to navigate these challenges. I played a key role in ensuring that employees were able to work safely and effectively from home, providing guidance and resources to managers on how to manage remote teams, and implementing new policies and procedures to keep employees informed and engaged. One of the biggest challenges during this time was managing employee morale and mental health. The pandemic had a significant impact on employee wellbeing, and it was important for myself and the SLT to provide support and resources to help employees cope with the stresses of the pandemic. I was proud to lead initiatives such as virtual wellness programs, online training opportunities, and regular communication and check-ins with employees to help them feel supported and connected. 


What are your thoughts on the Emerging Professional Member process?  

The process was really easy, and I encourage those considering it to go ahead and give it a try. 


Do you plan to now work towards becoming a Chartered Member?  

100%! I am excited about progressing my career with HRNZ. 


 What are your next steps in terms of your career?  

Having spent almost 7 years with my present organisation, I have had the opportunity to thrive and evolve in a nurturing atmosphere. I am enthusiastic about striving towards the position of P&D Director in the future and contributing towards making a positive impact in the broader HR community.