Realising My Potential Hub – Sutopa Sen

#Inclusive HR

 Realising My Potential Resource Hub – ‘Allowed me to discover knowledge and creativity within myself’ says Sutopa Sen, HR Business Partner, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

I quickly discovered that a ‘walk through’ this excellent resource hub takes one on a logical, step by step journey of exploration, reflection, assessment and self -discovery.

In particular, I loved the Exposure model which was so versatile and easy to use, I realised it could be used by anyone in any profession…so I even started sharing it with my non HR colleagues – as the principles were universal. We all know that exposure is often the greatest challenge in a fast paced environment where structures and ways of working are not always conducive to inclusivity and busy leaders often find it easier to work more closely or delegate only to those they know and trust – which can inadvertently leave others (who are equally capable) in the shadows. I knew from experience that when this starts to feel like a pattern, it can be deeply frustrating.

The Exposure model showed me how to turn that frustration into positive action resulting in increased job satisfaction on a personal level – and I could also see benefits in supporting a more inclusive culture overall. In my case, I already had a plan but the implementation was not going very well.  The tools in the hub reminded me that putting any plan into action required grit, tenacity and perseverance. I began to understand the roots of my frustration which helped me overcome disappointment and remain committed to meeting the challenge head on, despite minor setbacks. On the plus side, putting myself out of my comfort zone also allowed me to discover knowledge and creativity within myself which I didn’t know I had – so I knew I could not give up.

Furthermore, I soon discovered that the hub not only useful to me personally but was also a great way to network! By mentioning it to others, I observed that I was ‘ahead of the curve’ and could share something that it seemed people really wanted to hear about. The use of social media to spread the work meant that most senior people had already heard mention of the hub although maybe didn’t really know much about it. Having used the hub myself, I was able to speak confidently about what it can do on an individual level, as well as at an organisational level and more widely within the HR & OD sector across the NHS.

Within my own Trust, I was still in the process of spreading the word but I knew from talking to my colleagues, that there would be huge interest as the one thing that united everyone is the desire for ‘progression’ – despite the word meaning different things to different people.

A key aspect within the framework was the emphasis on ‘lived experience’ which really allowed the minority to have a voice by recognising that everyone had something to say, no matter who they were. In my past experience, when individuals felt they could speak up in the workplace and their voices were heard – it created a sense of belonging which addressed motivational issues, staff morale and retention – not to mention increased productivity. Enabling staff to be their best and give their best – also promoted health and well-being and addressed problems around presenteeism and absenteeism – both of which affect service delivery drastically.

I believe using this hub can definitely help people to progress within their career, thereby bringing down the levels of inequality within the industry and allowing those from a black, Asian minority ethnic background to be encouraged and celebrated – not only in their own groups – but also as a fully integrated part of the whole. So I urge everyone to take a look at this resource hub and see what it can do for you. Sometimes in life, it’s ok to be selfish and explore possibilities which may bring about unforeseen benefits beyond the self.

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