Q&A with CGI's Karen Townsend
What does being a Top Employer mean to you?
We’re really proud of our continued recognition of CGI as a Top Employer. It’s confirmation of all of the great policies and practices we have for our members. Knowing that CGI has been measured and recognised amongst other Top Employers in the UK and Europe, for its working practices brings great personal satisfaction to all of us, and reaffirms that we are on the right track!
What makes CGI a Top Employer?
CGI has a constitution at the heart of which is a dream, “to create an environment in which we enjoy working together and, as owners, contribute to building a company we can be proud of”, which defines the essence of who we are and our culture. Our management foundation and our people policies and practices define principles that help to engage our professionals - they ensure that everyone is well managed, and has the opportunity to develop within CGI. Our leaders are measured on, and expected to live by our values and to create a partnership at all levels.
Which recent initiatives are the HR team most proud of?
The HR team are very proud of our current focus on diversity and inclusion. We believe that a diverse workforce is a better balanced workforce and can bring innovation, a new way of thinking and a real positive dynamic to the workplace.
In celebration of International Women’s Day we ran very successful networking breakfasts across eight of our major sites to give our members an opportunity to network and build new relationships, to hear from inspirational women in our own workplace, and share what learning and training opportunities are available. An example of this training is our Women’s Leadership Development Programme in South Wales, created to develop our female talent into leadership roles, with the aim of extending this to our Scottish and English teams.
We have also started our first LGBT network in the UK.
What’s next for HR in CGI?
The next year will bring a huge amount of opportunity to focus on what it really means to be part of CGI, how we can live our core values and the scope for development that exists within our company. So, from developing new leaders into their roles, to enhancing our new joiners welcome, to continuing to promote and support our student population, whilst bringing our wellness programme ‘Oxygen’ to the fore, we have a lot on the agenda!
What do you see in the future of HR?
If only we had a crystal ball! At CGI, we believe HR is a strategic partner to the business, and to do this, we need to continue to improve our knowledge of the business and our clients so we can provide better people solutions. I believe that data analytics and AI must play a fundamental role in the future of HR, delivering real time data, from anywhere and providing great analysis that enables you to make better decisions as a manager, and to free people up to add more value. Coupled with this, is a real shift towards ‘balance’ in the workplace, and seeing wellness initiatives coupled with leadership development is very exciting.
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