Liv: People and Culture

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Introducing Liv Nolan, People and Culture Partner

Tell me a bit about you, your career & what gets you up in the morning.

Olivia Nolan. My street name is Liv ;) Sunset lover, adventure seeker, human rights advocate. If there is anything I could share about myself it is the three core values I hold and strive to embody each and everyday I live: empathy, curiosity and wholeheartedness. This is also what gets me up every morning. These values help me define the path I wish to take as a daughter, sister, friend, professional, advocate and most importantly a woman. These values have also supported me in powering the career that makes the most sense for me.

An increased sense of empathy allows us to connect with all of humankind. No matter your story or identity we can all share in the raw human emotions of joy or pain (and much more!). My passion for empathy, and it’s ability to help us connect and heal has seen me work in organisations that are driven by social impact. Curiosity reminds me to ask questions, try things, fail things, seek to understand beliefs, opinions, behaviours. Valuing curiosity ensures that the career choices I make always involve problem solving. Wholeheartedness to me is about “engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness” (Brene Brown). I believe that to show up in the best possible way for ourselves and those we love, we have to come from a place of wholeheartedness. This is why I am so passionate about working as a People and Culture Business Partner. I believe the most successful leaders live and work with wholeheartedness, and I try and inspire and influence this each and everyday through meaningful conversation.

People & Culture sounds interesting! Give us a rundown of what your day looks like.

Let me share what People and Culture (HR) means to me, as I often think there are misconceptions about my profession, especially given the amazing organisations I have been able to work with. People and Culture is all about building an environment that fosters high performance and therefore amazing customer/community outcomes. This environment should consider things such as meaningful work, contribution, personal and professional development, wellbeing and belonging. For me a usual day is meeting with leaders across the business and having really meaningful conversations about their teams and understanding how we can solve people related challenges in a really positive person-centred way. Sometimes it is also having tough conversations and navigating complex interpersonal circumstances. The best thing about these circumstances is there is absolutely always a solution that supports both the employee and the business. I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise.

How do you help support teams to manage their personal and professional wellbeing amidst this pandemic?

Wellbeing is such an important topic for us to be talking about during this time. Everyone is having a deeply personal experience during this pandemic, and everyone has a different story. Maybe your team member’s partner has lost their job and is now responsible for providing for the family, or working from home is really isolating for someone who has pre-existing mental health illness. Some ways you can ensure you are supporting your people are:

  • Creating surveys to collect feedback on how people are feeling about their work, the organisations position during this time, their wellbeing & more! This helps you keep your finger on the pulse (although this tool is not effective is not complemented with the below).

  • Fold in at least 2 questions relating to energy and wellbeing into your 1 on 1 conversations with your team members

  • Hold team retrospectives or health checks in order to understand whether the way you are all working together is still serving you and the team & adapt and iterate as needed

  • Consider what benefits you can offer to support your people’s physical wellbeing as a this supports a healthy mind (e.g yoga, gym membership, online exercise activities)

  • Look to build organisational capability in resilience, self-care and self-compassion

There are so many amazing organisations out there that have great wellbeing resources so reach out to these free services to borrow information, tools and advice.

Do’s and don’ts in a resume?

The organisational cultures and environment’s I have worked in are very progressive and therefore what I would love to see in a job application and interview could vary to other People and Culture professionals. However, I do have a bias for the way we operate and am passionate about holistic, authentic approaches.

  • Clear and simple is best. Use language that is universal and ensure your spelling and formatting is on point.

  • Share information about the positions you have held that align with the role you applying for, rather than a laundry list of every position you have ever held

  • Keep it short. More is less. People who are reviewing applications often do this very swiftly so you need to reflect on your differentiators and use it to grab their attention.

  • Share a bit about your personality through the design, adding your strengths, passions, values. This will give people a snapshot of who you are and what matters to you.

What are your top 3 tips for interviews?

  • Be open minded, and share truthfully. If you can enter an interview open minded it is easier to avoid the negative labels/judgement you attach to certain questions, your responses and the body language of your interviewer. It is also important to share truthfully and authentically as the interview is an equal opportunity for you to know whether the job is right for you, as it is from the employer to know you are right for them

  • Share your flare. Dress in a way that expresses who you are, not a mask you feel you need to hide behind

  • Know your why? Be clear on why you wish to apply for the role. What are your motivations, how does it align with your values, experiences, skills and how will it align with the career you are wanting to build?

  • Ask questions. Don’t be shy to ask questions. Ask what the culture is like, what style of leadership your direct manager likes to role model, how the organisation measures success? Asking questions shows the interviewer what matters to you, and also that you are highly engaged in this process.

  • Follow-up. Reach out to the interviewer after your interview and thank them for there time. This is an opportunity for you to add in some of your personal reflections from the interview and why you are looking forward to hearing back from them.

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