A Day in the life of...

Daniel Dickson-Hope


Group People Director, Dovehaven Care Homes

For Daniel Dickson-Hope, Group People Director at Dovehaven Care Homes, most mornings begin with coffee, breakfast, and a look at the diary and to-do list to make sure that he is ready for the day ahead. As the day unfolds, Daniel could be involved in recruitment discussions, taking a look at succession planning or checking in with his team to help support them. Find out more about Daniel’s typical working routine below...


Morning - 6am

Having already planned and prepped for today the night before, I wake knowing I need to feed my cats – Mitzi and Tonto, make my wife a cup of tea and then I can get to the gym for 6:30am. By 8am I’m full of energy and ready to launch into the day.



Coffee, breakfast, diary and to-do list on my desk. I always prioritise these four items in this order before opening up my emails or making any calls as knowing what needs to be dealt with during the day, and prioritising any free time for reactive or ad-hoc tasks as well as more coffee, is crucial.



[I have] various team meetings with peers, direct reports and team members from across various areas of the business. Lots of priority setting, ER case reviews and situational conversations, recruitment discussions and general business planning for the week will take place.

My days run so much smoother when I am prepared


Lunch - 12pm

Lunch is always pre-planned and prepared so I can take it outside with me so I can get some fresh air and a break away from my screen. I’m a big advocate of avoiding meetings over lunch time and I encourage my teams to do the same wherever possible, ensuring that they can take a break, go for a walk or just re-charge ready for the afternoon.


Lunch - 12:30pm

A quick review of the morning to ensure all tasks are actioned, then an email catch up session to ensure that I am up to date with anything that has come in during the morning.


I always like to make sure my teams know I am available for help and support...


Afternoon - 1pm

Time for some project work. Care is multifaceted and subject matter experts across the business always require input from the people function for a number of reasons. Today I am meeting with some of the regional team to discuss succession planning.

I am always a big believer of creating career pathways for all our team members and, with recruitment and retention being such an important issue in care, I am looking forward to implementing succession planning. Once our succession planning project has been updated, I then meet with finance to review recruitment spend and discuss budgets for payroll, agency usage and recruitment advertising.



I’ll take a few minutes to review any messages I receive on Microsoft Teams – these are typically from my peers who I act as business partner to across the business.



Team check in’s – I always like to make sure my teams know I am available for help and support so I check in with my teams to see how the day is going and if there is anything we need to discuss or that I can help with. I still love the hands-on aspect of our people function so if I have the chance to manage an ER case, deliver some training or screen some CV’s and call candidates for a vacancy we are trying to fill – I’m all for it! I don’t expect my team(s) to do anything that I couldn’t or wouldn’t be prepared to do myself.



Time for my recruitment manager and I to have a meeting with a recruitment agency who want to come on board as one of our preferred suppliers.



A quick review of the day as a whole to ensure all tasks are actioned, then have a final email catch up and return any phone calls I have missed to ensure that I am up to date for the day.

I am always a big believer of creating career pathways for all our team members...


Evening - 5pm

As I mentioned at the start of my day, I always plan and prep for the following day so from here on time is really important to me. I will spend anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes reviewing the days to do list and diary then ensuring I am ready for tomorrow – meeting prep, any notes to be made or read ahead of any conversations I may need to have and then by this time my wife arrives home from her day at work.



It’s time for us to make something to eat and tell each other about our days. Then we’ll prep bags, diaries, notes, and food for the following day and then settle down with the cats to catch up on some TV or a box set and make plans for the weekend, so we have something to look forward to at the end of the working week.

My days run so much smoother when I am prepared – it ensures that I am always ready for tomorrow.


End of the day

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