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Kay Harriman, Senior Director HR, UK&I

When I started it was a very reactive, admin-based role where people wanted to focus on facts and figures – now it’s a bit more of a balance
Kay Harriman, Senior Director HR, UK&I
NAME

Kay Harriman,
Senior Director HR,
UK & Ireland

What would you say your guiding philosophy to HR is?
When I started it was a very reactive, admin-based role where people wanted to focus on facts and figures – now it’s a bit more of a balance about how you can use this data to allow you to make decisions and actions. All the way throughout that, I think the guiding philosophies have been around helping people to do their best. Whether that’s just in the job they do or around career progression – that is a fundamental part that I have held from day one until now.

If you look back at your time at Hilton to date, what would you say you are most proud of?
I’ve spent almost 29 years with Hilton and there are various key things. More recently it’s being a key player in the diversity and inclusion agenda, and getting to champion women in leadership. I’m particularly proud that we have done so much in engaging with the business to show that we really want gender balance. There are lots of people who have been championing this and I’m quite proud to have played a part in that. Another one is also around Great Places to Work. I’m proud of that because for me that is a measure of everything that we do around giving our team members a great boss and place to work and that’s important. We’ve sat in the top ten for the last few years and we’re currently ranked third, as well as the second-best place for women to work.

What’s your biggest challenge and what are you working on in HR?
Our focus is around staff retention and being a great employer, which is what has earnt us #3 Best Place to work in the UK and #2 Best Workplace for Women in the UK. We’ve got five generations in our workplace so everything we do needs to be relevant for different people because not everyone wants the same thing. They want the most basic things, and everybody wants to be treated with respect and dignity, but what you want out of work is changing and there is a changing pace around retention and that is key for us in HR.

What HR projects are you currently working on?
I’m just finalising our wellbeing strategy and that’s all encompassing, which will look at how people thrive at work. We have a programme around how we review an environment and where you can thrive; it looks at careers, wellbeing, financial wellness and mental health. This is something that we are working on to finalise now.


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