It has taken me a few days to sit down to write this.

Not because I have been busy, but because what I am about to share requires patience and dedication.

On Tuesday March 7th, Real Ideas hosted the last of the funded working lunches to support the Employ theme of the Plymouth Charter. Over the last year, they have seen HR professionals, business leaders, and others who are committed to supporting the workforce of the city, come together to listen, learn and share their experiences of an evolving, and oft-times challenging employment marketplace.

Subjects have ranged from supporting employees with caring responsibilities, to making a more inclusive workplace, as well as conversations with invited guests who spoke of their experiences in the people business.

We started this conversation under the heading, “Keeping the Network Alive”. Discretely subtitled, “what happens next”, is a nod to the times when funded work runs out of steam when the programme ends. As attendance was reasonable, it could be surmised that there was hope. What transpired over the nearly two hours of chat and chew, did plenty to reinforce that hope.

As I read through the scribble of notes – my feeble attempt to record the event – certain words pepper the page. Connecting, Challenging, Safety, Responsibility, Inclusivity, Communication, Culture. Frankly, the sort of language one might just as likely find in a government White Paper. Words are easy. Words can be cheap. What was the real message?

It occurs it was not about the words at all, but the action. The action of coming together to listen, share, and challenge. The action of taking things back into our respective businesses and applying if not the policy, then at least the principle. There was a will. The will to keep the conversation alive. To keep the network alive.

It is hard to convey the passion of the group. It was not a flamboyant, arm waving, voices raised experience. This was a professional space for professional people. Professional people determined to address the challenges they see in their daily lives when working with the people who work with and for them.

And so what does happen now?

Real Ideas are facilitators in this space, but we are also advocates of the work. To us, it is more than just the delivery of a contract. It is our connectedness with industry in Plymouth. Here as much to listen and learn as to host. Therefore, a new session has been scheduled for April 11th and the 2nd Tuesday of each month thereafter until the end of the year. To book your place, click here.

It is now up to you. It has been built. If you want to benefit from being part of a network that advocates for a better way of doing things, that challenges the inertia of accepted norms, that wants to see Plymouth set a new standard for employee experiences, then come. Get involved. Share the news. Invite someone. Keep the network alive.