This month we meet up with Lorraine Kelly from Kings College London. We find out a little more about how Lorraine has developed career pathways at Kings College London, who inspired her to get started in HR and what tips she’d give to help adjust to the rapid changes in the workforce.

Who or what inspired you to get into HR?

I had a wonderful manager that I worked for in the careers service, she had really recognised and developed me and then moved across to HR to lead on the Diversity and Inclusion agenda.

I was really inspired by her as like me she was first in her family to get degree level qualifications. She was always approachable and always had time for me.

Number of years working in HR?

16 years of working in HR I spent 10 years working in Diversity and inclusion and then transferred to Organisational Development 6 years ago.

What is the achievement you are most proud of?

Gaining my Fellowship of the CIPD last year – this symbolised over 15years of hard work from when I  started my level 5 qualification while working, studying in the evenings and raising my 2 sons, who are my most proudest achievement.

What’s the most innovative thing you’ve done at KCL?

Created and branded the staff experience hub linking all the support across Kings – this sounds easy but there was so much going on and it was totally un-coordinated. This involved collaboration, building trust and working in partnership across Kings.

The impact of this work was a stronger support strategy for staff development, wellbeing, engagement and empowering our staff to take advantage of all the support that is in offer.

How have you developed Career Pathways at KCL?

We worked really closely with Jo and the LTT team to build a philosophy, we then held workshops with HR teams to identify roles and patterns of careers. This was really fun and it was great to get the HR team together to work on this.

The output was a set of coaching questions linked to careers, maps of interconnected careers and STAR models for each area.

We have clear links to all the support available via Organisational Development and Links throughout to Our Principles in Action. We are delighted with what we have achieved.

How do you measure the success of Career Pathways?

We are still rolling our career pathways across Kings and working with teams through our People Partners to engage and involve, the feedback which we have had to date has been really positive.

What are the most significant changes to have happened within HR in the past year?

We have had huge changes in HR as we are transforming our HR system and digital services, we have seen changes to all our teams including enhanced service offerings from Organisational Development and Diversity and Inclusion.

We have developed our staff wellbeing support and included a new leadership passport programme.

The workforce is changing at such a rapid pace. What is your top tip to leaders in business and HR for adapting well to what the workforce will look like in 12 months?

Be kind, don’t be reactive take the time to build team moral and develop your people.

In times of change we need to work together even more to understand challenge and build on opportunities.

What’s your worst faux pas on the job?

A few years ago (maybe 10) I once wrote in an email to a senior manager sorry for my incontinence instead of inconvenience… mortified but funny 😊

Average number of hours per week?

No more than 40, I have a great work life balance, which allows me to be my best self at work and home.


Lorraine is kindly hosting our next Let’s Talk Talent Roundtable: HR Round Table: Are One Company Careers Dead?

The Kings College London Director of OD & Let’s Talk Talent would love to debate this topical issue with HRD’s and Talent Directors who are willing to share their tips, advise and journey so others can learn in order to improve productivity and make businesses irresistible for people.


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