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Mark Hendy

South Wales HR Forum

Chair & Founder

Read more about Mark Hendy

“I’ve experienced a shift in how I like to learn; to what I want to learn and not what others feel I need.”


We’re always curious to hear how our members and contributors tackle the challenges that the ever-changing world of HR throws at them. We’ve got a wealth of experience and knowledge across the site, and what better way to showcase the diversity of our community than to get them to walk us through an average day?

Want to tell us about your way of working? Email us at [email protected], or let us know in the comments below.

Mark Hendy is a senior HR professional with a strong understanding of emerging HR, based on a solid understanding of employment law. He is currently HR Manager at Doncasters Group Limited.

06:15 – My day starts fairly early at 6:15. I spend around 10 minutes checking Social Media, mainly Twitter, and BBC News before getting out of bed and getting ready for work.

I have a 45/60 minute commute each way and so I might also download a podcast, audiobook or album to listen to on the drive in. A podcast series I’m enjoying currently is the Good Practice podcasts which focuses on L&D practice.

Audiobooks I’ve just finished include ‘The Coaching Habit’ by Michael Bungay Stanier, and music-wise I’m all about Rise Against and Bon Iver at the moment.

07:45 – I arrive for work around 7.45am. I’ll take a quick glance at Twitter, maybe read a short blog or two and then settle down to a cup of tea (Welsh Brew – a very fine cup of tea!) and a bagel, before reviewing my day ahead.

I’ll open Todoist, which is a cloud-based app I use for keeping track of what I need to get done. I’ll then start my working day at 8.00am.

8.00 – 12.00 – There is no typical day for me in my role but I could be working on a policy, designing some learning content, advising or guiding my colleagues or working with my team on any particular task.

Right now I’m working on some key recruitment activities and implementing our new Vision, Mission, Values and Goals so it’s really varied and interesting.

12.00 – 13.00 – I usually stop for lunch anytime between midday and 1pm and I take around 20 minutes. If I’m on a health kick, then I’ll be eating a cold meat salad or low calorie meal, but if I’m not on a health kick then I’ll be eating all the wrong foods and way too much of it! I also like to check in to social media and see what’s going on.

13.00 – 16.30 – After lunch I’ll review Todoist and see what remains to be done that day. I’ll take stock of where I’m at and decide if any tasks need to be rescheduled and look at what can be delegated elsewhere. I try to schedule the more creative tasks in the afternoon as I find I’m more inspired for those types of activities at that time of day.

I work at a manufacturing site and I often like to walk through the ‘shop-floor’ in the afternoon, usually around once a week and talk to my colleagues and see what’s going on. Being accessible and visible is important to me.

16:30 – I finish work for the day. I’m disciplined at finishing work around this time except for infrequent occasions where I haven’t finished what needs to be done or I have a late meeting. I’m finding job applicants want to be interviewed after their current working day ends more these days which I’m happy to oblige with so this can keep me at work a little longer.

However, as a rule, I’m usually out the door at 4.30. Work/life balance is really important to me as I have a young family and a healthy mixture of personal and work interests.

17.30 – I get home and usually spend time with my wife and son, catching up on their day before eating a meal. There’s no typical structure to this but it can include persuading my son that food is important and that he needs to eat! It also might include playing something Batman-related or watching Mr Tumble or Topsy and Tim.

19.30 – 20:00 – After my son goes to bed I might ‘multi-task’ in front of the TV. This can include a combination of watching TV (I love Hinterland at the moment) or sport (usually football midweek, boxing on the weekends), whilst doing some work I might not have completed in the day time.

I also like to write blogs at this time of night although I’m not very good at completing them at the moment with several half-finished articles in my drafts folder, if inspired I will try and complete one or start a new draft on something else.

If it’s 8.00pm on a Thursday, I also curate #HRHour on Twitter, a one hour Twitter chat on a HR-related subject. If it’s 8.00pm on a Tuesday, I like to try and take part in #LDNights which is a one hour Twitter chat on an L&D/OD related topic.

I also carry out any duties I might need to take care of for the networking group that I run – the South Wales HR Forum. This might involve sending an email or updating the website. Nothing too time consuming but something I always reserve for the evening time.

22.30 – I head to bed around this time and usually mess around on my phone for a while or watch an episode of something I’ve seen a hundred times before, maybe an episode of the West Wing.

Now, tell us…

What would you say are your main passions or things you champion at work?

I’m passionate about learning, and encouraging lifelong learning. I try to influence my colleagues to understand that learning and development isn’t a function but something we are all doing, all the time, without realising it.

I am passionate about encouraging my colleagues to look for different perspectives and to learn from their colleagues as well as share their experiences and knowledge with their colleagues.

I try to support a culture of collaboration, with learning and development central to this.

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

The part of my job I enjoy the most is supporting my colleagues. I enjoy coaching my colleagues and mentoring junior staff in the organisation.

I feel HR have a responsibility (as do other functions) to take time to support people. I know it sounds simple, but I enjoy having discussions with people, hearing what they are struggling with or proud of and seeing what I can do to help.

What keeps you up at night?

Nothing really, I’m usually too exhausted to be kept awake.

One tip you’d pass on to your peers?

Stay authentic and become a social HR professional.

Assume you couldn’t do your current career, even if you love it. What would be your ideal job?

Screenwriter – I love good dialogue in TV shows/movies and to be able to do this full time, on my own terms, in relative quiet, would be amazing.

Who’s your hero?

Aaron Sorkin, a screenwriter who wrote the screenplay to lots of shows such as the West Wing, The Newsroom, the Social Network, Jobs etc.

He’s incredibly talented, his work is thought provoking and his work transcends screen to reality very easily. He’s also overcome adversity and continued to evolve his work.

You can have five people from history at your dinner party. Who would you invite?

I love questions like this. If it’s both alive and deceased then I’d go with;-

  • Aaron Sorkin (see above)
  • Tim Minchin (the comedian – a very funny but thought provoking person)
  • Levon Helm (drummer in the americana group The Band) – my musical idol
  • Victoria Wood (actress/comedienne) – just so hilarious and brilliant she would be a fantastic guest.
  • Muhammad Ali (boxer) – I’m a huge boxing fan and Ali along with the others would make for fascinating discussion.
Author Profile Picture
Mark Hendy

Chair & Founder

Read more from Mark Hendy

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