ADVISORY BOARD

Emily Commander, 

Head of Strategic Governance at University of Bath

Emily worked as a Clerk in the House of Commons for 10 years, and then spent some time in France before taking up her post as Head of Strategic Governance at the University of Bath.

 

Emily's experience of bullying in the workplace left her deeply concerned by the failure of any of the parties involved in her case to engage constructively with any of the available resolutions. Their defensiveness led instead to an ever-increasing cycle of escalation, which put those resolutions further and further out of reach.

 

As a result, Emily is keen both to enhance public understanding of workplace bullying, and to facilitate straightforward routes to solutions that go beyond blame and reparation and enable everyone to move forward constructively.

 

"I am attracted by the positive approach being taken by the Conduct Change project and would like to use my experience, influence and skills to help move it forward."

DAVID HOWELL

In July 1989 I joined the police service and began a career that would expose me to all manner of human behaviour, not only from within our communities and those people we policed, but also from within the police service itself. That behaviour ranged from truly inspirational to downright evil and it was that negative and dark side of people’s characters that left a defining and lasting impression on me, prior to retirement in 2019.

During those 30 years I was fortunate enough to have spent 18 years of those years serving on police air support working in the Midlands and latterly in London. This area of policing allowed me the opportunity to work with friends and colleagues whose sole intention was to make a positive difference.

It was however during those last three years of my career that I experienced working within a toxic culture and within an organisation that did not know how to deal with a style of leadership that was based on manipulation, coercion and bullying. I learnt so much from this negative and destructive culture and appreciated, more than ever, what great leadership was and also how important culture is in providing a psychologically safe environment for good people to flourish and develop, ultimately benefiting the communities that they desperately sought to protect and serve.

Although this period was undoubtedly a dark time for me personally, I was however fortunate to be supported by some inspiring people who had gone through, and experienced, similar situations. It was evident that the issue of workplace bullying, and the resultant cultures it produces, was more prevalent than I had initially envisaged.

Workplace bullying is, put quite simply, destructive. Organisations suffer from high rates of sickness, struggle to retain and attract good people and are creatively paralysed as people simply attempt to survive, managing their lives on a day-to-day basis. In the worst cases suicides can be directly attributed to this behaviour. The cost of this behaviour, be it consciously or unconsciously driven, is astronomical with failure being the resultant organisational consequence.

By supporting Conduct Change, in this truly worthwhile cause, I can now turn those negative experiences into a positive, helping others and heightening people’s awareness.

Jenny McCullough

Jenny is a former House of Commons Clerk who continued to be active in a campaign to improve working conditions at the House of Commons by speaking and writing about bullying and harassment.

 

Before moving into publishing as an Editor at Blackstaff Press, she worked as a medical librarian and in university administration.

Professor Charlotte Rayner

Professor Emeritus of Human Resource Management at University of Portsmouth, and international expert in workplace bullying prevention research, with a speciality in interventions at the organisational level.  

 

Charlotte is also one of the founders of the International Association on Workplace Bullying & Harassment.

Jessica Rowson,

Head of psychiatric injury & Director at Oakwood Solicitors

Jessica is a specialist lawyer in the niche legal field of stress at work cases with a particular interest in cases involving matters of workplace bullying. She hopes that by supporting her clients in taking legal action against their employers that companies will become better educated and informed on the importance of good mental health in the workplace and avoid the likelihood of future workplace disputes from arising.

 

Last year she obtained a TQUK Level 2 Certificate in awareness of Mental Health Problems and is also a qualified Mental Health First Aider. Jessica also recently contributed her expertise to a BBC documentary. This one-off special highlighted daily workplace interactions and asked a group of 18-30 year-olds whether the behaviours displayed could be deemed as bullying and sexual harassment at work.

Lisa Seagroatt,

Founder and Managing Director of HR Fit for Purpose. 

Lisa experienced a mental health breakdown in 2015 caused by bullying in the workplace.  As a direct consequence of this enforced change in her career, she then set up her own business and helps business leaders to create a healthy workplace culture by looking after their employees. 

 

Lisa is passionate about developing and helping business and employees reach their full potential in the workplace as well as challenging unhealthy HR workplace practices, exposing how poor leadership and management creates a culture of fear, sickness absence and a high turnover of people leading to poor profitability and productivity.

 

HR Fit for Purpose launched on World Mental Health Day in May 2017 and having previously received support from Enterprise Enfield’s Inspiring Women Programme, Lisa was ultimately selected to receive further support from their Female Founders Accelerator Programme funded by the JP Morgan Foundation.  She now acts as an Ambassador and HR Business Advisor for Enterprise Enfield, encouraging other women to reach their full potential in business whilst assisting them with creating a culture of high performance by recruiting the ‘right people into the right places’.

 

A Lecturer in the CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Diploma qualification in HR Management, Lisa is part of the LEAN East network of HR practitioners currently volunteering as Enterprise Advisers in local secondary schools with Year 10 students.  She has a qualification in Genealogical Studies as well as Business Management Studies and is qualified to ‘Train the Trainer’.  She has just completed her book, which is a workplace comedy based on poor workplace culture and her mental health experience.

Paddy Trimmer

As an ILM qualified Leadership and Development coach, Paddy draws upon coaching skills and over 30 years of leadership and management experience to guide his clients through the complexities and challenges of the working environment. His approach enables them to identify, appreciate and reinforce their strengths and confront and manage their weaknesses.

 

He facilitates each client’s development through active listening, supported by questioning to aid understanding of themselves, challenge to test that understanding and feedback to let them understand what he observes. This confidential process will facilitate the clients in planning the next steps of their journey.

 

  • ILM 7 Certificate in Leadership and Executive Coaching (2016)

  • Senior Leadership and Management roles in the Royal Navy and Public Sector

  • Coaching support to Charities and Public Sector Organisations

  • Board development coaching

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