Bev Shears, HR director, South West Trains
I love articles that are controversial, thought-provoking, witty and
irreverent – usually written by the best in our profession, who are the best
because they are original thinkers, high achievers, and retain personality and
humour while championing their business and their people. I avoid the ‘It’s not
fair that HR isn’t on the board’ people and those of their ilk.
I am an avid reader with very catholic tastes in both fiction and
non-fiction. Anything from chick-lit to clinical psychology. I have been
reading a lot about the employer brand and leadership. I Don’t Know How She Does It, by Allison
Pearson, had me crying with laughter, and as a working mother of two, I wryly
acknowledged the book’s truths and insights – the ‘Muffia’ and ‘Mother Superiour’
were particularly well observed.
My favourite programme is The Sopranos; anything you need to know about
families and organisational culture is all there. Immediate feedback on poor
performance and reward and recognition for success is clearly the ‘waste
management’ industry’s philosophy.
I listen when I’m driving, but I switch to CDs if it gets too inane. I like
radio news, which tends not to trivialise in the way that television does.
My favourite internet sites are Tesco Direct and Opodo – sorts out the
groceries and the travel. Ask Jeeves is my favourite search engine at home, and
South West Trains operates Open Learning Centres and at-home learning through
Learn Direct, so our staff and their families can learn through the company. I think the net is great but I tend to use it
for specific things, while my family surfs for hours.