HR in the hot seat: Catherine Triandafilidis of Back in Motion Health Group

by John Hilton11 Jul 2017
What is your current role and what brought you into it?

I work for Back In Motion Health Group as our Systems and People Colleague and lead all of our People and Culture initiatives across the country. Back In Motion were looking for a passionate and innovative people person who shared their views on the importance of people. I was looking for an employer who wanted to make radical change in their people space and trusted me to take them on an exciting journey - I haven’t looked back since I joined!

One of the things which attracted me to my role and keeps me motivated to work hard is my team. Amongst other things, we pride ourselves on leading when it’s right to do so and treating others the way they want to be treated, and in this environment we all thrive. I love working with dedicated people because things move quickly and I can see the real benefits of the work we do every day.  

I love what I do and who I do it with, and I am passionate about the health industry because of the people it attracts.

What are some of your current HR challenges?

Like many other people working in our space, particularly in the health industry, one of my biggest challenges is people engagement and retention. To build on this, another challenge is keeping my stakeholders motivated to continue to work hard and invest their time in these areas despite the challenges they face.

We are doing some great work on employer branding, employee attraction, people engagement and retention. I hope that by bringing my colleagues on this journey with me we will be able to make positive change in this space and set a higher benchmark for the health industry.

What is the favourite part of your job?

I love seeing people succeed!

Having impact and helping people leaders realise the benefits of good people management is what makes me tick. I enjoy supporting our group to become a place where people can prosper by creating an environment of growth and purpose.  

I also love attracting great people who can provide quality outcomes for our clients and the charities we support.  

What attracted you to a career in HR?

While lots of us “fall into” People and Culture, connecting the dots in my journey is particularly interesting…

I studied criminal justice because I wanted to help vulnerable people in our community. I started working in the field and quickly realised how trying it can be mentally. I gained a real respect for the people who work in services industries and wanted to learn how to make their working lives easier so they could continue help others.  

I decided this is where I wanted to focus my time and returned to study to learn more about people management. I enrolled in a Bachelor of Business (HR) in the hopes of becoming an influencer in the organisations I would work in so I could help initiate change.  

I am careful to align myself with organisations which are doing great things for their customers/clients. I always try to focus the work I do on supporting the growth of our people so they can continue to help others and I feel like I am living my purpose!

What’s one piece of HR related advice you would offer?

Be real!

If you are looking for a new place to work, stay true to yourself and try to make sure you find an environment where you can truly bring your whole self to work. If you find an organisation you are truly aligned with it will be easier for you to keep motivated when you wake up each day and push harder to get the best possible results.

If you are an employer, make sure you keep the points above in mind when you hire. Find people aligned to your cause and make sure you don’t overpromise and underdeliver in terms of your service offering. Invest in your people because ultimately, they represent you when you’re not around!

What hobbies and interests do you have outside of HR?

This is about to take a turn…

Ihave a real interest in youth justice and breaking the cycle which often results in young people becoming marginalised in our community.

I try to spend some of my time working with trauma affected young people. I don’t spend as much of my time as I would like in this space but I enjoy nurturing and protecting young people in out of home care who have experienced trauma, neglect and who face mental health issues. I try to assist, even in small ways with their reconnection with the community.

Please complete this sentence: If you weren’t working in HR, you would be…

A paramedic, police officer or youth carer – adrenaline and care!

Related stories:

HR in the hot seat: Bernadette Gates of Australian Military Bank

HR in the hot seat: Simone Shugg of Foxtel

HR in the hot seat: Marian Spencer of the Black Dog Institute
 

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