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My Journey to Chartered Membership – Danni Williams

Chartering is a no-brainer. It links me back to the place I come from and that I want to grow and contribute to.”

HRNZ Member Danni Williams discusses her experience with the new streamlined application process and her motivations for becoming a Chartered Member…

What was your reason for applying for Chartered Membership?
To be honest I had not thought of it until it came up in a conversation with Nick (HRNZ Chief Executive Nick McKissack). I hadn't considered it as I hadn't, like many of us busy HR practitioners, had time to think about my own journey in the HR profession. I was busy thinking about the journey of others. 

When Nick talked about it, I thought, heck, I could do that! So, like a classic consultant, I did it. 

Now that I reflect back on why I did it, I think it's a really important thing to do not only for myself and recognising my own career progress, but also as part of my contribution to the HR profession

I increasingly feel a need to become more involved in influencing the direction of HR as we arrive at a future that we have so long talked about. The future of work has simply been accelerated by our COVID experience - and it's not over.

It's time for us to step into a new space as HR professionals and offer what our business leaders desperately need to navigate this ongoing uncertainty. I think that becoming a chartered member is me publicly signing up for the challenge to help lead our profession forward in any way that I can. 


What was your experience of the process – ease/clarity?
I had the honour of trialling the new process for HRNZ and providing feedback. I really appreciated the opportunity to do this and I feel that my contribution in terms of feedback has been taken onboard and will help inform a great process for others that follow. 

The process itself is simple. But what I found most impactful was the opportunity to reflect on my career - learning and contribution - and to take a moment to think hard about the areas of my own HR experience that had served others well and the areas of my knowledge that I would need to explore further in order for my contribution to the profession and organisations to remain relevant into the future. 

What do you think the benefits of professional accreditation and Chartered Membership are?
The benefits to the individual are simple. You get to tell the world that you have been recognised as a well-rounded HR professional by your peers. The real benefits to the profession and your customers however depends on what you do and how you do it thereafter. I think that it is important to honour our peers who agree to charter us, with our ongoing contribution to the profession - people, practice and thought leadership, and to push the boundaries of our own knowledge and experience.

Who would you recommend consider getting chartered and why?
Consider chartering when your reach a point in your career when the focus of your energy shifts from the job at hand to something greater and bigger... Contributing to the HR profession itself whether that be through active involvement in HRNZ, or establishing and working as part of groups that raise the profile and capability of the profession.

While I think that it is important to have a strong foundation in HR practice, it is equally important to be connected into and actively engaged in developing the HR capabilities that help us to be relevant and valued as practitioners - whether this is experiencing HR from the other side as a customer, or exploring and upskilling in future (in reality these are needed now) HR capabilities.


What are some specific benefits of chartering for people working in professional services environments?
I've been a consultant for the past three years following an HR career predominantly in the public sector. I feel that I have grown significantly in my experience and ability to contribute to my profession through my current role. Much of what I learned - the foundations - came to me through my HR career.

A lot of what we actually do as HR practitioners is not in the position description and it's a great place to grow a diverse set of skills that come in handy regardless of what role you are in. As a consultant, I feel well placed to think about the HR profession and the opportunities in front of us through my work across organisations and through the international connections and thought leadership that my job offers me access to. 

About Danni Williams
Danni is an HR Professional who entered university set on studying science, but fell in love with Employment Relations, eventually leaving with an undergrad and postgrad in Human Resources and a lifelong passion for the intricacies of workplace relationships - the great, the functioning and the ones in need of help. 

Danni is a Director in Management Consulting at PwC, where she now spends her time dabbling in large scale change and transformation, exploring the fascinating world of the future of work, and every now and then she gets to dust off her ER skills. Danni is passionate about walking the talk as a people practitioner and invests her time, energy and knowledge into developing others and lifting the profile of the HR profession one challenging conversation at a time.  

Danni has recently relocated to the Manawatu to out to test the mettle of our newly adopted new ways of working, spending her time between Palmerston North and Wellington. Danni is also a committee member of the Manawatu HRNZ branch.

When she is not working and thinking about work and the possibilities (there are no impossibilities), Danni spends her time traveling around NZ with her Welsh partner, Pete, and mowing lawns - sections are bigger in Palmerston North!