What do you use this community for?

Steve Bridger

| 6530 Posts

Community Manager

25 Jul, 2013 16:26

Regulars here will know that I ask such questions from time to time over the (nearly 10) years, and many of you have shared your experience before. But I know there are new people joining us here all the time. 

I'd like to get a new steer from you guys, about what you mostly use this online community for, what you find most useful, and valuable. And what is missing... what would improve it (apart from an 'edit' window!). We know there is much to improve.

A bullet point, or three below would be very helpful. And if you read something from another member you agree with, please say so; "seconded" (that sort of thing).

Even if you value what you read when you visit the forums, but choose not to post yourself (which is perfectly OK with us), it would be good to hear that - yes, I'm inviting you to post this once.

Thank you.

Community Manager

  • Gemma

    | 660 Posts

    Chartered Member

    25 Jul, 2013 16:32

    Hi Steve,

    I use this forum for a few reasons:

    • to get a second opinion when I'm not sure what course of action to take

    • to gather ideas and suggestions from others on topics I know little about

    • as a sounding board/source of sympathy when I am feeling isolated in my job role

    • to read up on topics that are interesting my peers and keep up to date

    In term of future improvements:

    • the search function is still a little cranky - it would be great if it was easy to sort by date

    • maybe some sort of  highlighted "debate" topic once in a while would be interesting

    In general though, I find it very useful and it's mostly what I pay my membership fees for.

    Kind regards,


  • Julia

    | 116 Posts

    Chartered Member

    25 Jul, 2013 16:39

    Wholeheartedly second Gemma - couldn't have put it better myself!



  • Personally I use the forums to...

    * Ask for guidance from more experienced colleagues (I'm in a stand alone role)

    * Research topics using previous threads

    * As a mechanism of getting a broader view of what the HR world is really like outside of my own little bubble! Every company is different and it's good to learn about other views and ways of doing things.

    I agree with Gemma, a sort by date function would be great for the search tool.

  • Megan Peppin

    | 980 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    25 Jul, 2013 17:13

    I use it:


    To see what people are talking about and to challenge and support

    Offer advice/support/input where I feel I have relevant experience

    As a place to ask trusted colleagues for advice from time to time

    To connect with other people who are both curious and helpful


    The search facility is a little cumbersome.  I use a short link to see what people are talking about today, as opposed to a subject related link.

    Perhaps we could be more proactive in terms of mentoring students, happy to  kick around ideas of how this could work.


    Thanks for asking.

  • Elizabeth

    | 1338 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    25 Jul, 2013 17:36

    I have moved from very large organisations where I could bounce ideas off peers in other divisions/group companies to being the most senior person in a small organisation, so this is my surrogate peer group.

    I use it more to hone my skills than obtain advice - I scan the new threads, think what I would do and see if that's what other people advise.

  • Susan May

    | 45 Posts

    Chartered Member

    26 Jul, 2013 08:07


    I would agree with all that Gemma, Claire, Megan and Elizabeth have said. Also to get my daily laugh with the reality anecdotes and comments from David (Boyd). 

  • Steve Bridger

    | 6530 Posts

    Community Manager

    26 Jul, 2013 09:47

    This is great.

    Gemma - thank for starting us off with such a perfectly scripted list.

    'Search' is most certainly on the 'things we could do better' list.  The 'Advanced search' works for me most of the time. Fiddly... but functional. Just ;)



  • Liz

    | 1256 Posts


    26 Jul, 2013 09:57

    I second everything that has been said above by my fellow CIPD colleagues.

    A proposal for improvement - would it be possible to allow the threads to show the first sentence or two if you hover over the thread title with your mouse cursor? I am a member of other forums with this as a facility and allows me to quickly grasp what the thread might be about if the thread title is a bit sparse or generic. I understand that the forum software here might not allow for that right now.


  • Like others I use the questions posed by others and the responses given as a way to confirm or challenge what I would do in those circumstances.  There are often points raised that I had not thought about and reading the responses to others questions has helped me with my own work problems. 

    I have also posted my own questions and have been extremely grateful for the responses that I have received which have enhanced my knowledge and allowed me to move forward with confidence in the right course of action.

    I am an occassional responder to questions raised on the communities and try to respond when I feel confident that I can offer something useful.

    Lastly I really enjoy reading the healthy debates.  The pet bereavement thread was a great example where I read the original question and thought I had a very clear point of view of how I would respond in that situation, but after reading others points of view it made me re-evaluate my view point.

  • I work in a niche area of HR and generally read threads that relate more to other areas, to keep my knowledge broad.  Employee relations in particular is of interest to me.  I like to see a range of responses on a topic to remaind me that all organisations are different, and that for every individual, there is an individual approach.  Plus,  if I see certain contributors on the thread I know I will learn something and quite probably chuckle, too!

    "Seconded" to those who seek improvements to the search engine.  Generally I just go through the latest threads but if I want to research a topic, it's harder to find exactly what I'm looking for.

    Less often, I post to ask for advice or reassurance about a particular course of action and I know I'm feeble at giving an update on how things went (despite how much I appreciate closure from others!). 

  • Harvey Bennett

    | 1563 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    26 Jul, 2013 14:30

    All the reasons why I use the Comunities pages have been covered by earlier posters.

    Regarding technical improvements, it would be good to have a button which takes you to the last posting that you read, for a particular thread. We do get long threads.....especially the Christmas caption completion, amongst others! 

  • Peter

    | 108 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    26 Jul, 2013 15:10

    Agree with the others - Elizabeth striking a particularly familiar note.

    I am an occassional responder and tend to look when I have a free lunchtime.  I start with the list of most recent topics and look for those with

    • an interesting topic I know a lot or very little about;

    • usually one with more than 4 or 5 replies

    If I feel I can add some value then I may post otherwise I just read for new ideas or perspectives, reflection and amusement.

    The moderator's ability and willingness to provide links between threads is important.

    Biggest disappointment is that it appears not to be a source of opinion or consultation on strategic decision making within CIPD itself - an opportunity missed I think.

    All the best



  • Hi there

    I use this post mainly to learn!! and keep up to date

    Apart from that I agree with everything said so far and yes search function!!

    Thank you to all who help me continously improve on this forum


  • Laura

    | 296 Posts

    Chartered Member

    26 Jul, 2013 16:28

    I'm in a stand alone role in a small company where most HR issues are relatively straightforward but I will pose questions from time to time if something arises that I'm not familiar with or to get reassurance about a proposed course of action.

    As Elizabeth said, I also probably use it more as a tool for keeping my knowledge up to date by reading the posts and think about what I might do in a certain situation and when appropriate respond to a question.


  • Gemma

    | 660 Posts

    Chartered Member

    26 Jul, 2013 16:36

    You're welcome Steve :)  I am a traditional "Monitor Evaluator" so I love an opportunity to critique.

    One of the things I forgot to mention in my earlier post (which Laura reminded me of) is that when I was in a stand-alone role I found this forum even more useful and at times it really helped knowing that there were a community of people who I could ask for impartial and supportive advice.

    Another point to improve is the "enable/disable" email button at the top - somehow I always manage to select the wrong option...  However, it is really useful.  I use the JISCmail lists for posting other queries and they don't have an "opt-out" function which can mean Iend up with lots and lots of emails about topics you're not really interested in clogging up my inbox.


    PS Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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