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Sweet Caroline (Ella, Chloe & Sarina too…)

Or as Franki Valli may put it … ” Oh what a night!”.

I certainly cannot pretend to be a lifelong football fan ( I am one of those ones who watches any big game from behind my fingers for fear that I might accidentally ‘jinx’ them!), however I too was swept up in a swell of pride for our women’s football team last night and am envious of those friends of mine who watched the game live from Wembley in what has become such a historic event. What a well deserved victory. 

Hearing the players interviewed ( and I use the term loosely as such was the excitement that one ran off with the microphone, another was hijacked by the goalkeeper seeking a ‘backie’ and then in what is normally a reasonably-happy-but-sedate affair the whole team interrupted the managers’ press interview to do a spontaneous rendition of ‘it’s coming home’) after their win was like a lesson in the ‘keeping it real’ category: no ‘Oscar’ speeches, no technical breakdown, no explanation of the strategy to us awestruck viewers. Just unbridled joy and delirious excitement from every single person. #nofilter

There is no doubt of the hard work and resources that has gone into this win and every single one of the team has a shining future. But none surely more so than their manager, Sarina Wiegman* who was the mastermind behind their strategy. Whilst football (or any?) managers are often viewed as the grey suited folks behind the sidelines, the whisperer of decisions which can make or break someone’s career, the ones not out there in the field getting ‘stuck in the action’. But Sarina has given a masterclass in what great managers are capable of.

Every move that she made with the team appeared as well calculated as any chess game: no panic, fear of change (the two substitutes she brought on were both the goal scorers), just well deployed use of all the skills her team had in their arsenal that created such magic. This seemingly humble individual has brought with her methods and interactions, such strong loyalty, kinship and motivation that inspired the team to glory.

And let’s not forget the fun they had! Even before the final whistle had blown the team were whipping up the crowd to shout louder for them and show their appreciation and backing against such a strong side. Whilst not in any way sure of victory at that point, once again it showed recognition of using everything at their disposal to achieve their goal. And in doing so, inspired millions of girls at home watching what can be achieved. #lightthespark

With post match parties looked set to continue into the night as the impact of the win was absorbed, who can blame them if there’s a hangover or two in sight tomorrow.

Well done England! (And no pressure chaps as we head to the World Cup later this year… )

Whilst your ‘field’ of expertise and goals may be markedly different to that of a football team, if you want help strengthening your own management skills & finding the MAGIC in your team, drop us a line via hello@thehrhub.co.uk, give us a call on 0203 6277048 or pop in a diary time here.

** Definitely one for another day, but if you want an instant lesson in how people view women’s vs men’s football, simply type in ‘manager of the England football team’ and count how many times Gareth Southgate’s name appears vs Sarina Wiegmans. It’s like an instant representation of diversity in football

Bootcamp Special: 5 Ways To Get Your Managers Into Shape 🏋

Bootcamp Special: 5 Ways To Get Your Managers Into Shape 🏋

If the phrase ‘Management Training’ conjures up images of a suited three day offsite to a faceless training centre on the Surrey borders, then you likely came into the workplace at the same time as me…. . Management Training as it was when I entered corporate life, was very regimented, solely classroom based and very predictable. There were of course some real nuggets of learning to be found in many, but being stuck in a room for several days discussing areas that perhaps had little relevance to my own role in order to get to those, meant that the most exciting thing I often found to come out of it was the acquisition of a shiny new binder, most often condemned to a shelf once you arrived home and never viewed again ( case in point, I found 2 such folders from the early 2000’s when I moved house recently – I still hesitated to throw them out despite not having opened them for many years such is the ‘power of the binder’!).

As time went on and organisations evolved, this kind of training lost the appeal as a default programme all had to attend prior to promotion, with even Google questioning whether these kinds of roles and skills were necessary in the modern workplace and should they instead be consigned to the cupboard alongside the fax machines?!

Happily Google had the resources and data to investigate thoroughly in this area with their workforce to find that the answer to this question is a resounding  ‘yes’, with the caveat of course that the right skills are being used (and at a sufficient level) by managers to support and motivate their team members. It turns out that great managers do indeed make a difference: to not just the welfare of their teams, but also the bottom line. 

Their application of these skills can often make or break another team member’s experience in your business, yet individuals aren’t born with them and most of the team don’t arrive through your door fully formed either. They are developed over time.  The challenge therefore comes as to how to support the development of them, make sure it is in line with your culture and what kind of investment is needed and can be found to do so.

Having been responsible for many an HR budget in my time, I know all too easily how the ‘training and development’ line can be a place to pad out figures, plunder for other priorities if the mood takes or simply just erase all together under times of pressure. But as we march towards a tightening of universal belts, having the right knowledge, skills and confidence to hire, manage and grow your team will be key to your success & remain a ‘must’. It will just be a question of cutting your cloth accordingly.

We know that growth and development is key to people’s retention – through good times and bad – but not everything needs to cost the earth, so here are a few focused learning options for you to consider which may help those who are new, aspiring or experienced to management to feel valued and develop:

1. Encourage Peer to peer learning and sharing: Encourage peers with similar management scope to share their knowledge with each other: what has worked with their team members, what challenges they’ve had.

2. Undertake blended or ‘classroom’ style flexible training that suits your culture: this still remains the go-to skills method development of choice with SME’s & our Management Essentials and Deeper Dive bite-size training sessions are designed to be flexible and support those keen on developing just the kind of skills the Google research found was key.

3. Utilise online training: sites such as Future Learn, Udemy and LinkedIn have online courses for a vast array of management skills in an accessible way. They may not allow so much interaction or always be so relevant for your particular needs, however they allow people to plug short gaps and there’s nothing more satisfying that ‘ticking off’ a new course!.

4. Share “best practice”: Bring in a recognised expert for your employees to spend some time with: use your network and contacts to find someone you admire and value and bring them into work with you. Get the more experienced members of your team to share some of their past notable successes.

5. Be a bookworm: most of those who want to develop are pretty hot on their reading, so encourage all to share the books that have given the most joy and/ or information when it comes to skills you can use with your team.

If you need a hand getting the team to get a boost for your Management Skills,  drop us a line via hello@thehrhub.co.uk or give us a call on 0203 6277048. 

HR Hub People Ops Training: Back By Popular Demand

HR Hub People Ops Training: Back By Popular Demand

If you’re keen to up your game on the HR-front and are serious about creating a workplace where people can do their best & be successful, then it’s no secret that just issuing the right contract or handbook isn’t going to quite cut it!

The right information, skills and insights can…

  • Give you all the tricks you need to create employee MAGIC ™
  • Keep you ahead of the game when it comes to HR
  • Stay compliant with new laws which affect you (& brush up on existing ones)
  • Inspire your team & support their well being
  • Help you build better relationships with your employees
  • Increase your confidence in managing HR without strangulation

The trouble is though, all of this is a lot easier said than done. We know, because we’ve been there!

So if you’re feeling like you’re:

  • Keen to ‘up’ your skills but don’t know where to start?
  • Sinking under the weight of having to do HR without having had anything but on-the-job training?
  • Going to miss something that you should have known?
  • Worried you’re not up to date with employment laws?

Relax, because we’ve got you covered & this could be the training you’re waiting for.

The HR Hub People Ops Training was created for PA’s, EA’s and Office/ Ops Managers just like you: those who are keen to understand the core foundations of HR and People management, learn the tips and tricks used by some of the fastest growing businesses in the UK and discuss the practical ‘Hows’ of creating employee MAGIC ™.

Here at The HR Hub, we are experienced and qualified HR Directors and Business Partners who have worked with hundreds of employers and thousands of employees during our careers helping to do just this.

From hiring to firing and all that goes on in between, we’ve helped SME’s manage their employee’s potential. We’ve seen the good, the bad (and the ugly!) when it comes to managing teams and have learnt the key things which help a business grow.

We’ve been featured in Fresh Business Thinking, City Am and Business Insiders and our clients and former employers feature in both Best Companies to Work for and too many a ‘Fast-track’ list to count. We’ve also worked within multiple Operations roles before.

And now, we’re pulling all of this knowledge together to package it up in a box of learning just for you.

Book my place now!

What you’ll receive during the training

  • Insights, tips and tricks used by some of the fastest growing businesses in the UK
  • Interactive training on what you Must, Could and Should do in relation to the different parts of the employee experience
  • A chance to work through case studies which increase confidence in managing the People function within your business
  • Practical content – including details of our MAGIC ™ framework – which you can use straight away to boost your People function including checklists, resources etc and plan your next three months

What’s included in the Ticket Price

  • Pre-course assessment of your current level of employee MAGIC ™ GAP analysis
  • MAGIC ™ Assessment output
  • Interactive Zoom training session
  • All supporting materials for you to use on an ongoing basis
  • Followup Individual Coaching call with one of our People experts

We’re inviting you to grab a place on our next HR for People Ops Training on Wednesday 13 July,  so you can learn all you need to know about HR to give you peace of mind, hassle saved and time back. #everyonesawinner

Click here to book your place now!

If you want to chat through or have any other queries you’d like to discuss about your team, get in touch today at hello@thehrhub.co.uk or by calling 0203 627 7048.

Three Ways to Rocket Your Team’s Performance in 2022

So when you take a look back at how your business performed in 2021, are you satisfied with what was achieved? A little reflection is always useful, but now’s the time to start thinking about the future. You no doubt have big plans for the next 12 months. You’ve got targets to meet and goals to smash, and if you want to ensure that your plans become a reality, then you’re going to have to give some serious consideration to how you’ll make sure that you get the most out of your staff.

Sometimes though, this can be much easier said than done. Every business owner knows that improving performance could be key to overall growth, but you’ll need some solid strategies to make this happen.

You’ll be pleased to hear then that we can help. Let’s take a look at three ways to rocket your team’s performance for the year ahead

1. Provide Challenges That Are Stretching But Achievable

No one ever achieved great things by just coasting along without a challenge. Your staff should be stretched, but there’s a fine balance to strike. Give them too much to handle, and you’re not going to get the desired outcome. It might be time to assess your staff’s performance objectives, and consider whether they’re really fit for purpose.

Your managers will play a big part in making this a success. They’ll know their team members best, and so you need to make sure that they’re capable of helping them to set goals, and just as importantly, ensuring that they believe that they can achieve them.

2. Outline The Value Of The Work Outside The Context Of The Business

If you’ve done any reading or research into best practice when it comes to managing a team, then you’ll know that it makes sense to encourage everyone to realise how their work helps the business to grow and meet its objectives. In other words, your staff should understand how what they’re doing fits into the bigger picture.

You can take things a step further than this though. Are your staff aware of how their work makes a worthwhile contribution, profits and growth aside? Most businesses have some kind of social impact, and this can often be a great motivator for staff. Does your organisation make a positive contribution to the community? Are you changing the lives of your customers and clients?

3. Recognise Achievements As Part Of Day-To-Day Business

Most of us can take huge amounts of personal satisfaction away from simply knowing that we’ve done a good job. Often, this alone can encourage us to strive to be even better. But let’s be completely honest here. Most of us also enjoy being suitably rewarded for our efforts.

It’s easy to think that this is all about financial incentives, but this isn’t necessarily the case. It’s about rewards that are proportionate to the achievement. It’s about applying the same principles across the board. It’s about considering your reward processes as a whole, rather than just worrying about budget restraints. And ultimately, it’s about getting to the stage where ‘end-of-year performance reviews’ aren’t a one-off activity, but part of an ongoing dialogue.

Performance is important, and this is your chance to make sure that you’ve laid the right foundations for the year ahead. Are you ready, or are you lagging behind?

If you just want to make sure that you’re firing on all cylinders, drop us a line via hello@thehrhub.co.uk or give us a call on 0203 6277048.

Photo Credit: the gymnast from Team GB by julochka

 

A word from Grip, the Award Winning AI-Powered Market Engagement Platform

A word from Grip, the Award Winning AI-Powered Market Engagement Platform

Grip is an award-winning AI-powered Market Engagement Platform, that helps organisers deliver world-class events. They have had a wonderful success story and The HR Hub is proud to have played a role in their journey from start up to where they are now.

We asked Tim Groot, CEO & Founder what he values most about working with us,  “Expert HR advice is extremely difficult to get without having your own full-time staff. I would advise every seed-stage startup to work with the HR Hub to make sure your contracts, HR policies and general HR advice is in great shape as you scale your company. Over the course of 2 years we have probably saved £50,000 in recruitment, HR advice and People operations tasks, that would otherwise have been outsourced or would have required us to hire a people operations person much earlier.”

Speaking further we wanted to know if there were any reservations before using us and if we managed to overcome them. Tim said, “Initially we were unsure whether the advice would be relevant enough to our specific company, but Claire and Rosie did an awesome job taking away any concerns.”

The three key results Tim recognised from our time working together

    • Solid employment contracts and advice/training for new and growing managers in the business.
    • Time and cost savings by using HR Hub for initial screening of candidates.
    • Someone to talk to about difficult management issues.

And the biggest question from us…. Would you recommend The HR Hub and who would you recommend us too?

“Yes we are always happy to recommend the HR Hub! All seed stage startups and growth stage companies that want their people operations or management teams to have someone ‘on call’ for an external perspective should be talking to Rosie and Claire.”

Grip is the leading AI-powered event networking solution for Virtual, Hybrid and In-person events.

If you want to find out more about working with us get in touch at hello@thehrhub.co.uk or call 0203 627 7048

How the HR Hub helped Bedford Consulting grow

How the HR Hub helped Bedford Consulting grow

The HR Hub initially started working with Bedford Consulting in August 2018 and continues to do so in 2021.

Bedford Consulting is the largest and longest-running sole Anaplan reseller and 2020 Anaplan Partner of the year for EMEA, specialising in project implementation, software sales and connected planning. The company had grown quickly over the previous two years, tripling the size of the team in 18 months up to August 2018. Cathal Doyle (CEO) and Paul Rawlinson (CCO) had reached a stage where they wanted to ensure that they had the right structure to be sustainable as they grew further.

The key HR challenges

Bedford Consulting needed the HR Hub to ensure they had the right foundations; to keep the people they had already invested in happy and growing and make sure they were putting in place support for all the recent hires. It was noted that the structure up to that point had been very flat and the increased headcount had meant that the Directors were becoming thinly spread in terms of management.

An initial review of Bedford’s company data and HR Strength ™ was undertaken in conjunction with interviews with a cross section of staff and a proposal to tackle three key areas per quarter to improve the overall employee experience. 

Actions taken

After analysing the data, the HR Hub suggested a variety of actions and solutions to implement in order to achieve their HR goals.

There were four strands to this strategy,

  1. Learning and Development
  2. Hiring and Onboarding
  3. Team Structure
  4. Employee Engagement and Motivation

Firstly Learning and Development was given a new lease of life. A competency framework and structure was recommended and created for the Customer Success team, together with associated salary bands. This provides consistency, transparency and an understanding of all the roles in each team and what career progression looks like for all roles in the CS team ( the remaining teams to be rolled out this year). Formal Quarterly reviews have also been put in place to provide everyone with the opportunity to discuss their development & progression on a regular basis – all built using the tech they consult on: Anaplan. 

Hiring and onboarding was refreshed and additional support was input for all new hires to enable their onboarding.

Team structure was improved to reflect the company growth. An additional supporting structure was input to the organisation through the creation of POD leader roles (to provide dedicated support to a small group of consultants each) and a series of training and development initiatives created to support the POD leaders in these new roles

Employee engagement and communications was boosted with more regular points of contact. Previously Bedford had always held Quarterly Off site meetings for all employees, however communication channels have been boosted by monthly ‘All Hands’ style calls and weekly feedback received through use of survey technology which is reviewed on a monthly basis and actions taken by the management team

Results and client testimonial

Because of these steps, Bedford Consulting have retained their key staff during a period where a further 15 staff have also been hired. Engagement scores show that the team feels supported in the transition to the new POD structure and the flow of communication has been improved. This has resulted in a happy successful expanding team ensuring a strong growing business.

“Working with Claire and the team at The HR Hub has been critical to our growth and sustainability over the last two years. We would not have been in a position to put such a robust framework in place while we continued to grow at 50% YoY without their guidance and richness of experience. They continue to support our growth strategy but also act as a comfort blanket in areas of ongoing HR. Our recruitment, enablement and retention are stronger than ever which has been forged throughout our relationship with The HR Hub. It has been a pleasure working with Claire and her team, and we look forward to continuing that relationship for many years to come as we continue on our growth story”  Cathal Doyle (CCO)