Life as an HR Manager
Q: What attracted you to work at Calnex?
Our CEO, Tommy! I worked with Tommy at Hewlett-Packard in my early career and had kept in touch after working there.
Q: How long have you worked at Calnex and how has your career developed?
I worked as an Executive Assistant at Hewlett-Packard for 14 years followed by a Business Administrator role at a startup company who were developing a device to detect a parasite called cryptosporidium in our water! Very interesting experience and I loved working in a small company after many years at a multi-national corporate! Having experience in both types of companies has been very useful to me. I then spent a short spell in HR with a coal company. I joined Calnex in a Business Administrator role where I was initially brought in to implement an order processing system and manage events and communications. I’ve been here for eight and a half years now. My role developed pretty quickly as the business grew. The staff newsletter, recruitment, induction and employee engagement initiatives started to come my way and the role just kept evolving which is perfect for me as I like change and new challenges.
Q: What is it that motivates you in the morning and gets you energized about your role?
I like people and I like to see people do well. I also like the fact that, in an SME, there’s flexibility to try lots of different things with the ability to make changes quickly.
Q: Please talk us through a typical day for you at Calnex?
Every day is a surprise to me lol! I can be doing anything from researching new benefits to reviewing the annual review process or helping employees with their development and support needs. We may be visiting a company we’re thinking about acquiring or I’m meeting with employees to see how life at Calnex is going for them. I can also spend days on recruitment or kicking off a new initiative, for example, our new Calnex in the Community programme or HR’s responsibilities in relation to our Quality Management System. Every day is different and unpredictable!
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
The people. I get to speak to and be involved with lots of different people across the business. I get a lot of support from the management team and have the freedom to be innovative in the sense of what HR can bring to the business. I also sit with a great and very supportive team when I’m in the office. I work from home two days a week but look forward to coming into the office to see everyone.
Q: Most challenging aspects of your job?
Time to do everything. It’s a busy job and I don’t like to rush things or feel unprepared. I start the day with a plan and sometimes it’s out of the window by 10am! It keeps things interesting though!
Q: What skills do you need to succeed in the job?
You have to care, be flexible and organised and you have to enjoy and be able to promote, cope with and help other people cope with change!
Q: What has been your biggest success at Calnex?
Being developed into the HR role here at Calnex was a challenge for me but 3 years down the line, I’m part of the senior management team. A big achievement personally and I’m proud of the impact HR has on the business and how well supported it is by the management team.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to anyone who wants to work in HR?
Be open minded, be approachable, be objective and talk to employees as much as you can. Building good relationships and being well known and recognised in the business, for me, is key to making HR known as a positive influence on the business versus just somewhere you go when things aren’t going well for you or the company.
Q: What do you do for downtime?
I exercise as much as I can and like to do weights in the gym, play badminton and go to spin classes. I love to cook with my daughter and I’m kept busy with my son’s football team which takes up most Sundays and I also fundraise for them. My husband works away from home Monday to Friday so weekends are all about family time. I also love a good box set and a good book. I write poems/ditties/readings for close friends and families for weddings, birthdays and other special occasions. A talent I never knew I had until my daughter, around the age of 6, used to ask me to make up songs with her and I discovered I wasn’t too bad at making things rhyme!