Siân Whittington is Senior HR Consultant at Bespoke HR.
When did you join Bespoke HR and what made you want to join us?
I joined in May 2017 and it was the best decision of my working life! Having previously worked predominantly in stand-alone HR roles in London, I was really drawn to the variety of work and clients that Bespoke HR offers. That, along with the collaborative, flexible and pragmatic approach to working, Bespoke HR has a fantastic culture and team.
Tell us about your HR career background? How did you get into HR and what motivated you?
In my previous company, I helped them grow from 16 people to 170 in seven years. As HR, my role was key in leading a growth strategy that retained the company culture and values and followed best practices. I am motivated by understanding how the work I do fits into the bigger picture, it is incredibly rewarding.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love the variety of clients and projects I get to work on in my role. I am passionate about making people and companies feel and do better and when you can align your passion with your purpose, you find true fulfillment.
What advice would you give small businesses owners who don’t have any HR support or budget about how they can look after their staff and their business?
HR is not an option, it is an essential ingredient to a successful business. Even if you do not have a dedicated HR person in-house, do not neglect your HR responsibilities. Your people are the most important part of your business, so support, nurture and have fun with them and they and your business will flourish!
What are the biggest challenges your clients face would you say?
One of the problems faced by SMEs is how to maintain the company culture when they are growing. Growth and expansion are exciting times but rapid scaling up can lead to the loss of company spirit and values. Employees in start-ups often reminisce nostalgically about the “old days” when things were smaller, more intimate, and core values and culture were more ingrained in the daily life of the company. Preparation and planning are key to ensuring the company’s unique culture is retained.
What would be your one single biggest piece of HR advice?
Managers can achieve compliance from their employees, which is merely getting people to do what they are supposed to do. But when managers lead their people to truly commit to their work, they get them to do more because they want to, not because they have to. Never underestimate the importance and power of employee engagement.
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