Meet the team: 5 mins with Katy Wade

Katy Wade seated at desk

Katy Wade is L&D Manager at Bespoke HR

When did you join Bespoke HR and what made you want to work for us?

I joined Bespoke HR in 2021 following a few in-house HR roles in large hospitality businesses. Bespoke was recommended to me by someone that had used their services for their business for years which I thought was a really good sign. I’d been wanting to move into a consultancy role for a while and within minutes of meeting the rest of the team at Bespoke, I knew I was making the right decision.

Tell us about your HR career background

My HR career started when I was running pubs and managing a team of more than 100 staff. I realised that although I loved the operations side of the business; the part I really enjoyed was developing my team and seeing them use their skills to progress in their career whether it be taking on a management role in hospitality or moving on to something completely different. I was given the opportunity to cover maternity leave in Head Office supporting sites with any HR issues they might be having and following a successful year I never looked back!

I was lucky enough to work in various roles from looking after recruitment and training for the estate, supporting sites with complex people issues and heading up the company’s apprenticeship programme.

I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in HR management and an Advanced Certificate in Employment Law whilst working which although really challenging; was extremely rewarding. Although not sure I’d want to do it again!

Why should employers have an L&D plan in place?

A clear L&D strategy is fundamental in any business. It’s important that businesses ensure their employees have all the relevant tools in place to support them in being able to complete their role to the best of their ability. Not only this;  but employee motivation increases substantially when they feel an employer is investing in their development.

Can you tell us what your L&D role at Bespoke HR involves?

I spend the majority of my time developing and delivering training for our clients. It’s important for me to speak to each client to establish what their requirements are and what they want to achieve by delivering specific training. We then work together to ensure the workshop is in the right format to suit the client’s needs. I also spend time supporting our own consultants and making sure their own development is on track and they are getting the help they need and the exposure to all aspects of the consultant role to assist their own career progression.

What do you enjoy most about the role?

It’s a cliche but I love the variety of speaking to different people every day and working with them to develop a people strategy for their business. Each day is different and I like being challenged to find a resolution that fits the client’s needs. I love delivering training and witnessing employees using their newly learned skills to better manage their people.

What advice would you give small business owners who may not have HR support about how to look after their staff?

Communicate!!! It sounds so simple but so many issues could be avoided or be resolved quickly if employees feel listened to and that they matter. A simple “hello, goodbye, how are you” goes a long way in the workplace. If regular communication is encouraged then more often than not, problems that might escalate are nipped in the bud early on.

What are the biggest challenges your clients face?

There are definitely challenges around recruitment at the moment. A lot of our clients have seen applications impacted by Brexit and Covid, with candidates looking for more flexible roles and a shift in what their priorities are when looking for a job. Whilst employers should look at flexibility there is more that can be done to make their job more attractive in terms of the overall package. One size does not fit all!

What would be your one single piece of HR advice?

Listen to what is important to your employees and be reasonable. You are much more likely to get the best out of your staff if they are happy!

Can you tell us an unusual fact about yourself?

Maybe not unusual for some people but as a non-runner, I recently committed to running every day for a month and managed to rack up 130km!

LinkedIn: Katy Wade