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Joanne Barraclough, Operations Manager

On the face of it, my job literally does mean that I manage the operational aspects of HR Elite, allowing our Director to concentrate on strategy and vision while our operational, customer-facing team work with our clients  to support them in achieving their HR aims.

However, in a small business, all of the people within the team contribute in different ways to operations and vision, to customer service and marketing and my role is no different in that sense.  Although I have a very clear focus,  the main part of my role is about responding to changes within the business, to our clients’ needs, to the economy and the events in the world, which can bring many different challenges and activities on a regular basis.  This became even more apparent in 2020, as we responded to the affects of the worldwide pandemic and adjusted what we do, whilst keeping our focus on what’s important to the business.

Our Operations Team includes all of the staff who liaise directly with our clients, to support them in making their HR processes, documents and actions legally safe and fit for purpose (nothing we do is ‘off the shelf’) and also the newer part of our business, where we work as Business Partners, helping to transform an organisation’s people through our Maximising People Potential Programme. Within the team there are compliance and people development consultants and also someone that works across both areas, providing day to day advice and support and also working on larger projects with clients.  On a daily basis we can be involved in helping someone to define the vision of their business, embedding the values on which the business was founded into how new people are recruited and managed, upskilling managers to deal effectively with change and millennials and developing emotional intelligence.

My background is within HR and Organisational Development in the NHS and University Sector, both of which gave me a sound grounding in managing HR issues fairly and consistently and ‘turning things around’ through people.  I very much enjoy being able to share my knowledge and experiences with others, enabling our clients to work more effectively and proactively.  Having worked for many years within HR, I fully understand the challenges that the team face on a daily basis, and am able to help them to provide the best possible service to our clients – that’s part of the job too!

Whilst my role is to support the Director with daily life at HR Elite, I also provide direct HR developmental support to a small number of clients who benefit from on site presence to further their HR programme.  This year this has meant staff surveys resulting in a full year of work as a result, leadership development, reviewing, rewriting and revitalising an ancient appraisal process, cultural change and equipping managers to lead teams with confidence.

2020 will be remembered for the year that we developed our HR Masterclass, learned everything that there is to know (so it seems) about ‘furlough’ and received some great feedback from our clients in our Customer Service Survey.  We’ve  all developed on an individual basis and as a team and are proud of HR Elite’s values and how we can demonstrate them in everything that we do.

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