HR Advisors Conference Blog

Further thoughts from the conference or about the challenges of being in an HR Advisory role.

UK HR Advisor of the Year

HR people and HR initiatives are often only recognised at a strategic senior level. However it is HR Advisors who are often delivering these initiatives and also being leaders in their field, working with managers and employees on a day to day basis.

As part of the HR Advisors Conferences in New Zealand and the UK we wanted to recognise excellent delivery of HR. In London we had two finalists who stood as having made an exceptional contribution to their company.

Everyone attending heard the story of the each finalist and then voted on the winner.

We are pleased to advise the HR Advisors of the Year UK is:

Charlene Green, HR Advisor from Essex Wildlife Trust.

Charlene GreenCharlene was nominated for the award by Michelle Harrison, HR Manager.

What made Charlene’s work stand out? Michelle explains:

Charlene arrived in her job to find her manager leaving and so there was a very short handover period. She picked things up really quickly and took over running the HR function. She kept the payroll and recruitment functions going at a very busy time, within minimal training.

After 3 months, I arrived. My manager (CEO) was on holiday during my first week and Charlene had to show me how everything worked, whilst not only being new herself but also having to keep on top of a large volume of work.

There were limited processes in place, paper HR files, and procedures that were not being followed. We set about altering and updating processes, policies and procedures – Michelle from a strategic level and Charlene implemented initiatives including:

  • an updated recruitment procedure
  • new forms for payroll
  • a management of change programme
  • getting all paperwork into electronic form
  • culture change,
  • salary review and research into total reward
  • training review

She also worked to induct and train all of our team as we grew from 1 person, to 7 as well as 5 volunteers.

She has worked tirelessly to exhibit the attitude we are looking for from all staff and has welcomed the new staff in our team positively and with constant encouragement.

This spills over into how she works with everyone and it is this positivity that has mean the team have been so easily integrated and accepted.

What obstacles did Charlene face?

The obstacles faced were coming into an organisation that had been overseen in the same way for nearly 30 years. There were long standing staff members who did not feel that change was necessary; all the files were paper files and there was very little easily accessible information.  Processes were not clear and not always being followed.

This has all changed within a year, thanks to Charlene’s clarity regarding the implementation of the procedures and the way in which she gives information to people: clearly and concisely without being officious or bossy. People use the HR service heavily now and HR has become an integral part of the organisation in only one year, very much due to Charlene’s attitude and her willingness to support both the team, and those within the organisation.

Charlene has delivered a consistent message and has led the team to embody the change that the CEO wanted to see through the acceptance of the new values ‘Inspiring; Collaborative; United and Professional’.

What results have been achieved?

Thanks to Charlene’s positivity and willingness to take on anything, we have embedded a team (that as part of a conservation charity, could have been seen as an expense) into the organisation positively and without problems.

We have, alongside the rest of the team, the CEO and senior management team, started to shift the culture of the organisation and Charlene embodies this new attitude in all that she does.

We have many new processes, and most of our files are now electronic. There is still a way to go, but we are a long way forward and miles away from where we were at this point last year.

Michelle says: “I am proud of the fantastic service Charlene gives to our customers within the organisation. She is always personable, professional, clear and presents all options. Being a generalist her knowledge has to span many different areas and she does this confidently. She engenders trust and ensures that things are done for the right reasons, fairly and consistently.”

Charlene says that it was a really challenging year and a half but she is proud of what’s been achieved. It’s been a team effort and she is really proud to work for Essex Wildlife Trust.

Congratulations to Charlene on delivering exceptional HR to her business and for being our HR Advisor of the Year UK!



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This entry was posted on July 19, 2017 by in Culture Champions, HR leadership and tagged , , , .

Thorough | Objective | Unbiased

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