Human Resources is a profession that works towards changing & improving the working lives of employees.
A great HR professional has strong integrity, a real drive for success as well as a keen attention to detail. For Internal HR professionals, strong relationship with employees throughout the business is incredibly important. AI Global Media is spotlighting HR Manager, Natalie Harrison on how she dominates her role.
What led you to pursue a career in HR?
I was going through the motions of deciding what I wanted to do with my career when the Director who dealt with HR at my previous employer was looking to take retirement. She said she thought I would be great in HR and asked me if I wanted the role and to take my qualifications alongside it. I gladly accepted her offer and haven’t looked back since!
What are some positive aspects of this position and what are some negatives?
A positive is helping people with their personal and professional development. A negative is dealing with low morale, but this can be turned around by working to make positive change!
What have you found to be a key trait for success as an HR professional?
There are many traits that come to mind, but I would say the ability to multitask and be organised are key. Also, effective communication skills and the ability to be kind and understanding.
How has working for AI Global been different to other roles you have had?
All of my previous HR experience was at the same Company, so 7 months ago coming into a completely different industry and working with different types of processes and people has certainly been a challenge, but a welcomed one. The setting here at AI is great, and the social aspects of regular incentives and group activities we offer significantly impacts morale and workplace relationships.
How have you helped to support career growth (learning & development) for people in AI?
I have encouraged employees to take advantage of opportunities to gain additional experience. I personally deliver line manager coaching every quarter on relevant topics, and we are currently looking at some external leadership training to upskill some of our team members.
The theme for International Human Resources Day in 2023 is “Shaping The New Future.” What does this mean to you and to AI Global?
Leading change to improve working lives has always been at the forefront of what I do. AI are really keen to be known as an employer of choice and I believe by supporting our people and continuing to make positive changes here, we are adapting to the new normal and are well on our way to achieving this!
Are there any noteworthy HR initiatives that made a difference here or think would?
A recent initiative which stands out is the introduction of an optional alternative working pattern. Feedback so far has been really positive with regards to improvement in work life balance. I am currently working on a Community and Volunteering policy which will allow employees the chance to participate in volunteering projects to support the local economy and enable skills, competencies, and personal wellbeing to be developed and enhanced within the community.
Director Kathryn Hall talks about how AI Global Media strongly supports the HR role, and how it has shaped the work environment; “The work of HR is integral to the running AI Global Media. Our HR Manager Natalie supports the business in so many ways both in managing day to day tasks and supporting on strategic decisions. It is important for businesses to remain compliant, to attract and retain great talent and to support employees and management throughout their day-to-day activities. The engagement of our workforce is vital to us, I don’t think we could achieve such high levels of engagement without dedicated HR support.”
Kathryn continues, “Natalie has been integral in helping us support a local special needs school with much needed funds in recognition of Autism Acceptance Week, she has supported the senior management team with an unfortunate but necessary redundancy process and has been very proactive in our recruitment activities leading to some really strong talent being acquired. Natalie is strategic in her thought processes as well as being commercially aware, having her as part of our management team has supported us in making some important, difficult, and strategic decision”.
AI Global Media is a part of the online HR and employment law resource, CIPD HR-Inform which allows our HR Manager to support the business in staying up to date. AI Global Media is constantly evolving their Human Resources Practice to integrate a new future for their employees.