Why Your Business and Your People Matter to Me – Five Years Supporting You in HR

In April I celebrated five years of Your People Matter(s), so I thought I’d tell you a little more about myself and why I chose to support businesses as an HR consultant and workplace mediator.

I’m Mary Dovey, Hello

I often find that, when reaching significant dates, there’s an urge to think about what has led to that point.

Being able to mark five years since starting my own business, I’ve taken some time to reflect on how I got here.

Experience, the foundation of a business

At the start of my career, I worked at a corporate firm with responsibility for car fleets and insurance claims; fast forwarding several years, I had undertaken my CIPD qualifications and progressed within various senior HR management roles.

At this point, after returning from maternity leave, I was let down by the handling of a redundancy process and saw first-hand the importance of a tailored approach to HR matters. This brought home to me how important it is that employees going through change are handled with a considered approach. Although there will always be times when businesses have to deliver bad news, or make changes that have real impact on employee lives, I believe these situations must always be delivered in a caring and compassionate way.

I was incredibly fortunate to receive excellent mentorship from two great directors; one supported my transition to an HR position changing my career completely, the other helped me develop further, supporting me to become a qualified workplace mediator. You know who you are!

In this environment, I developed strong HR processes to support our people. I worked on complex projects to manage business changes and provided mediation services – supporting individuals and strengthening teams. Since then, having worked in different industries and various aspects of HR, I’ve continued to develop these skills – both project management and mediation – through work, training, and self-development.

When supporting companies through projects, change or mediation, a commitment to individual employees as well as the organisation is key to success.

Family, providing foundations for your people

While working in this corporate role, my family life changed. Becoming a mum with a husband who worked out of town, while supporting my brother who required serious medical care, my priorities shifted – with work concerns adding to the pressure.

I made the decision to find work in the health service, wanting to understand the systems in play when dealing with patients (such as my brother) who are multi-discipline cases – pulling on several hospitals for support. For patients like this, we’d found a knock-on impact in terms of communication between NHS Trusts which can be difficult for patients and their families.

When an opportunity came to take on an HR role within a hospital, I took it; now I was able to learn the governance structures, which questions to pose, and who could help my family. While offering less pay and benefits, this role provided great career experience for me, learning about the demands of public sector organisations. More than anything, it was a chance for me to understand the system we were relying on to support my brother, giving me a new perspective on the NHS, and allowing me to realise the challenges and questions he and his care team faced – I was thankful to be in this position.  What I had completely underestimated was the level of satisfaction, personal growth and love I would gain from working in such a fabulous organisation.

This step in my career was motivated by hopes and concerns for my family, however it has also provided great insight for my work allowing me to support organisations of all backgrounds whether public or private, after all – variety is the spice of life, right?

Working within the confines of a corporate career was detracting from my family; identifying my priorities, and working to achieve those, changed my path.

Autonomy, building our own foundations

At a time when I was unable to determine my next steps, I met Deborah who showed me what was possible. Also, a Human Resources specialist, and building a career with a young family, Deborah was diagnosed with cancer leading to struggles within her work. She chose to follow her own path setting up a business which enabled her to continue doing the work she was so proud of.

Deborah was an inspiration to me, showing me how important it was to focus on your ‘Why’. Through her, I considered my own priorities and the things which were holding me back; realising that I too could create my own future, set my own path, and do the work which motivated me.

Recognising those things which motivate me has allowed me to develop a business built on my strengths.

Growth, strong foundations for the future

Over the last five years, Your People Matter(s) has changed. I’ve discovered the best way for me to help people is supporting them through complex projects, solving problems, mediating in difficult situations, and recognising solutions which will benefit both the business and individual.

I’ve enjoyed building strong relationships with incredible organisations, knowing that those relationships will help us build structures and processes which work, and completing projects – from start to finish – ensuring the best possible solution.

Working in workplace mediation, I help establish agreements which bring a positive impact to whole teams, not just individuals – increasing productivity, employee engagement, retention, and attendance.

In Your People Matter(s), I not only work with organisations directly, but also through employment law solicitors, and within larger HR firms as an Associate when they require specialist support. In all these roles I’m working to build better solutions for stronger businesses.

There’s so much more to come.

Now you know me a little better, you can hopefully see why I am motivated to support the people in every business. While this is my story, it is influenced by others who supported me and for whom I was able to provide support – people who matter.

I want to use this post to say thank you to those who have referred me or engaged me to work with them; here’s to stronger and longer relationships with you all.

Contact me on 07540 543655 or email mary@yourpeoplematter.com, I’d love to hear from you.

Crystal Clear collaboration that matters

If you follow Your People Matter(s) on social media, you may have noticed that we’ve taken part in a PR campaign with Crystal Clear Compliance about the benefits of collaborating with other specialists. Here is our story…

Two local businesswomen are working together after meeting on the networking circuit to offer their clients a more joined-up approach to HR and health and safety.

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Is your business growing? Don’t forget to take HR into consideration…

I have been blown away by the response I have had to an article I had published in my local Chamber of Commerce magazine, inbusiness, so I have decided to share the actual article here on my own website…

As businesses grow, they evolve into something else entirely – whether that is through outsourcing, insourcing, acquiring or merging with other companies, or growing to an entity large enough to sell.

With change of this scale, a company director’s head is likely to be taken over with all sorts of considerations, and the financial and operational elements of the change often take priority.

Mary Dovey, owner of the HR Consultancy Your People Matter(s), has found often the HR steps required are considered too late. She said: “When buying or selling companies, businesses often don’t engage with HR until they’re quite far along in the process. Ideally, organisations should take HR advice into consideration at the decision-making stage, as potential issues and costs relating to employees can have an impact on finances and operations.”

Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, known as TUPE, see the transferring of employees from one employer to another and can be a hugely complex process, as regulations stipulate an employee’s contractual terms and conditions are also transferred.

Mary added: “The impact of transferring staff cannot be underestimated. While TUPE protects employees’ rights when the business transfers to a new employer, the personal impact will vary for each employee. Communicating, consulting and involving HR in the process will help alleviate any concerns from staff and, hopefully, avoid any serious problems for employers.”

For more information or advice, email mary@yourpeoplematter.com.

Why we need to talk more about menopause in the workplace

The menopause is a natural part of aging that will happen to every female at some point during their life. It can cause different physical and emotional symptoms depending on the individual and can last for varying lengths of time – years in some cases.

While some women may breeze through the menopause with little or no symptoms, others experience symptoms that have a massive impact on their everyday life. Generally, these women suffer in silence, coping with their symptoms alone.

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Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health in the workplace – is there more we can be doing?

Over half our lives are spent at work and much has improved in recent years to give us a better work/life balance. Technology has also moved on, offering us the opportunity to work whenever and wherever we like.

But this isn’t all good news. Where once there was a clear definition between when you should and shouldn’t be expected to respond to emails or phone calls, now it seems there are no rules, or at least no consistency. Policies regarding working overtime or flexibly vary massively depending on the organisation or industry and increasingly employees are left unsure of what is expected of them, leading to anxiety and stress.

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Workplace conflict

Workplace mediation – why and when is it needed?

Workplace conflict is inevitable at some point, regardless of how well a business is run. Communication is both the cause of and the remedy for conflict. Understanding how to effectively communicate and resolve disputes can lead to happier, more productive employees in the workplace.

It could be argued that a small amount of conflict in an organisation can be seen to be healthy as it allows individuals and their teams to hold healthy debates which could be instrumental in driving a business forward, creating a good energy in the workplace.

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Change Management

Are you ready for a change in your business?

There is a saying that there are two certainties in life – death and taxes. I would argue that there is a third – change.

No matter how big or small your business is, you will encounter change as part of your business journey. How you deal with or manage this change could really impact your business going forward. An organisation needs to evolve and adapt to stay in business, which means change is unavoidable, whether that is a staff re-structure, acquisition of a new business, or a new shift system being implemented.

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How to make sure Christmas doesn’t turn into a HR nightmare

Christmas party season is almost upon us. In fact, I know of some that are taking place in the next week!

The sentiment behind work Christmas parties is a positive one – celebrating the end of a hard-working year with our work families, the people we see every day and spend the most time with. It’s also a great opportunity to thank your team and reward them with bonuses and gifts or even Employee of The Year-style awards.

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