Hello! As you will all hopefully already be aware, my name is Emma and I am the Head of Human Resources Consultancy Services at You HR and I have worked for the company for over 3 years. I joined You HR as a Junior HR Consultant following a few years in HR within a charitable organisation and, since I joined, have progressed through our HR Consultant and management roles to the role I am currently in now.
There were so many things that drew me to working for You HR. I remember looking at the job description and thinking ‘wow’ - it was bright, vibrant and gave me such a good insight into the organisation, the role and what would be expected of me. Alongside this, when I met the team, you could feel the buzz and passion that they felt in working for the company and doing what they do.
It is crazy for me to think that I was only with You HR for just over a year before the pandemic started - in some ways it feels like yesterday and in other ways, pre-COVID feels like a lifetime ago. But what a journey the last few years have been! The start of the pandemic was challenging to say the least. As a Manager you have to try to find the balance of supporting your own health and well-being, supporting that of your colleagues, team and direct reports and, alongside that, ensuring we were able to respond effectively to the needs of our clients.
Working in You HR we have seen the pandemic from a multitude of different angles within our client portfolio; from the frontline response within the NHS right across to businesses who weren’t able to operate at all (but many of whom looked at what they could do differently to support the communities we live in). I truly believe that our clients are the greatest because throughout the pandemic they have all demonstrated such an alignment, not just to You HR’s values, but also to my own, being all about the people. And for this I will always be grateful to be able to work alongside YOU, our incredible clients, everyday.
There were too many horrendous implications of the pandemic across the globe which I will never be able to fully comprehend and I will always feel indebted to those who worked tirelessly throughout to try to ensure we kept safe. However, it did give me personally, an opportunity that I have never allowed myself before, to get off the ‘hamster wheel’ that I had felt for many years, pause and really evaluate what I want from life. Not only did this lead to a couple of more dramatic life changes but it also meant that I was able to be more still and present both at work and in my personal life.
I have worked relentlessly hard over the last couple of years to put in place the high-performing team we now have in the Client Delivery Team, every member knows their role and proactively responds to the needs and wants of our clients through the bespoke Retained and Pay As You Go (PAYG) services we provide.
When I look back at my achievements over the last couple of years, I would share my 'top tips' to any people leader in creating a high performing team as being:
Due to the daily and often crippling anxiety that I had felt since I was 16 years old, during the pandemic I made a complete shift to support my mental health. I immersed myself in meditation, gratitude journaling, podcasts and anything else I could get my hands on that I thought might make me feel a little better. Slowly but surely (alongside some medical help) over a period of a few months I started to feel the anxiety becoming less and less prevalent, to the point where I can say today, a year on, that I now rarely struggle with anxiety.
My hobbies outside of work now tend to be those that continue helping me to maintain my mental health. After a hard day, there’s nothing quite like going to the gym for a quick run on the treadmill to get rid of any worries or intrusive thoughts. I also love to travel so I always ensure that I have a trip away booked to look forward to. The opportunities at You HR are endless, I am looking to take an extended period of leave this year to embark on a journey and travel to parts of the world I've been longing to visit for some time. This is a hard push for me personally, but a goal that I'm keen to achieve. It will also be a hard pull, as I'll be temporarily leaving my team (and clients!) for some time, longer than your average period of annual holiday leave. Most importantly, I'll be stepping outside of the culture that I've become a custom to, one that truly cares about it’s people. Work is where we spend so much of our time, it's so important that we make sure that it supports our mental health as well.
I work with some of the most caring, hard working HR and business professionals you could ever hope to meet and I look forward to continuing this journey, especially providing our valued clients, the best possible HR service where it really is 'all about the people'!
- Emma Crossley