Please welcome Sharon!
We are proud to announce that Sharon Barton, MCIPD, BSc (Hons) has joined ourHRpeople as Director of Bournemouth, providing HR consultancy services to all BH postcodes.
When we met Sharon, we loved how passionate she is about supporting growing businesses to develop their talent. Her experience demonstrates great skill at balancing commercial outlook, strategic vision and operational excellence to deliver effective people management and culture change, always with a focus on the bottom line.
Sharon has held senior HR leadership roles in a variety of sectors including pharmaceutical consultancy, life sciences and aerospace. Sharon has most recently held a senior HR role within the NHS, before joining ourHRpeople.
You can see why we signed her up!
Outside of work, Sharon enjoys living on the South coast, spending time at her beach hut with her husband and two children.
We liked Sharon’s answer so much, we asked her some more questions:
What are your best HR success stories?
I always get a buzz seeing effective people strategies make a real difference to business growth. When you get the approach right, you see real results. In one role I was involved in successfully improving employee engagement and retention after a period of significant change. The business had restructured and employee morale was on the floor, but by engaging with employees, working with them to make improvements, we saw a big increase in employee satisfaction which was very rewarding. Another challenging area I saw excellent results in was culture development post acquisition, the business doubled in size overnight, we had international teams working together but through good communications strategies, we built a strong ‘one team’ culture – I learned so much during this time and it was great to travel!
How do you solve problems or improve processes?
I always begin by supporting employees through difficult processes with compassion so that people feel fairly treated, regardless of the circumstances. HR can involve potential conflict, delivering difficult messages, but if handled with care, compassion and consideration, any potential risk to the business can be mitigated or minimised. This is how I approach difficult situations to diffuse them.
What is the biggest issue in HR today?
Attraction and retention of skills – it really is an employee driven market now. New generations are firm about what they want from their employer and this can be difficult to balance with business needs.
Why is good HR essential to all organisations?
I am passionate about treating people fairly, with respect and good values and making sure people feel supported, recognised and appreciated.
People are the heart and soul of a company. When you get it right you’re winning. It is important to get the basics right and then take it to the next level.
With strong leadership and offering development opportunities for employees, this will drive business performance and help to retain skills.
What are your top tips for employee engagement and retention?
Truly listen to your employees, empowering them to help solve business problems. Good communication is key, with honesty and transparency, you have to be prepared to share the good, bad and the ugly, this builds trust and loyalty from your employees
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
I’ve learned not to think I need to solve everyone’s problems. A lot of people bring their issues to HR, and it can be easy to absorb this and feel pressure to resolve the problem, but often the process of the person being able to talk in confidence is cathartic and helps them deal with their issue. You need to be good at compartmentalising issues in HR.
I’ve found that delivering good customer service, making the person you are speaking to feel that their issue is your most important priority and communicating with them well is the key to building strong working relationships.
What are you looking forward to most in your new role?
I can’t wait to have the freedom to design my working life around what’s important to me. This is the first time I’ve had the flexibility to work when and where I like. And I’m also excited by the bigger earning potential that is very achievable with the support OurHRPeople provide.
Who would be your ideal clients?
I’d like to work with anyone who employs staff and wants good, fast, professional HR support that they can trust. I love working with growing companies and helping them to thrive.
Why do you want to work for yourself?
I’ve always wanted to have my own business, mainly for the freedom and flexibility it offers, but also to have a variety of clients, rather than working for the same employer.
Why did you choose ourHRpeople?
It is clear that ourHRpeople is set up to support HR professionals to build their business in their way. The approach is very supportive and collaborative and you can create your own path. It’s exciting to be on board at an early stage, I have the opportunity to help develop the business and brand which is something that motivates and excites me too!
Alix and Steve gave me the confidence that I can make a success of being self-employed. They both have impressive track records, as has their first franchisee, Jackie. I feel confident that I can achieve similar success.
How will clients benefit from working with you?
They will save time. I can streamline the HR support they need to allow them to focus on their business. I make sure I understand their business and challenges quickly to take the pain out of their people processes and problems.
What aspects of HR do you enjoy most?
I particularly enjoy implementing strategies to support and develop employee engagement, culture development and business transformation to achieve growth goals. I also enjoy the financial aspects of HR (I quite like a spreadsheet!). I have enjoyed developing reward structures to motivate teams to achieve goals. I love anything with a positive, tangible result.
If you didn’t work in HR, what career would you have?
I used to want to be a journalist and enjoyed writing my own creative stories, but after two weeks work experience at my local newspaper I realised I’d rather keep this as a hobby! An interest in business and psychology led me to a career in HR.
For a no-obligation talk about transitioning into HR consulting and business ownership, email email@example.com.