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Suki Deol, HR Manager
Suki Deol, HR Manager
Suki Deol is HR Manager at Westleigh Developments, where she has worked for ten years. She has an honors degree in Business and Social Studies and a CIPD diploma in Personnel Management. E-mail: email@example.com
I started my career in HR ten years ago when I began working with my current employer, Westleigh Developments Ltd, as a personnel assistant. Prior to joining the company I had been working part-time in a department store and was attending Leicester’s De Montfort University on a part-time basis reading BA Hons in Business and Social Studies.
Within a year I had successfully completed my degree and Westleigh agreed to sponsor me to complete the CIPD diploma in Personnel Management. This was a very intense course and at times I did not think that I would ever complete it as I was working full time and had two young children to care for. But I did it and as soon as I completed the diploma I was promoted to HR manager.
Growing with the organization
Westleigh Developments was established in 1985 and provides the total construction package from project concept to completion, creating and selling impressive homes and buildings for sale to the private owner, housing associations and industrial or commercial clients. Our head office is based in Leicester; we have four separate divisions and currently over 20 sites throughout the East Midlands.
When I joined the company there were around 50 employees, today we have close to 200. I now have my own department and have two HR assistants who work along side me. I have also completed a certificate in Training Practice, which further enabled me to develop my role as HR manager, and I have recently enrolled on another CIPD course – the advanced certificate in Employment Law. This is an intensive course taking approximately two years to complete. Westleigh is committed to developing and training its people and has always been very supportive.
Putting processes and procedures in place
I believe in the ethos “work hard, play hard” and I would describe myself as a hardworking and motivated individual. I have successfully helped achieve the Investors in People award, which we were re-accredited with in June 2007. I have also successfully implemented an appraisal system for all employees and a flexible benefits scheme, which was received very well by all employees.
The next big project I will be working on is to actively promote equality and diversity within our workforce and to implement a graduate recruitment scheme. I am also looking at reviewing our training procedures, putting together the company’s training plan and looking at long-term training as well as short-term.
A continuous learning curve
HR is a continuous learning curve, where you have to constantly develop yourself to keep up to date with all the changes. When I was completing my CIPD diploma I learnt a lot about the theory side of HR but it is the practical side that provides real understanding. With HR you are dealing with people issues and you have to deal with them as they are happening. It is very hard to plan your workload but that is what I love about the job – the variety; no two days are ever the same.
As a HR professional I look at magazines, books, the internet and the CIPD to keep me informed and up to date on the things that I should be doing to actively promote HR within our company. A book that I really enjoyed reading recently was by Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, it made me look at things and how I approach issues. It is something that I always refer to when feeling under pressure. I believe networking with other HR practitioners is also very important, it keeps you informed of issues that other companies are experiencing and also gives you the chance to talk about the problems you are facing.
In the past HR has been treated as the department that simply keeps personnel files and pays the wages but this attitude is changing. HR is becoming much more proactive and over the last few years I have seen my position change into more of an advisory role to our directors and managers. All work levels now look to me to lead change and be able to advise what procedures should be followed to comply with current employment legislation.