How I got here: Marcelle Moncrieffe-Johnson, London South Bank University

London South Bank University Group's chief people officer Marcelle Moncrieffe-Johnson gives her tips for a successful career in HR

Group chief people officer, London South Bank University Group

April 2020 – Present

I joined a friendly and ambitious team which focuses on leading transformation and driving an inclusive employee experience. Some 30,000 UK and global students are successful because our people are passionate about learning. I am especially proud of my team who have led new ways of working and focused on wellbeing during the pandemic.  


Group executive director of people and organisational development, London South Bank University Group

July 2019 – March 2020

I was attracted by the purpose and ethos of the Group and had to hit the ground running in a fast-paced environment.
I worked on post-merger cultural change and learned how to engage in the development of people strategies across a group of organisations.


Director of HR and organisational development (interim), London Borough of Hounslow

April 2018 – June 2019

Here I worked on a transition, moving all staff to a new location and developing a great culture. I developed my understanding of group organisational structures and supported the incoming CEO to shape his new team. I had some lovely colleagues, and we had a fun time finding ingenious ways to spend the Apprenticeship Levy.  


Head of HR, BBC

October 2013 – March 2018

I learnt the importance of building networks in a large company. There is a buzz in media- coffee catch-ups were standard practice and as a result I tried every flavour latte.  


Assistant director of HR/head of people services, London Borough of Brent

October 2007 – June 2013

Here I was given the opportunity to take on increasingly senior roles and it made me the CPO I am now. I led a team of 60 and we worked together to deliver two organisation-wide change programmes. I discovered the importance of treating people well during times of downsizing.  


Global HR manager/HR business partner, British Airways/Transport for London

November 2005 – June 2007

These roles developed my experience in managing international change and employee relations as well as appreciating the benefits of HR business partnering.  


Head of HR, Harrow Primary Care Trust

December 2003 – November 2005

This early head of service role developed my leadership skills, gave me my first experience of leading organisational change and expanded to include learning and development.  


Top three career tips

  1. Give others credit for the work they do and acknowledge them publicly.
  2. Understand and address the lived experiences of all sections of the workforce to ensure an inclusive employee experience.
  3. Don’t put off difficult conversations, act quickly to stop small issues becoming big problems.


The full piece of the above appears in the March/April 2021 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right