Job title: General manager, HR development
Organisation: The Co-operative Group
What are your key responsibilities?
I am accountable to the Co-op Group Executive for HR across six different businesses and their total of 50,000 employees.
Previous jobs (both HR and non-HR)?
I have worked in farming, retail and now in a corporate role, but all within the same organisation.
Why did you choose the Co-operative Group?
It is the biggest organisation in the north west, so it is a must for any young graduate.
What attracted you to a career in HR?
While working as a sales manager, I learned that results depend on the quality of people around you and on their training.
What key skills do you need to be successful?
Team leadership and the ability to implement strategies to bring about big changes.
What do you enjoy most about your current job?
Seeing how initiatives make an impact on peoples lives. When you go to one of the parts of the business, you see how it makes a difference.
What do you enjoy least about your job?
Not being part of a business management team I miss the adrenaline rush.
What has been your greatest achievement in work?
Achieving Investors in People (IiP) accreditation.
What is the most important contribution that HR can make to a business?
Creating an employer brand that attracts and retains talent.
If you werent working for the Co-operative Group, which company would you most like to work for?
Oxfam or Christian Aid, tackling a major logistical problem in Africa.
Which senior manager or business person, outside the Co-operative group, do you admire most?
One businessman, John Adair [consultant and writer on leadership issues], and one politician, Tony Benn. They are both brilliant thinkers who can communicate a simple message.
What measures do you use to see how good a job you are doing?
Achieving IiP is the gold standard. But customer feedback surveys are important too.
Which book has had the greatest influence on you?
There isnt one but if pressed Id say Siddhartha by Herman Hesse it puts striving for success into perspective.