Head of HR at Ward Security
Why we chose Rachel
Rachel understands the importance of balancing work, family and wellbeing. She channelled this energy into developing a workplace which not only made lives better for employees but also had a big impact on customer satisfaction.
What’s your ‘why’? How do you balance work and life responsibilities to fulfil it?
My ‘why’ is to enjoy the life we have. We’re only on this earth once and you have to ensure you are wholeheartedly happy – and if you aren’t happy with something, then change it!
I see everything as a balance, so I make sure that I’m in a role/company where I can make a difference and see my impact, where I’m valued and appreciated. Then, when it comes to balancing that with life, I ensure that I’m doing things outside of work that are fulfilling, i.e. spending time with my husband and our dogs, my family and friends, as well as looking after my wellbeing by doing things like yoga and getting massages!
Can you explain an initiative you've implemented that has made an impact in your workplace?
At a previous organisation, I implemented a homeworking policy across our call centre environment and then rolled it out across other business areas. The impact created by this initiative meant that we could continue to grow as a business but keep overhead costs minimal with a 10 to 7 desk ratio. It also meant that new office space wasn’t required which would have added cost to the business.
It had a direct positive impact on employee engagement in those areas as employees felt more empowered to work autonomously, without relying on a manager being on hand to escalate or ask questions of. It also positively impacted those employees’ work-life balance, having less/no commute and being able to see their loved ones more before and after work. And that led to a positive impact on customer satisfaction as queries were responded to more quickly and efficiently.
This followed on to reducing staff turnover in the department, meaning customers were interacting with more trained and experienced employees, rather than new trainees.
The final impact was on cultural change, as I worked with business leaders to encourage them to move from a team who was always in the office to a remote team. This meant changing mindsets around work output rather than ‘bums on seats’ and got them to think differently about how to measure performance and impact.
As a female leader, what have been the most significant barriers in your career?
I really can’t say I have knowingly been affected by barriers in my career. This may be because I work in HR, a predominantly female career, or because I just choose to ignore barriers and keep working on my own goals without seeing them!
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Know who you are and know your worth! You can do things just as well as anyone else, regardless of gender or any other characteristic, but also know what it is that drives you, not just what you think should drive you.
It’s okay to be career-driven, or not be career-driven, or be a balance of career-driven and also ‘something-else driven’. Don’t let society or others around you dictate what you should be, or should do. You do you and ensure you’re happy!