Karen Rumble: "Listening, challenging and supporting teams is imperative"

Karen Rumble People and Culture Director

Karen Rumble, our People and Culture Director spoke to HR Grapevine about her most rewarding day in HR.

My most rewarding day in HR came when I was nominated for and won the employee of the year award in a previous role. It felt great to be recognised for my hard work but more importantly, to be respected by my peers, so much so that they would nominate me for the award.

I joined the business at a time when the reputation and opinion of its HR department was extremely poor, due to a high level of change. It was always going to be an uphill battle as expectations were so low but I knew I had to focus on getting the basics right before anything else. Giving facts is what helped build confidence in the advice I was providing.  

In areas such as recruitment it really was as simple as analysing data such as our time to hire, the on-boarding process or our new hire exits. These were real issues I could discuss with the teams and build alongside them the solution or a plan of action.  Finding out what the business needed was the key to the success.

With all the odds stacked against me, you can imagine my surprise upon hearing my name called up for the award. At that moment, I knew then that my time spent learning the business, from the front line staff to senior management, was what had built my credibility and allowed me to make the changes needed. Listening, challenging and supporting teams is imperative - too often businesses don’t listen to the basic needs of their employees and HR solutions aren’t fit for purpose as a result.

As an HR professional, the greatest fulfilment comes when your work helps other people, therefore helping drive the commercial performance of the business.

(Article first published in HR Grapevine, 20th December 2016)