Emily Perry Meet the Team (WFH EDITION)

Explain your role at TSG:

I’m the HR Director at The Shore Group, and I am part of the leadership team. My role is very varied – I can either be working on strategic projects such as improving our employer brand, talent attraction and retention, learning and development, culture and engagement or supporting our directors and area managers with their teams. I also oversee our compliance function, and work to ensure we meet the requirements of our various industry accreditations, keep up to date with ever changing legislation and ensure we apply this across the people areas of the business.

What is your favourite part of working for TSG?

The people. The culture here is unique and unlike anywhere I have worked before. No day is ever the same, and I enjoy working with a team of fun and enthusiastic people. The owners of the business are real entrepreneurs and I find that really exciting and inspiring.

What are your ambitions within the company?

To keep improving the way we do things to make us an employer of choice within the recruitment industry.

What has been your greatest achievement so far at TSG?

I think it has been opening up the conversations around mental health and wellbeing. It is a huge personal interest of mine , and something that I am very open in talking about. As a business, predominantly in the sales and construction industry there has historically been a lot of stigma around speaking up about mental health struggles. So since I have been back in the business full time it’s definitely something I have seen huge changes to in our culture, and something I am proud of.

What did you do before you worked at TSG, and what attracted you to the business?

I had my own HR consultancy and TSG was my first client, so I’ve worked with the business since 2012 when the business was unrecognisable from what it is today. I had a brief hiatus from the business, but returned when I realised that running a business wasn’t for me, and TSG needed an HR presence in the business full time. I always said I would never go and work ‘in-house’ again as an HR professional, and can’t think of anything worse than being in a boring process driven HR function. However TSG isn’t a stuffy corporate business, and I have complete freedom in what I do. I get to be really involved in the business and put forward ideas and see the difference the changes make. I get a lot of satisfaction from that. I also enjoy visiting our different offices and creating strong relationships with our people.

What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced from a people perspective given the current COVID19 crisis?

The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind. Our first concern was obviously making sure that our team was safe and well, and that we put into place enhanced safety measures across all of our offices in the early stages of the outbreak.

When full lock down was announced, we had to mobilise the entire business to work from home. Historically we have very much been an office based business, so within the space of a few hours we had to ensure that as many people as possible could continue to work from their homes.

We then saw a huge spike in our retail business which meant it was all hands on deck, whilst working from home, and consultants learning new ways of working.

With the external world changing on a daily basis, it has meant as a leadership team we have had to communicate more than ever, and also communicate to the business to keep people informed. We’ve utilised technology to help with this and I feel this has been a huge learning curve for us, and something I certainly want to continue with.

How are you finding working from home?

I like being around people so initially I found it very hard. I used to work from home when I had my own business, and I found it very isolating and wasn’t something I enjoyed – so the prospect of having to return to this was not something I was excited about! However, as the weeks have gone past, I am enjoying the quiet time it gives me to focus and think. Keeping in touch with the team via Teams and Zoom definitely helps. I also get to spend more time with my dog so that is a bonus!

What top tips would you give to anybody struggling to work from home during the lockdown?

A routine really helps me. Getting up at the same time each day, going for a walk early in the morning and then getting ready and set up to work. I’ve created a small office in my spare room, and have found that having a dedicated space to work helps keep me focused and means I can shut the door on the day – as the temptation is to just keep going. Keeping in touch with people via Teams and Zoom is really important – and making sure that you have a chat with people about non work stuff too helps keep you sane.

Have you noticed any positive changes in your lifestyle since being in lockdown?

I normally have quite a long commute to work, so I have found that I have more time to exercise and get outside. Going for a walk with my dog every morning has been really good for my mental health and having more time in the evening to do online yoga classes has helped to keep me balanced during what is a really stressful time for everyone. I have been making the most of my local wine shop’s home delivery service – but it’s all about balance!