How fashionable is HR?

Roksanda Ilincic
Roksanda Ilincic

Monday I was delighted to be invited to the Roksanda SS16 show. I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited before and it is such a privilege. Well once you have got past the what should I wear question (neutral and black). I can’t image there were many other HR professionals in the audience and it made me reflect on how the skills of HR are so important in every type of fast growing business.

Amelore have been working with Roksanda and her business for a few years now and seen it change in that time growing from strength to strength.

The key thing for every ambitious business is to ensure that everything you are introducing, including the people you hire, is scalable and relevant for your business. If it works for you now be mindful that you may be quickly outgrow it. Don’t be afraid to be different or bold. Remember that behavior was what got you to where you are now.

In the time we have been working with fast growing businesses we have come up with these key areas to focus on.

  1. Never stop recruiting – if you are a founder you will learn about what skills and roles you need in your business by meeting candidates. You will also unearth critical talent that could be goal changing for your company. It’s OK to completely redesign your structure to accommodate someone amazing. Trust me on that one. Recruitment is not an area to delegate or get glib about. Personally sign off every hire until you get to 3 tiers.
  1. Constantly review your structure – (see above). For a while, depending on the nature and projected growth of your business, you will have everyone reporting to you. This will enable you to keep a birds eye view on everything and then suddenly you won’t need to – you will hire a COO or a CEO to run the operational side and focus on critical growing areas – like Product development, sales, marketing, finance, brand and people. Don’t lose sight of your people even if they don’t all report to you. Stay connected. Stay informed.
  1. Reward and retention is key – As you grow constantly think about your team and how to keep them with you. This might be a share of the profits or a Christmas bonus or a guaranteed sabbatical or something they tell you they really really want. Listen and stay open minded.
  1. Don’t introduce things just because you are told to. Investors or advisors don’t always know what is best for your business. Avoid making your growing organisation too corporate or clunky. Keep it agile and fleet of foot. Processes like appraisals (which many large companies are taking out) may be wrong for you – take advice and consider alternatives. Pare your HR practices down to critical tools only.
  1. Take time out to learn new things yourself – Creating space for yourself to think and be creative and reflective, be it facilitated by a coach or alone, is really key. Arranging development is all part of you investing in your most valuable asset. You. In the second book by Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish of notonthehighstreet.com called “Shape up your business” I write about coaching yourself. Both books are a good read (the first one is called ‘Build Your Business From Your Kitchen Table’).
  1. Take care of your alumini. This is something Roksanda is very very good at. She stays in touch with people and is genuinely interested in how they are doing. Her interest in people and abilty to read and understand them is significant, I am sure, to her great success as a fashion designer. She understands and cares about people and because of that can design things that make them feel amazing.

So getting the right HR advice in your business is important whether its fashionable or not. Do it and stay ahead of the competition.

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