People Puzzles helped take the people stress away from We Seal, allowing it to focus on the immediate challenges of lockdown, as well as develop a people plan to secure its future.
We Seal Ltd is a growing business based in Yeadon, Leeds, which specialises in manufacturing bag seal equipment for the food market as well as distributing vinyl and sign making products.
Why a People Director was needed
Although business was doing well at We Seal, a number of complex and sensitive people issues had arisen that needed addressing – and fast. The managers were determined to resolve them in the best way possible; however, solutions were not straightforward and involved some unique circumstances.
Secondly, the business also needed help with succession planning. A director had recently exited the business and the senior team needed to take on someone with the right mix of entrepreneurial and technical skills.
In December 2019, the business brought in Portfolio People Director Lynn Morrison, to not only respond to the immediate challenges, but also to develop a people strategy that could really move the business forward.
In just three months, People Puzzles brought the following benefits to We Seal:
- Decisive action to resolve urgent, complex and sensitive people issues very quickly
- Expertise and confidence to resolve subsequent people issues with advice and guidance
- Giving the leaders space to focus on strategy and the challenges associated with lockdown
- Future proofing the business with succession planning
Lynn really hit the ground running and within days had ticked off some of the most pressing people issues that required sensitivity and care. ‘People Puzzles provided us with prompt, flexible resource for handling all HR challenges to date,’ says John Haig, Operations Director at WeSeal. ‘The availability of material and documentation enabled us to initially deal with firefighting of existing HR issues.’
Expertise and confidence
Having Lynn on board has given the senior team the confidence to deal with its HR issues promptly and efficiently, bringing an invaluable knowledge and experience. After Lynn had swiftly and effectively dealt with the most pressing issues, she was able to start mentoring a staff member who had just started an apprenticeship in HR. This has enabled the business to become more resourceful and able to deal with its own people issues using best practice, while maintaining a positive work environment.
Space to focus on strategy
The issues were addressed just in time for the business to deal with its next set of challenges that came as a result of the lockdown in mid-March 2020. ‘We certainly put a lot of issues to bed before then,’ says Lynn.
The business was also now in a better position to focus on planning for the future and shoring up the leadership team. Before Lynn arrived, the business had advertised to fill the vacant director’s position, but no suitable candidates had been forthcoming.
Lynn immediately saw that this next recruit would be key to future-proof the business. It would not be an easy appointment to make; the right candidate needed a unique blend of entrepreneurial skills, experience and technical knowledge. After introducing the business to a headhunter, Lynn worked closely with the senior team to identify and find the right person. Within 12 weeks, an offer had been made and accepted
A clear vision for the future
With this key recruitment now made, We Seal is now in a great position to move forward with a renewed people strategy. ‘Following assessment of a cross section of the team by Lynn, we are now looking at how to move forward with our HR vision,’ John Haig confirms.