Career file: Projecting the right image

What does your role involve?
Maximising revenue and minimising costs for UCI cinemas in the UK and Ireland by planning, directing and controlling all HR activities, leading the HR team, creating and delivering an HR strategy to achieve business objectives.

What is your current major training project or strategic push?
In the past 12 months we’ve launched our new recruitment website, an Employ-ee Assistance Programme, conducted employee surveys, continued our work on diversity, reviewed the effectiveness of our approach to training and development, including extending our UCI Legendary Leadership Programme. This led to a regional win and a finalist’s place in the National Training Awards.

Which of your qualifications do you most value and why?
My CIPD. The study was a good founda-tion and confidence builder; although as a mature student, I found working, study-ing and retaining theory a struggle.

How do you demonstrate return on investment from training interventions?
Ensuring there is a significant and genu-ine reason for the investment in the first place. Training is a necessity, and well-defined, well-designed and well-delivered training demonstrates its own return.

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the training profession?
To become core to the business and anticipate training and development needs, spotting, nurturing and building talent for the future.

Can you remember the best training session you attended?
A course called Developing Interpersonal Skills back in the 1980s – it gave me a great tool kit and huge leap in life skills very early in my career.

Can you remember the worst?
How to fit and measure for a truss!

How do you get the best from people?
Share the bigger picture, show humility, appreciate their strengths, address their needs, appraise them honestly, recognise the difference they make, celebrate their successes and don’t take them for granted.

What is the essential tool for your job?
A filter coffee machine and fresh coffee.

How do you network?
I have a few close ‘low dependency’ contacts, across broad disciplines not just HR, whose opinion and advice I trust and respect. I scour my daily paper for news and trends before leaving for work.

What is the best management book you have ever read?
Most management books I only scan. One exception is First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Great Managers Do Differently, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. This inspired a new approach to understanding employee satisfaction and lead to tremendous im-provements in one of our key businesses.

Which gurus are the most inspiring?
I can’t think of any gurus. However I was truly inspired by Mike Devenney, a gifted disability campaigner, who sadly passed away in November.

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