When you finally understand exactly who you’re supposed to be, the next step is saying goodbye to who you once were. Today, I’m officially leaving the name Troubleshooting Business Solutions behind and stepping into a new, exciting direction: Humanity HR.
As an experienced, solutions-based independent HR Consultant, I’ll be guiding businesses in overcoming employee-based business challenges by supporting their people. They’ll receive bespoke strategies for reducing workplace stress, building up their people’s resilience, and in turn, boosting their business’ long-term stability.
But to begin this exciting new chapter, I first want to reflect on how we got here…
A tragic start to Troubleshooting Business Solutions
Every business has an origin story and most begin with a note of optimism for the future. Unfortunately, Troubleshooting Business Solutions had a different opening chapter.
In 2019, I decided to join forces with a good friend of mine to create a one-stop shop for businesses that need support. That friend was James, a process-focused Microsoft 365 wizard with extensive knowledge of computer systems. He was the systems and process; I was the people and process.
We had everything ready for launch before the events of March 2020, and the first UK lockdown halted us (and the rest of the world) in our tracks. We launched in early April, and in the meantime, I provided employment advice to friends and clients alike amidst the chaos and uncertainty of the pandemic.
On 17th April, James and I were due to have a Zoom meeting. He didn’t show up, which was incredibly unusual for him, and I couldn’t shake the thought that something was wrong. Knowing he lived alone, I decided to break lockdown to check on him.
When I arrived at James’ home that day, I found my friend lying in his garden – he had died very suddenly of a heart attack, having collapsed outside while exercising. He was only 43 years old.
The days and weeks after losing my wonderful friend and business partner were a blur and I sunk into grief. As I focused on putting one foot in front of the other, a question began to form in mind: ‘What do I do now?’.
Was I still Troubleshooting Business Solutions without James, and all the amazing processes and technical strategies that he was going to offer our clients?
HR support through Covid-19, lockdown, and furlough
As it turned out, the answer to that question would have to wait. I wasn’t the only one just trying to get through each day, as we all began to navigate life and work in lockdown.
During this time, I took great solace and pride in being able to provide clients with reliable advice. I worked hard to ensure employers had the correct insight and strategies to take care of the people working for them, and that those people understood their rights and what they were entitled to.
The natural evolution of this was becoming an independent HR Consultant; expertise that I saw increasing demand for across almost every sector.
The landscape of employment was changing rapidly. People were finding it difficult to return to work after furlough, businesses were struggling to adjust to shifting demands, and instances of contention in the workplace increased.
How lockdown changed the way we work forever
Lockdown began to shift our work culture and attitudes towards the work/home divide. There was a time when none of us were able to see our friends and family – for those people who were required to be in the workplace to do their job, the bonds they had with their colleagues became all the more important.
There were also the millions of people who were required, almost overnight, to work exclusively from home. While there were downsides and upsides, for many there was a sense of freedom in this new flexibility – especially people caring for children or dependants at home.
The consensus before this time had been that people didn’t work particularly well from home, but it had become clear that this wasn’t necessarily the case for everyone.
I saw that we needed solutions that allow businesses to move closer to how their people want to work. Rather than enforcing measures and modes of working and expecting people to adhere, businesses could provide their people with ways to build their resilience in the workplace.
Focusing on people rather than processes
As a result of this new insight, I decided to adjust my approach as an HR Consultant.
I wanted to firmly centre humanity in the solutions I was creating for businesses. When reflecting on a business’ HR challenge, I would view that business as a community of people rather than a clinical workplace where staff are just a function within an overall process.
Maybe this approach sounds obvious – business owners aren’t Dickensian industrialists with factories full of malnourished, overworked drones after all. But in 2022, it is no longer enough to be providing the people who work for you with the bare minimum. It didn’t really work before lockdown, and it’s certainly not going to work now.
HR solutions that are rooted in genuine employment support are not only the future of Humanity HR’s approach, they’re where employment as a whole is headed. Businesses need to attract, nourish, and retain good talent to survive and that means becoming a place where people want to be as well as work.
So how am I going to help businesses achieve this?
Effective, long-term solutions based on employee support
For businesses struggling with retention, contention, and performance, Humanity HR will be creating an effective, hard-working suite of solutions.
I’ll continue to support businesses with the essential nuts and bolts of HR, including robust documentation processes and guidance on changing terms and conditions.
However, I’ll now be uplifting businesses by showing them how to bring their people with them on their awesome upward journey. I’ll be pinpointing exactly how they can take better care of their employees, so people are, in turn, better equipped to contribute to a business that they feel genuinely a part of.
The name of the game is resilience. By building their people’s resilience through practical support and a genuine, empathetic approach, businesses are investing in their own future success.
Retention becomes less of a problem because people actively want to stay – why leave a business where your health, happiness, and work/life balance is as priority? Contention plummets because people are taken care of, with access to benefits like flexible working, childcare accommodations, better healthcare, counselling, and so much more.
Humanity HR is here for businesses who are looking to solve their problems permanently, rather than plug a leaking ship. I believe that was what James and I were building all along – a way for businesses to reap the rewards of treating their people brilliantly.
The beating heart of my work was, is, and always will be people, which is why I’m here to empower organisations to put people back at the heart of their business.