“You cannot manage people if you don’t understand them.”
My journey began in the banking and mortgage industry in the USA. I became a manager when I was 23 years old, despite knowing nothing about managing people.
I was inexperienced and made a lot of mistakes, but on every step of my journey I was privileged enough to meet incredible people who passed on their knowledge and insight to me.
As a manager in the mortgage industry, I learned that one of my special talents was troubleshooting. I understood very quickly how to analyse what each team member did, how they did it, and most importantly, why they did it.
“The happiest and most loyal employees are usually the most productive.”
My keen analytic sense helped me to solve operational problems, streamline processes, and improve efficiency. I began to notice that the happiest employees were usually the most productive in the workplace. This is no coincidence!
After relocating to the UK, I continued my career with a building society. When the financial crash hit in 2008, I was fundamental in helping the business navigate this unprecedented challenge.
Ella Stockdale: Founder of Humanity HR
Discovering my purposeEventually, I left the financial services industry. After everything I had seen and experienced – in both the American sub-prime market and the UK financial service market during the crash – I knew that the only way for me to feel fulfilled was for my career to have a stronger sense of purpose.I knew what I wanted to do, and why I wanted to do it. I just didn’t know yet how I would get there.In order to pursue my purpose, I enrolled at university and began working toward my law degree. I recognised that alongside my studies I also needed a practical way to apply my skills, so I volunteered at a charity as an adviser.
“I saw first hand the damage that’s caused by organisations failing to demonstrate clear communication and trust.”From those who had unfairly lost their jobs to those facing their final days, I worked directly with people in the most difficult circumstances. It was incredibly fulfilling work, and the respect and compassion I developed for people has stayed with me to this day.As my studies and cases became more specialised, my volunteer work quickly became paid work. During my time as a specialist adviser, I dealt with many people who had been let down by their employers, both intentionally and unintentionally.I saw examples of businesses not following robust processes, of companies struggling to understand their responsibilities, and organisations failing to demonstrate clear communication and trust.I personally experienced this frustration and disconnect too. During a redundancy process, I had to discover that my role was being made redundant through a miscommunication, rather than a face-to-face meeting.Unfortunately, no employer is immune to these issues, regardless of how skilled or knowledgeable they are.
Put people back at the heart of your business. Do you struggle with client retention, fluctuating staff performance, or low morale across the business? Let’s find the solution.
The Journey Continues
I finished my studies and was awarded my degree in 2015 (you may refer to me as Eleanor Stockdale LLB (Hons) if you wish!), but decided against going down the traditional trainee solicitor route.
I strongly believed that my calling was to help people with limited access to specialist support and so continued to work in the charity as a specialist adviser and, later, as a project delivery and area manager.
“You cannot make your responsibility to others more important than your responsibility to yourself.”
I was responsible for the daily management of 150 staff and volunteers, delivering a front-line service to the most vulnerable members of society.
While this was an amazing and valuable experience, services in the charity sector are chronically underfunded and have little access to resources. There was immense pressure on my team to deliver the undeliverable on a daily basis.
It was only when this began taking a real toll on my own health that I learned that invaluable leadership lesson: your responsibility to others is never more important than your responsibility to yourself.
Humanity HR begins…
HR may be a small unassuming acronym, but it covers a huge, incredibly crucial scope of issues and opportunities in a business.
Beginning life as ‘Troubleshooting Business’ in 2019, Humanity HR is a powerful, transformative venture that’s got people and all their nuances, needs, and individual complexities at its heart.
Through Humanity HR, I established a consultant-style approach to helping small businesses implement powerful positive changes that improve the lives of their people and their chances at future success.
With intuitive, proactive, and person-centred HR, everyone wins. You minimise risk to the business through looking after its people: reducing workplace stress, improving employment benefits to boost retention, and establishing a culture of care.
When you give people the tools, resources and support to maintain their mental and physical health, they perform better, take less time off, and stay in the business for longer.
I believe every business wants to create a workplace where their people want to be – it’s great for an organisation’s profit margin but, equally, it feels good too.
Interested in discussing how your business might benefit from proactive person-first HR strategies? Get in touch to discuss how I might support you, your business, and the people in it.