Lynn - Head of People & Isle of Wight Operations

Having joined Liz Earle in January 2018, Lynn has quickly settled into her role as Head of People & Development. With a varied career in HR behind her and a positive approach to any challenge, we wanted to find out more about her experiences so far and how it has shaped her career and professional outlook.

Tell us about your role here at Liz Earle.
What functions are you responsible for and what vision and goals do you have for your team?

I have the best job in the world! I’m Head of People & Development for Liz Earle Beauty Co. responsible for teams covering People & Development, Recruitment, Payroll & Benefits, Induction, Service & Education and Retail Engagement. I aspire for my team to be the best People & Development unit within the WBA family, for us to make a difference every day and to drive the business to success.

What’s your career journey been so far? What led you to pursue a career in HR?
I was a single parent and decided two things:

  1. I wanted my children to grow up knowing that if you wanted something you had to work hard for it – nothing will be handed to you on a plate
  2. I was going to do something that I loved.

I fell into HR, which started when I took a role as a recruiter. I loved everything in the role that was about people, but not the high sales targets, so I signed up for a degree while working at a local housing association as a personnel assistant. From there I progressed to a role in an electronics company as Personnel & Health & Safety Advisor, after a few years or hard toil, I progressed to HR Manager on the Exec Team with responsibility for the UK, France and USA. I also continued my studies, completing my degree and postgraduate qualifications in HR Management. I moved from that role to others within manufacturing organisations; roles which included, responsibilities for Nordic Region and Ireland; Global Head of Talent & Development within GKN Aerospace and lastly, prior to joining Liz Earle, as HR Director for Western Europe for a car manufacturer.

What made you choose Liz Earle?
And what have you been most impressed with since joining us?

Liz Earle has been on my radar for quite a while. I had heard such great things about the Company before I joined, especially how true to its values of people the company is. Thankfully for me, the stars aligned and here I am. I’m also thankful to say that it has met all my expectations! 
What about challenges?
Liz Earle has gone through a lot of change over the past several years, what feedback are you getting from the teams across the business in terms of what impact this has on their day to day?

I love a challenge, it gets the grey matter going! Most of the feedback from teams is around change; some love it and others really struggle. People vary in their coping mechanisms to manage change. My role here, as with all leaders of people within Liz Earle, is to bring people together, to support them and to help them navigate through the change.

Furthermore, in your view what’s important from a leadership perspective when business is continuously growing and changing?
Communication is key at times of change. By communication I mean using our ears as much as our mouth!

We need to hear people and understand how they feel and how they are coping. We must understand how the various people in our teams manage change. We know some people get through and onto the new level quickly, while others need more time. However, we cannot linger forever in the past and need to move our teams forward and into the future as quickly as we can.

As a leader of people at the heart of shaping the future of our business, what wisdom can you share with those looking to progress their careers at Liz Earle?
Own it! Don’t wait for others when planning your career. Build those relationships, volunteer for the projects, identify your own development plan and make it happen. BUT! Don’t plan a career that you think other people want you to have, make it one that you want and one that delivers all your needs. To do that you first need to think about what’s really important to you.

For Liz Earle, I aspire to the quote from Richard Branson, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

What about life outside of work?
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you wind down and manage a work-life balance.

Family time – I have four boys (two have flown the nest and two still at home). They give me a lot of pleasure and I am immensely proud of all of them

Running – I love a run; along the seafront, through the woods, anywhere really. I run with my husband 3-4 times a week, it’s real down time for us both. We catch up on the day, put the world to rights and clear our heads

Me-time – I probably don’t get enough of this, but my me-time would be peace and quiet with a good book.

We’d like to say a big 'thank you' to Lynn for sharing her insights.