People Skills support and services

Your people are the most important part of your business but managing them well can be difficult and challenging in many ways. As a small business you may not have the time or resources to focus on HR issues or be able to access expert support from a qualified HR professional.

The free People Skills service can provide you with this expert support.

You’ll have access to a range of free online tools as well as 1-2-1 advisory services, learning from a team of experienced HR professionals who’ve worked with other small businesses like yours. Improving management skills and practices to get the most from your people could make the biggest difference to your business success.

From making sure that you have the right policies and practices in place to finding, recruiting and developing the best staff for your business, the People Skills service is there to help.


How does the programme work?

This is a research project available to businesses who employ up to 50 people in Hackney, Stoke-on-Trent and Glasgow. Businesses who do not fall into these geographical regions can access support and advice through the CIPD's Information for small businesses pages.

The People Skills initiative is available to small business for up to 12 months and is free of charge. It includes:

  • 1-2-1 guidance from senior HR professionals – they’ll work alongside you in your business
  • a telephone helpline so you can discuss your employment issues wherever you are
  • online information and practical templates to save you time when developing new employment processes
  • local events delivered on related people management topics.



HR Inform

HR-inform is your practical guide to employment law and HR best practice. SMEs based in our three pilot areas can access HR Inform for free for the duration of the programme (usually priced at £800 + VAT).


  • People Skills service
  • Hackney
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Glasgow

People Skills service

Select the tab for Hackney, Stoke-on-Trent or Glasgow to find out how we can support you in your area.

Hackney

People Skills provides FREE expert HR support for small businesses based in Hackney. Supported by London Borough of Hackney, People Skills can help grow your business by focusing on your most important asset, your people.


Who qualifies?

  • Businesses based in the London Borough of Hackney.
  • Businesses between 5 and 50 people.


What can we do for you?

People Skills can give you advice and guidance on every aspect of people management.

We recognise that small business don’t always have the time and the money to spend on people related issues. People management may even be viewed as a luxury rather than an essential – until a tipping point arises or a crisis occurs.

Whatever 'age' your business and whatever development stage you are at, People Skills can help with key topics such as:

  • recruiting new staff
  • getting the best out of your staff with training, reward and pay advice
  • reducing sickness absence
  • increasing motivation and staff happiness
  • preventing conflict and improving morale
  • keeping on top of complex employment law, policies and processes


Contact our team

Our team can help even if you are not sure what help you need. Phone us for a chat on 020 8612 6387 or email us to get further information on what we can do for you.

Meet the team:

Ade Adeniji Chartered MCIPD, FRSA

Ade is an Organisational Consultant, certified Coach and Group Facilitator. He has over 20 years’ experience in human resources and personal development, spanning the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He was Human Resources Director with Liberty Global Europe, a digital media company, with responsibility for the UK, Netherlands, Spain and Central Europe. Prior to that, he was Head of Human Resources with Guardian News and Media Ltd. He held other HR roles with ITV, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Cabinet Office and the Government Legal Service. Past clients include National Health Service, Lewisham Council, BBC, The Economist, Phillips, Terrence Higgins Trust, NAZ Project London, and School of Social Entrepreneurs.

Ade holds a Law degree; in addition he has an MSc in Human Resources, a Diploma in Group Facilitation, Counselling Skills and Conflict Resolution, and a Certificate in Coaching Skills. He is a qualified Workplace Mediator and NLP practitioner. He is also a Certified The Daring Way™ Facilitator (based on the research of Brené Brown).

As a practitioner, Ade adopts a holistic approach to all aspects of his practice, working with individuals, teams and organisations to cultivate conscious choices, discover infinite options and achieve optimal results.


Ali Moran FCIPD

Ali is an enthusiastic collaborative HR consultant and enjoys working with small and medium businesses, proactively contributing to the development and achievement of business objectives and supporting business owners and managers to get the best from teams.

Ali is also an experienced operational manager, having worked in sales, sales support, marketing and customer service before starting her career in HR.

She is a Fellow of the CIPD, works at both strategic and operational level and her commercial and practical approach is underpinned by a Masters degree in employment law.

Examples of her work include implementing the basics such as an employee database, contract of employment, employee handbook and effective people related policies, managing recruitment campaigns for a wide variety of roles, designing an induction process to enable managers to successfully integrate new team members into the company and manage the probationary period effectively, managing the design and implementation of a performance management system, developing and delivering results oriented training, supporting and coaching managers to manage performance and behaviour issues and grievances and advising on organisational structure in periods of growth and decline.


Ann Gibson Chartered MCIPD

Ann came to HR as a career change after running a small gardening and design business. She worked as a sub-contractor for a large Gardening business and was invited to manage the staffing and recruitment in a high profile contract in West London. She learned HR on the job and drawing on business set-up knowledge, decided on HR as a career path.

Ann then worked for a large engineering services company in SE London where she shaped and moulded the HR function and started an Apprenticeship Programme which is now affiliated to The Princes Trust.

She also worked as an HR leader for a nationwide retail/sales business managing business change and ER casework UK wide. Reaching Board level for a multi-national in Facilities sector, Ann supported Regional Managers in UK, EU and Asia with change management and employee relations. Having “found a seat at the boardroom table”, Ann returned to the SME sector to work with businesses on HR and development of people processes. Clients are typically businesses who pay National Minimum Wage, crafts/creative professionals, facilities management, cleaning companies, estate agents, lawyers and small accounting businesses.

Ann works on the premise of, “you have worked hard to grow your business and I can assist with growing your people processes.”


Carolyn Hawley Chartered MCIPD

Carolyn (Caz) is a senior and well qualified Human Resources professional and Coach with 25 years’ of varied experience. With experience across a broad diversity of organisations, she has most recently provided bespoke HR advice, coaching and solutions to an SME in the Oil & Gas Sector, and created a full HR framework. She has previously worked with Engineering, FMCG, Public Sector and Charity organisations.

She brings a wealth of international exposure, and is at the same time able to adapt her experience and tailor HR solutions according to the local needs and growth plans of the SME Client. She has a down-to–earth approach and is particularly committed to encouraging growth in others through coaching and other development means. With a strong partnering ethos and good awareness of commercial issues, she has an open and positive attitude with a “can do” approach. A calm, unruffled professional, who is thorough, flexible, dedicated and resilient.

Caz also brings a variety of coaching experience and is an Associate Coach Facilitator & Coach Assessor for a Post-Graduate Certificate programme accredited by Chester University, run by Barefoot Coaching Ltd. She coaches Private Clients, often with particular emphasis on Career Coaching. Caz also works as an Associate Coach with Young Offenders, 1:1 and in groups, through the charity Spark Inside, and is a Mentor through CIPD “Steps Ahead” programme working with graduates & returners to employment.

Karen Edwards Chartered FCIPD

Karen has been practicing as a Human Resources professional since the mid-eighties. In the eleven years up to January 2013, she was operating at a senior leadership level majoring on leading medium-sized organisations through significant organisational change. These roles required her to contribute not only to strategy but to be hands-on and participate across the whole range of HR activities. She also has over 20 years’ experience of trade union negotiations surrounding the terms and conditions of people’s employment and health and safety matters.

Since January 2013 she has worked as an independent HR Consultant, supporting and advising small to medium-sized businesses with their HR needs. This brings her into regular contact with a broad range of businesses, occupations, professions and trades. Her particular knowledge and professional interests are in employment law, management of change, employment relations, skills development and recruitment. Some of her consultancy work concerns the preparation of expert witness reports for the Courts in loss of earnings cases regarding people with (generally) profound disability following medical negligence, accident or injury.

Karen is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management. She also holds a post-graduate Diploma in Executive Coaching and Mentoring.

Trudy Thom Chartered FCIPD B.Sc.(Hons)

Trudy has specialised in HR for over 20 years. Her first experience of the SME sector was the family business and she has worked with a range of SMEs since then. She can work with you on a variety of people issues to enhance performance. These include recruitment, induction, development, objective setting, coaching senior managers as well as those new to managing people and organisational design and development. Her special interests are staff engagement and performance management.

Trudy has a Management Science degree from Warwick University and is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD. She is also qualified in Organisational Design and Development.

Stoke-on-Trent

People Skills provides FREE expert HR support for small businesses based in Stoke-on-Trent. Supported by Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, People Skills can help grow your business by focusing on your most important asset, your people.


Who qualifies?

  • Businesses based in Stoke-on-Trent.
  • Businesses between 5 and 50 people.


What can we do for you?

People Skills can give you advice and guidance on every aspect of people management.

We recognise that small business don’t always have the time and the money to spend on people related issues. People management may even be viewed as a luxury rather than an essential – until a tipping point arises or a crisis occurs.

Whatever 'age' your business and whatever development stage you are at, People Skills can help with key topics such as:

  • recruiting new staff
  • getting the best out of your staff with training, reward and pay advice
  • reducing sickness absence
  • increasing motivation and staff happiness
  • preventing conflict and improving morale
  • keeping on top of complex employment law, policies and processes


Contact our team

Our team can help even if you are not sure what help you need. Phone us for a chat on 0300 111 8002 or email us to get further information on what we can do for you.

Meet the team:

Andrew Riley

Andrew Riley is a pragmatic and experienced business consultant, adviser and trainer. He delivers in a very practical hands on style based on his many years’ experience of business and management. His first role in a team leading capacity was at the age of 18 and by the age of 29 he had a senior management role reporting directly to the board and with national responsibilities.

At a very early point he realised the benefit of valuing your team, not just financially but recognising and developing skills and talent at all levels. He became an Investors-in-People Advisor in the early days of the standard and has worked with many organisations large and small to develop and implement successful people management practices. Alongside this he has written and delivered training from shop floor to boardroom, is an accredited assessor/verifier and has been a visiting lecturer at Warwick University on the role of people in business re-engineering.


Carol Probyn Chartered MCIPD

Carol has broad business experience gained in a range of organisations of all sizes and in all sectors. She has held a variety of management roles in customer service, personnel, human resources, training, commercial and general management. As a practised consultant, Carol has operated at all levels from Chief Executive of multi-national organisations to shop-floor staff and members of the public. She has worked with businesses in a range of sectors and of different sizes. Her experience in human resource management includes the management of personnel/human resource functions.

As a consultant, Carol provides support and advice to organisations looking for help with a range of human resource matters. She has set up and run two small businesses in the last 10 years and so understand the challenges of small to medium size businesses. A qualified, professional trainer, Carol is experienced at design and delivery of development activities to general audiences and on a “bespoke” basis. Particular areas of expertise include planning and business strategy, organisational development, Human Resources, employee development and customer service.

She is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and Member of the Institute of Leadership and Management. My qualifications include BA (Hons) Law (Llb), Postgraduate Certificate HRM, Postgraduate Advanced Diploma in Training and Development and the Assessor Award (D32/33).


Jayne Phillips Chartered FCIPD

Jayne is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has 25 years strategic HR experience working with public sector, not for profits, charities and small businesses, most recently as a Director with a Housing Association Group and now as an HR and business consultant working mainly with SME’s in North Staffordshire. She is also an SME mentor with the Chamber’s ‘Lets Do Mentoring’ programme.

Jayne is passionate about using positive HR practice to help local businesses grow and deliver excellent customer services. Jayne firmly believes that getting the best from people through a positive HR strategy and practice linked to business objectives, mission and values is the key to success for an organisation. She has extensive experience of developing and implementing HR and business excellence strategies as well as managing culture change, including restructurings, mergers and acquisitions and ensuring businesses meet their legal HR responsibilities. She has delivered continuous improvement projects achieving national business excellence, employer of choice and apprenticeship awards.

Alongside this, Jayne’s knowledge of the local area and experience of working directly with SME’s in North Staffordshire means that she can tailor her experience directly to their needs through a friendly and supportive approach, designed to bring real added value.


Karen Elliot Chartered FCIPD

Karen Elliot is a HR professional with 17 years of experience operating at both operational and strategic levels. Karen has worked as a HR contractor and due to her strong generalist background, has delivered contracts in a complete spectrum of HR fields. She works with both SMEs and a FTSE 100 businesses within a range of industry sectors. During her time in the FTSE 100 arena, she developed a strong interest in talent management and leadership development, working with key external partners in the accelerated development of individuals with executive potential.

Karen was Global Head of Human Resources for a medical devices business, where she worked in partnership with the executive team to drive business growth through people. She played an instrumental role in the commercialisation of the company, through organisation design and delivery and developing the organisation’s global footprint. Having gained a significant amount of experience from rapidly expanding SMEs, Karen has a huge interest in supporting smaller organisations achieve their ambitions through people. For the last 7 years Karen has lead her own consulting practice. During this time she has gained a number of contracts with the CIPD.


Mary Scarratt Chartered FCIPD

Mary is passionate about people, business, and people in business. She is currently working as a business consultant with not for profit and SME businesses, and delighted to be joining the CIPD People Skills programme over the next year, really looking forward to helping individuals and businesses to grow . Mary has lived and worked in and around Stoke and North Staffs and has skills and experience in management, change management, HR, business improvement, sales and account management, customer service, contact centres, working with consumer, SME, and corporate customers.

Mary volunteers as a business mentor and is actively involved in corporate CSR programmes - year 10 work inspiration programme, helping local managers and teams with volunteering projects, chairman of Newcastle Community Transport scheme.


Melaney Doyle Chartered MCIPD

Melaney is an experienced HR professional and Board member, skilled in developing and delivering effective strategic and operational HR solutions to local private sector organizations. She has worked in HR for over 20 years and held senior HR roles in national and international organisations with operations in the UK, Europe and Africa before setting up MPower People Development Ltd in 2011 to act as an outsourced HR Department/Director for organisations without a dedicated HR function and to assist HR departments who need additional ad hoc support such as mediation, dispute resolution, investigations, disciplinary processes and preparation for ET.

She adopts a forward thinking, creative and results orientated approach and encourages clients to see HR as a key element of their business strategy and use it as a business tool (employment contracts, staff handbook, and performance management/appraisal) to manage their business more effectively and increase motivation and engagement at all levels to drive change and innovation. Melaney has a broad knowledge of methods, techniques and solutions across a full range of HR, leadership and employment issues and adopt an adaptable, flexible, consultative approach with clients that supports your business aims, growth and delivers results.

She is a HR Mentor with the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, and has an MSC in Occupational Psychology so brings in-depth knowledge of occupational and organisational psychology to my HR practice. Melaney is also a qualified DiSC trainer/profiler and use leader, 360, manager, culture profiles to help managers develop skills and self-awareness to manage people and situations better.

Sue Green Chartered MCIPD

Sue Green is a fully accredited Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has a Masters Degree in Strategic Human Resource Management. She has a vast amount of generalist HR experience, having worked for such respected names as, Rolls Royce and has managed a number of change management projects together with helping businesses to get on track with their day to day people management.

She has a proactive and commercially focussed approach to HR.

Glasgow

People Skills provides FREE expert HR support for small businesses based in Glasgow. Supported by Glasgow City Council, People Skills can help grow your business by focusing on your most important asset, your people.


Who qualifies?

  • Businesses based in Glasgow.
  • Businesses between 5 and 50 people.


What can we do for you?

People Skills can give you advice and guidance on every aspect of people management.

We recognise that small business don’t always have the time and the money to spend on people related issues. People management may even be viewed as a luxury rather than an essential – until a tipping point arises or a crisis occurs.

Whatever 'age' your business and whatever development stage you are at, People Skills can help with key topics such as:

  • recruiting new staff
  • getting the best out of your staff with training, reward and pay advice
  • reducing sickness absence
  • increasing motivation and staff happiness
  • preventing conflict and improving morale
  • keeping on top of complex employment law, policies and processes


Contact our team

Our team can help even if you are not sure what help you need. Phone us for a chat on 0141 287 8604 or email us to get further information on what we can do for you.

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