Regional Leader EMA,
People & Culture, Specialized
How's your recent move to Specialized going?
I have been completely blown away by my teammates at Specialized already. What’s hit me about Specialized is that we hire bright, smart, passionate individuals who all have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. Everyone is truly committed to making the world a better place through cycling; they firmly believe in the brand, its products and future. We combine world class innovation and technology with fitness and retail – which is a fantastic combination for me to work with!
How do you ensure HR's People & Culture strategy meets the company ethos at Specialized?
In Specialized we are called People & Culture (not HR and not Personnel). We were called personnel, then we evolved to HR and now we have evolved further to People & Culture and that’s because we believe that our people are people and not human resources and that our people work inside of our organisations culture. It’s important, when you join any new organisation, that you take the time to really get under the skin and find out how it works. It’s all too easy for us in People & Culture to just replay our ‘greatest hits’ from the last place which isn’t necessarily going to work. It’s when you truly get to know the organisation, its people, and its DNA that you can really create the right strategy for the place.
What projects are you working on at Specialized that you're excited about?
I am really excited about developing the People & Culture strategy. My first two months have had me on a ‘seek to understand’ tour (‘seek to understand’ is one of our values) - I have visited most of our markets in Europe and met with our teammates to understand what makes us Specialized, what’s working, what’s not working and what we can improve. The formation of the strategy will be based on the stories and experiences shared on this tour. Once drafted, the strategy will be opened to all teammates – they will help ‘stress test’ it to make sure that what we have developed resonates and is true to what they need. Our goal is to make Specialized a phenomenal place to work and we will be using the great place to work survey as a tool that helps us realise this ambition.
What are the benefits to being an HR generalist?
There’s a huge amount of variety – from working on the nuts and bolts of an employee contract through coaching an Exec member on team effectiveness to Organisational Design work. It allows you to get close to the business at all levels. I am loving the change and am finding that I am applying what I have learnt from being an L&D specialist to all areas of People & Culture.