NAME

Harry Housen,
People & Development Director

 

Looking back at your time with the company so far, what are you most proud of?

I was at itsu three years before I was given the opportunity to become People & Development Director. My vision was to align both our people and operational objectives, get measurable and tangible KPIs that truly delivered for our teams. We went from a disconnected HR function to a team that now clearly understands its purpose. This has been key in enhancing the engagement of our teams and increased retention by over 30% in less than two years.

What is the most exciting project that you’re working on over the next 12 months?

I am honestly excited by all the projects we have committed to for 2020. They all contribute to making itsu a truly great company to be part of. itsu has a unique and amazing feel; I take great pride in shaping our strong culture and armour it for the future. I like to challenge how things are normally done and enjoy a more unconventional approach, as long as it benefits our people and gives me the opportunity to lead by example.

What do you hope to achieve at itsu in the future?

I passionately believe that the hospitality industry offers rewarding career opportunities too often disregarded by many. We must take responsibility to change that perception by challenging the way we work and accepting that only if we adapt to the new generation’s expectations, we will succeed in doing so. It takes a completely different mindset and it won’t change overnight. It simply starts by genuinely offering careers and not just jobs. However, that’s only the start; the tip of the iceberg.

What is your guiding philosophy for HR?

Stay connected with your people. It is very easy to become detached from what truly matters to them. In businesses like ours, we must stay present on the front line. We should be delivering initiatives for people, instead of ‘HR objectives’. By doing so, we gain our people’s trust and eventually remove the HR stigma; still too often present these days.

 
 

More from this issue
Star Interview
Hunter's HRD reveals how to mix heritage and progress

Hunter's HRD reveals how to mix heritage and progress

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Stress
Tackle work-related stress…in 90 minutes
Emailogic

Tackle work-related stress…in 90 minutes

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Stats & Trends
What's stopping your HR transformation?

What's stopping your HR transformation?

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd