Head of HR, Haribo
Most working days start with a short commute for Amanda Burns, Head of HR at Haribo. While the confectionary firm’s hybrid working policy means that Amanda can choose between working from home or the office, she prefers to work on-site to enjoy the ‘buzz’ of the office. Below, Amanda gives us a look at her typical working day, which could include reviewing plans for new products (and getting to taste them!), catching up with colleagues around the world, and discussions around succession planning…
My alarm is set daily for 6:30am. My husband is normally up and about by 6:15am, so our fur baby Eric tends to jump into the warm space and wake me up for cuddles before my alarm goes off. Due to the fact that we have got a night shift at one of our sites, I make sure to check my phone for emergency emails or messages. However, having reviewed my diary the night before, I know my schedule for the day and which of the two Haribo sites in Yorkshire I will be working from.
I am very lucky that my commute to work is only ten minutes to our Castleford site and an extra five minutes if I am working from our Pontefract facility. Whilst we work hybrid at Haribo, I like the buzz of the office, so tend to work mainly on-site with a sprinkle of homeworking, depending on my day and diary commitments. I like to be in the office early, with my day starting around 8am.
As our team works across both of our sites and also works hybrid, my first job of the day is to check in and say good morning by having a quick team huddle, normally around 9:30am. This allows us to check on priorities for the day and to ensure everyone is supported.
I don't like to eat breakfast first thing, so after the huddle it's time for the coffee round and a bite to eat. We have a fantastic, subsidised restaurant for all our colleagues to enjoy on both sites. But, I try to stay away from a full cooked breakfast unless it's Friday, a treat day to give in to the temptation of a sausage and hash brown sandwich; after all, I will grab something light and healthy most days.
I always check my emails before heading off to my next meeting. Right now we are focussed on business planning. It's important to ensure that the business and people plans are fully aligned so that we can keep producing sweet treats. This morning's meeting at 11am is to review our forecasted resource requirements and to finalise our plan.
I genuinely love my job and love working at Haribo
Lunchtime is around 12pm for me. Taking regular breaks throughout the day is essential, and I like to get some fresh air with a short walk into the town, clearing my head ready for the afternoon.
We are always looking at new product development, so it's exciting to review plans for new products while getting to taste them
Today is our leadership meeting; it's one of my favourite meetings of the week as I get to spend time with my peer group from across the business. Our agenda covers current business performance, supply chain activities, as well as marketing, sales and people. We are always looking at new product development, so it's exciting to review plans for new products while getting to taste them. Our meeting rooms always have Haribo goodies to share – little moments of happiness to eat during our discussions – but they don't make us talk like our TV advertisements.
By 3pm, I am catching up with my colleague in Germany for a late afternoon Microsoft Teams meeting. Haribo is a family-owned business and, whilst we have a decentralised structure, it is important that we are connected across our global business. We share any key messages and updates on international projects and initiatives we are working on independently. It's great to work closely with colleagues from different countries as you get a different perspective, and it is always good to share best practice.
My last meeting of the day is Business Partnering. Today we are discussing succession planning and future talent. We are keen to ensure that we future-proof our organisation and develop our people into the next generation of leaders. Some of our colleagues have 40 and 50 years of service and this offers a great opportunity for them to pass on their skills and experiences to younger colleagues in the business. Investment in development is key and having a plan to support this is vital.
At around 5pm it's time for the 'what's for tea' team discussion (not sure if it's a Haribo thing, but we are obsessed with food) and wrapping up for the day. I will review my diary for tomorrow, ensuring everything is prepared and ready for my meetings. Before departing for home, I like to spend some time reflecting on the day, identifying successes – understanding why something went well or what could have gone better. It helps me to unwind and clear my head by reviewing actions and updating my task log – ensuring I am meeting deadlines and stakeholder expectations.
Whilst we work hybrid at Haribo, I like the buzz of the office, so tend to work mainly on-site with a sprinkle of homeworking depending on my day and diary commitments
I usually leave the office around 6pm and will be home preparing food by 6:15pm, after being welcomed home by Eric. I love cooking from scratch and find it a great way to relax into the evening. After food, my husband and I walk Eric and spend some time exchanging our daily updates as we walk. By 9pm I'm in my PJs and watching some TV before bed.
It does feel like a family working at Haribo; every day you know that you are making a difference. Having like-minded colleagues all working towards the same goal creates a great place to work. I genuinely love my job and love working at Haribo.
End of the day