Explore: Human resources

HR Manager
PPG Industries

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Lisa S

My name is Lisa S, I’m the HR manager at PPG Industries, Stowmarket, dealing with all the kind of people issues, recruitment, training, development, and anything to do with the people on the plant. I really enjoy my job. It can sometimes be difficult. I have to deal with sensitive issues, but, you know, the majority of the time it’s a good job to be in. There’s lots of government changes, lots of legislation that we have to abide by, and these changes come about quite frequently so it keeps us very busy.

00:00:32 The people guide is quite a new thing. It’s a guide to leading and managing people across the PPG industry, and it’s just a new thing that we are currently implementing throughout the business. Originally, I hadn’t planned to go into HR. I started off… I did a BTEC in fashion and design, and that’s the route I had planned for myself. I did have a university place, but I deferred that. I got into full-time employment to try and earn some money to be a rich student by the time I got to college, and I never got there. It was kind of default that I fell into HR, but I’m really happy that I took that path. I worked for Dixons Stores group, the electrical people, just as a sales person. I worked my way up into management.

00:01:19 When it came to go to university they offered me the management role, and a management training scheme, and I quite got used to earning money, and that’s what sort of prevented me from going. And then they restructured the company and put an HR officer role in, and I applied for that and got that, and then that’s really where my HR experience sort of started. Going into a management role I must have been about twenty-two years of age at that time. I was quite young. It did cause a few problems because people sometimes can’t accept a younger person as a manager, but you have to work through that. It is really character building, to be honest.

00:01:57 When I lost my dad in 2003 it kind of hit home to me that you should live life to the full and take every opportunity that comes your way, so that has been a great turning point for me. It’s just taking every opportunity, you know, experiencing things – sky diving in Australia – you know, any invitations you get, any holidays, it’s just, you know, fulfilling as much as I possibly can because it really hit home to me that life is for living.

00:02:27 My greatest inspiration is my mum. She has run her own business all her life – a pub and hotel business. She has really had a hard time, you know, tough times through the business. She has got very ill, which is the reason why I sort of stayed and didn’t go onto college at the sort of normal time. Her sort of motto is to never give up, and she has said that’s our family motto, and she has never given up. She’s a fantastic inspiration. I do like to de-stress. I like… Out of work I like to go to the gym, run, swim, do all the kind of things, you know, at the end of a hard, stressful day that can kind of release all of that stress.

00:03:08 This is me having a tandem skydive in Australia, whilst on holiday. I didn’t originally go out there and plan to do that. It was just a proposal, and I thought ‘Why not have a go?’ I think one day I’d like to do it without being attached to another person, but that’s a later stage I think. In the next five years I really would like to take on more responsibility and work my way up the ladder. Because the company is global, there’s always a lot of opportunities to move to different countries, different roles. I really love Australia. I really like America, but I haven’t explored America as much as Australia, so either one of those would be great.

00:03:48 I’d like to retire as early as possible and enjoy life from there. ENDS

Lisa didn’t plan to become a Human Resources Manager, but she has worked her way up and she loves it. Having lost her Dad in 2003 and having seen her mum face serious illness, Lisa believes that life is for living and that every opportunity should be grabbed. She makes the most of opportunities at work and in her social life. Skydivivng in Australia is just one of the challenges she has risen to!

More information about Human resources and industrial relations officers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

44%  male 
56%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Human resources and industrial relations officers conduct research and advise on recruitment, training, staff appraisal and industrial relations policies and assist specialist managers with negotiations on behalf of a commercial enterprise, trade union or other organisation.
There are no formal academic requirements although most entrants possess a degree or equivalent qualification and/or relevant experience. Many employers expect staff to gain membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development through study for professional qualifications. NVQs/SVQs in this area are available at Levels 3 and 4.
  • Undertakes research into pay differentials, productivity and efficiency bonuses and other payments;
  • Develops and recommends personnel and industrial relations policies, assists with their implementation and drafts staff handbooks;
  • Assists with negotiations between management and employees or trades unions concerning pay and conditions of employment;
  • Interviews candidates for jobs;
  • Advises on training and recruitment, negotiating procedures, salary agreements and other personnel and industrial relations issues;
  • Deals with grievance and disciplinary procedures, and with staff welfare and counselling provision.
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