Humans of HR: The story behind the leading lights – their career, motivation and achievements.
With over 20 years of HR experience under her belt, including over 15 years in various senior HR positions within the nuclear industry, Alison Richardson, Director of HR Operations at Yodel joined the company in 2018 as Senior HR Business Partner.
07 June 2023
Simon Kent, Head of Content – The HR World
When Alison Richardson joined Yodel her role was to manage the sort and transport operations of the business. In December 2019, under two years later, she was made Head of HR Operations.
Her track record is clear and impressive, showing a number of successful initiatives to deliver business improvements while managing relationships with key stakeholders.
In her current role she leads on the company’s People Plan for the Operations division as well as driving initiatives such as health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion.
“I’d say one of my achievements at Yodel is implementing our industry leading health and wellbeing strategy,” says Richardson. “This policy helps us to provide emotional support to all colleagues, provide a healthy workplace, contribute to local communities, and provide financial support.”
Engaging the workforce
From her view across the company, Richardson can see exactly how their 10,000 colleagues are engaged with the support provided by the function. An annual wellbeing pulse survey asks colleagues crucial questions about how they feel about the programmes on offer and what can be done better. “This year’s poll had almost 3000 responses, nearly five times more than last year,” says Richardson, “and showed that over 78% of Yodel colleagues know how to access support when they need it. To see that result and more engagement with the services we have put in place, is a testament to the hard work and excellent communication by the HR and senior operations teams.”
Richardson was always very passionate about people, and she knew she wanted to be in a career where she could really make an impact in a business through empowering its colleagues. “People are at the core of Yodel and play a huge role in our success,” she notes. “My team and I understand the important role HR plays in unlocking potential and ensuring our colleagues can be at their best.”
Right people, right support
Indeed, Richardson finds the most satisfying part of her job to be in hiring the right people and creating personalised development to allow them to thrive in their jobs. “For us to stay ahead of the competition for talent, we have to constantly update our strategies with a refreshed focus on pay, benefits and flexibility,” she says.
Communication is also a big consideration for Richardson and her team. With over 10,000 colleagues based around 50 sites in diverse roles and working different shifts, the challenge of delivering consistent and accessible messaging is clear. Not only that, but ensuring everyone has access to the support they need is also a constant consideration. “We share updates through a variety of internal digital platforms including Yammer, SharePoint, bespoke app-based solutions and our connected screens, which are located in each of our sites, keeping colleagues updated at all time,” she says. “There isn’t one platform that fits every employee group and demographic, so we have to be flexible and use a variety of methods to keep in touch with colleagues.”
With such a strong approach and commitment towards all employees, Richardson and her team are powering a recruitment and retention strategy which will ensure their employees are well looked after, especially in the context of the competitive nature of the industry and the challenges of the current economic background.
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