25 August, 2016

HR Shared Services: Our rapid response team

Faye joined M&S back in 2007 on a fixed-term contract to help out with our Christmas peak recruitment. By her own admission, she didn’t really know what to expect but nine years later she’s never looked back.

“I’ve worked in various roles including Learning & Recruitment administration, answering front line calls in our Contact Centre, Team Leader roles, and most recently I did a stint as a Retail Service Manager. Now I’m an Operations Manager leading the Reward Administration & Executive HR teams. Working in HRSS gives you a real opportunity to move around and learn different skills such as problem solving, stakeholder management and people management,” she says. 

Faye loves the fast pace of the industry and the challenge of responding quickly to changing priorities. “You can never rest of your laurels. Although I’m not based in store, and we are a support function to the business, we have to react to business needs. We aim to keep things simple and make life easier for our colleagues and line managers so they can focus on sales and the customer.”

The pace is even faster as the Christmas peak period approaches. “We have a tight turnaround to ensure we administer new starters so they are they paid correctly and also have access to the relevant HR systems so they can hit the ground running from day one.”

Taking responsibility for two teams means that Faye has a stretching role. Reward Administration looks after remuneration and benefits administration for colleagues across the business. This could mean administering maternity or paternity leave, setting up a welfare or season ticket loan or planning the celebrations for a long-serving employee. The Executive HR Services team is like a mini HRSS centre, delivering a high-quality and bespoke service to M&S executives. 

Faye’s day begins with checking in with her teams, reviewing the day’s activity and tracking performance against Service Level Agreements. And after that? “I could be doing anything,” she says. “I could be involved in projects and business change activity, holding one-to-ones with team members, engaging with stakeholders, resource planning, problem solving following a system incident... I absolutely love the variety of the role.” 

Inside M&S