David Godber has been working with Charlotte Bate since 2005 and describes her as his trusted go-to person, for all matters HR. From a senior leader with thirty years’ experience in industry with a proven track record in building high- profile, high–performance teams, that is a true compliment and accolade to Charlotte’s approach and skill base.

David believes that people come first. His LinkedIn profile states his philosophy of “Customers first, then the team, then the investors, then me. It just works better that way…”  A philosophy which continues in his attitude to the importance of the HR function.

Regardless of your leadership style, any concern with productivity and performance has a people-centric root cause, which means an effective HR approach is crucial,” says David. “A happy workforce means profit and high productivity. Leaders shouldn’t forget the importance of focusing on wellbeing and employee welfare, and HR experts are there to make sure that happens”.

I asked David what had been the trigger for seeking an outsourced HR expert rather than recruiting internally. He explained having an HR expert who could retain independence and impartiality was a great benefit. Technical support that wouldn’t “go native” and maintain their position as a compliance expert boosted the value received. A 3rd-party consultant provides a “ dip-in expert pool” to be used when issues arise, and an on-hand service on a need-want basis. “It’s a cost-effective way of maintaining the depth of expert knowledge that you need, and encouraging partnership working. Having an HR function that is at arm’s length avoids having a “yes” person there, and increases the effectiveness. All leaders need HR to support them to improve performance and drive growth”

Customers first, then the team, then the investors, then me. It just works better that way…

A twelve-year relationship that is still going strong proves that David’s approach works and that it provides the value and support that he needs.  “I consider MAD-HR a partner. I don’t have the time to read and research the technicalities and nuances of HR compliance – all I need to do is call Charlotte and I know I will get all the up to date advice that I need.  They also provide me with a network of professional associates which is added-value.  I can rely on Charlotte to tell me what I need to know, not what I want to hear. Leaders can be prone to push too hard, too fast, and Charlotte is there to remind me of the importance of taking a step back, and telling me, no, there is a better way to achieve the results I need. She is my trusted confidante”.

I asked David what advice he would give SME leaders who are considering improving their HR support and how to make their HR function more effective.

“Charlotte and the team at MAD-HR provide me with excellent advice, as and when I need it, and provide the technical support that is crucial to support the growth of my business. My advice to other leaders is to find an HR partner who you can trust and who is also trusted by the broader team.  A partner with a proven track record. There are few people that I trust completely at this level, and Charlotte is one of those”.