Fireworks is a growing business of almost 30 years’ standing. It has been engaging aspects of MAD-HR’s services since 2021.
Specialists in fire suppression, Fireworks is a successful firm of 50+ staff, with a number of offices in the UK, including one in Attleborough.
It was founded by Derek Killaspy, and has contracts with government, healthcare services, heritage organisations, automotive industries – and much more besides.
While many businesses saw an extreme downturn during Covid, Fireworks has found itself extremely busy and resilient throughout.
It was toward the end of the pandemic that Derek required the expertise of MAD-HR, in relation to a very specific and ‘sensitive employment matter’.
This staffing challenge was dealt with under MAD-HR’s ‘HR Helpline Contract’, and saw associate working with a legal firm, in order to keep Derek and his management team on the right footing while matters where successfully resolved.
Following this, Derek opted to engage MAD-HR more fully, including having a thorough organisational review of his business’s HR approach.
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The case for support
Business was going well for Fireworks in 2021, with new customers having been acquired during the various lockdowns, processes changed, and new faces working for the company.
However, issues remained in certain staffing matters, and Derek was encouraged by a contact at Stowmarket Town Council (who have a retained relationship with MAD-HR) to get the relevant expertise.
An initial chat with Carole and Charlotte confirmed to Derek and his senior team that they would benefit from being able to adopt the ‘HR Helpline’ approach to issue resolution.
While Fireworks did at the time have its own in-house HR resource, it was considered that this particular matter was too complex and of too sensitive nature to be best approached by an internal member of staff.
This support solution, Derek now concludes, is absolutely the right way for anyone wanting to get objective help at a time when things could potentially become very difficult, very quickly.
MAD-HR engaged Derek within the HR Helpline process, getting to understand how the company worked, what had taken place in recent years, and why this particular matter posed certain difficulties.
Derek was very aware of the need to maintain his role as a respected company leader, while showing a very appropriate response to the immediate dispute playing out.
What neither he, nor his senior team, wanted, was to see the issue impact on other employees, or cause subsequent reputational difficulties.
MAD-HR took time to understand how the issue had arisen and to formulate a plan.
At an appropriate stage, they also called upon ‘partnership working’ to bring in a legal firm and ensure the problem could be concluded in the best way possible.
As a result of this chapter, Derek turned his attention to wanting to find and upskill a strong HR manager, who could take the business forward and, where necessary, work alongside the external resource of MAD-HR.
This process began with MAD-HR delivering a specific review of the HR function, before then setting to work on the recruitment itself.
Derek’s new HR manager is now working well within the new company framework, and is able to call on MAD-HR regularly as he continues to steadily acclimatise to the Fireworks way of working.
“It was such a great way to approach the recruitment of our own designated HR manager,” says Derek.
“Having been through the difficult previous months on a very particular issue with us, the MAD-HR team knew exactly what person and skillset we would be after.”
Derek is full of praise for how the interaction with MAD-HR has worked out.
He says the decision to appoint them – in various ways over the last two years – has given him confidence to know that that aspect of his company is being robustly handled.
“What we went through toward the end of Covid, with one particular issue, could have become really difficult, but there’s no doubt that MAD-HR took the heat out of things and allowed me to keep my focus on the business itself.
“I’d highly recommend MAD-HR because of the way they get to know you and really come up with the solutions that are right for your unique business.”
Top client tip
“Don’t try to tackle sensitive issues of HR without getting external advice. Not only does it help you stay on the right side of the law and give you full reassurance you’re doing the most appropriate thing, but it allows you to free up the time to stick at what you’re good at – which is running your own business.”