WS Training has been working with MAD-HR since 2019 – a decision, their CEO declares was ‘easily one of the best the business has ever made’.
With several offices around the East Anglian region, WS Training is a training provider with a longstanding reputation for helping put people on the path to great careers – be it in construction, hairdressing, operations, IT, or something else entirely.
The company has 63 staff and its head office is in Bury St Edmunds.
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With such a large team, several offices, and the recognition that their current setup for HR was no longer fit for purpose, WS training required a solution which could help the firm to navigate day to day issues, as well as more complex challenges.
It had tried, as many businesses do, to tackle the provision with generic online services and resources, and had also appointed its own HR partner – but the area still needed attention if it was to be at the standard appropriate for the ambitious plans of the management team.
The company, which was launched in 1995 by Jane Wood (now Chair), enquired with MAD-HR about an initial period of support – subsequently realising it would welcome a retained service.
The case for support
In June 2020, against the backdrop of the pandemic, WS Training was having an exceptionally busy period, but also facing a number of employee based issues, for which they needed additional support.
A recommendation by a board member, led to an enquiry with MAD-HR, and it was subsequently agreed that the company would start out with a ‘toolkit’ (adhoc) approach, rather than commit to retained support straightaway.
As is typical of so many busy but relatively small businesses, WS Training had been seeking to have responsibility for HR covered by an existing member of the wider team – but this was not a long-term solution, and was an area for transition identified by the MAD-HR team.
By June 2021, WS Training had significantly recognised the benefit of being able to call upon the skills and support of MAD-HR, such that they opted to move to a full ‘retained service’ from that point.
This decision, reached and brought into action by CEO Kirstie Wright, was also wholeheartedly approved by founder and Chair, Jane.
MAD-HR entered into working with WS Training at a point when an existing HR partner was ready to depart, and a new era of HR efficiency could commence for the company.
As part of this, Kirstie and the management team favoured the idea of using their new consultancy solution to ‘upskill’ an HR administrator inside the business.
The relationship between two firms was able to build soundly and solidly throughout 2021, with MAD-HR keen to help WS Training on the ethos of developing capacity, whilst avoiding dependence.
Given the Covid era and the stresses and strains of the economy, WS Training were not alone in experiencing a period of downturn in certain aspects of their operation – something which then required the support of MAD-HR in order to deliver on redundance procedures.
“It was quickly apparent to us what a great decision it was to work with MAD-HR as our provider,” said Kirstie.
“They took time to really understand us, to see our pain points and to help us with the concept of developing a ‘work plan’ where we would constantly look at our actions against our objectives.
“I really have nothing but good things to say about working with them.”
WS Training believe appointing MAD-HR was a great decision and have certainly not regretted having the team on board on a retained basis.
While it may have been in the midst of a global pandemic that the relationship was formed, it has ultimately become a long term asset, for which all staff are grateful and reassured.
Kirstie says: “what sets them apart is that they are so accommodating, and you just know that they’re going to be responsive.
“You get the sense you’re really in safe hands, and the amount they’ve taught our HR administrator has been brilliant – so we’re benefiting on so many levels.”
Top client tip
“Don’t stick with cheap and with and a generic email update service when it comes to something as important as HR. We had a subscription to something before MAD-HR, and while it might have given us a few updates about laws and procedures, it was in no way pertinent to our particular issues, or understanding of our own company’s wider objectives or values. If you want a company that are going to impart meaningful information, keep you safe in the knowledge you’re doing the right thing, understand your journey, and provide the right updates to your board level team – then go with MAD-HR.”