May 25, 2021
HR guru recognised for professional support provided to business owners
HR expert Lisa Seagroatt, founder of HRFit for Purpose based in Enfield, North London,has been crowned one of the UK’sTop 10 advisers for the support she provides to small businesses and entrepreneurs to helpthem create healthy workplace cultures.
The virtual awards ceremony, which announced thewinners of the Enterprise Nation Top 50 Advisers competition, across a range ofprofessional disciplines such as legal, finance and funding, technology,HR, PR and marketing and a special ‘Above & Beyond’ category – took place on the evening of 25th November.
Lisa, 50, was picked from hundreds of advisers from up and down the UK, nominatedfor the behind-the-scenes guidance they have given to local entrepreneurs andsmall businesses, helping them navigate the challenges and opportunities they havefaced during 2020 – not least Covid; for many, this professional advice hasmade the differencebetween their business surviving, or thriving.
She foundedher HR Consultancy, HR Fit For Purpose, in May 2017 following herpersonal experience of stress and bullying caused by a toxic workplace culture,which resulted in a mental health breakdown. “I wanted to use a negative experience andturn it into something positive for businesses who need help with issues aroundculture” Lisa said, adding “my advice helps business leaders ensure that theirHR is fit for purpose from the minute they start to hire.”
“Robust HR and recruitment processes helps businesses tofind the right people with the right skills. Looking after your people creates a healthy workplace culture keepingsickness absence and turnover low, productivity and profitability high.”
The Covid pandemic has brought its own unique set ofchallenges for small businesses – that typically rely on a small number ofemployees to remain operational – and especially for those without a dedicatedin-house HR resource.
Lisa said: “I've supported a range of clients withnavigating their way through the furlough scheme and encouraged them to keep intouch with their workforce to help retain a team approach once they were ableto stop furloughing people and bring them back to work. Communication is thekey to keeping your people in the loop and helps them to feel valued, even froma distance when remote working.
“There's never been a more important time in business tothink about workplace culture as this can make or break the people who work foryou, particularly right now when we are all exceptionally challenged by therestrictions Covid-19 has created, affecting every one of us and so many areasof our lives.”
She added: “If myexpertise and advice can help give small businesses a better chance of survivaland contribute to the wider economic recovery – especially during theseparticularly challenging times – then it’s time well-spentnot to mention professionally rewarding.”
The Top 50 Adviser Awards arerun by the UK’s leading small businesses network Enterprise Nation – in association with Xero, DellTechnologies and Neat – and set out to highlight the work done behind thescenes by experts across nine professional disciplines, in helping Britain’sarmy of entrepreneurs to build and grow a sustainable business.
This year also saw an additional special category: the ‘Aboveand Beyond’ award, which paid special tribute to those professionals – acrossall sectors – who provided free, one-to-one expert advice to SMEs to help themaddress the myriad challenges facing them as a result of the coronavirusepidemic, and in particular those who have given up their time for free as partof the Government-backed Recovery Advice for Business initiative.
The list of winners in the nineprofessional categories was compiled following a public vote on the shortlistedTop 50 SME-nominated advisers, with almost four thousand votes cast over atwo-week period.
The winner of the Above and Beyond award wasselected by the panel of five judges, drawnfrom To Market, BEIS, CMI and the Advertising Association, alongside EmmaJones.
Collecting the award, Lisa said: “I am absolutely delightedto have been chosen for this Award. It'san honour and a pleasure to work with, and provide support to my clients,particularly during these exceptionally challenging and unpredictabletimes. The HR knowledge I've gainedthrough various experiences in my life – not least the negative personal ones,as an employee – has been invaluable during these past few months. My aim was always to use my HR and businessexpertise and knowledge to help others, and during the last nine months I'vehad to draw on all my knowledge and problem-solving skills to help my clientscope during these uncertain times. Therehasn't been a dull moment!”
Emma Jones, founder ofEnterprise Nation said: “Business advisers are the unsung heroes behindBritain’s booming small business culture and their insight and experience areneeded now more than ever.
“The awards were designed to show how important their work is in action and theentries have uncovered incredible advice efforts that have helped firms pivotto keep trading.
“2020 has also seen a recordincrease in the number of start-ups. These fledgling businesses can greatlybenefit from the expertise and support of a professional adviser, in particularduring their crucial ‘make-or-break’ first year."
For more information contact LisaSeagroatt on 07761 072 515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. [Interviews,case studies and high res images available on request.]
Notes to Editors
About HRFit For Purpose
· HR Fit for Purpose (www.hrfitforpurpose.co.uk) was created and then launched during Mental Health Awareness Week inMay 2017 following Lisa’s own experience of workplace bullying, the stress ofwhich caused her to suffer from a mental health breakdown. Since then it’s grown from just a few SMEclients to over 40 including an international online retail business. She has worked on a range of success projectsfor clients from large organisations such as the National Fire and RescueService and London Fire Brigade where she created their Volunteering Strategyfor Frameworks.
· A Finalist in the BestBusiness Women Awards, Lisa recently featured in a Daily Mail Female article inSeptember 2020 :https://dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8741051/Shocking-70-cent-female-executives-bullied-woman.html focused on women bullying women in the workplace. Her other national media contributionsinclude an article for People Management Magazine (Aug 2017) around ‘WorkplaceBullying Ending in a Panic Attack’.
· Her UK-wide and manyLondon based clients have included The Open University, Psycle, EnterpriseEnfield, Capital City College Group, Tidy IT, Alpha Care Services, CPA PropertyServices Ltd, EAS Transport Services Ltd and many more including those in thehealth and social care sector which Lisa is particularly interested insupporting.
· Aside from providingpractical HR support to clients, Lisa wanted to turn a negative work experienceinto something positive to help others and this is why she specialises inhelping clients to create a healthy workplace culture within their businesses. Her focus is on helping them to keep theirturnover and sickness absence low by creating a healthy workplace ethos fortheir employees resulting in increased engagement, productivity andprofitability within the business.
· Apart from providingclients with their HR support, Lisa’s teaches the CIPD Diploma in Level 5 HRManagement qualification to an annual intake of HR professionals in her role asa Lecturer for Capital City College Group. Over the past three academic years, Lisa has assisted over 50 HRprofessionals to graduate with their Level 5 HR qualification and is proud tobe teaching and mentoring HR managers of the future.
· She is an EnterpriseAdviser volunteer for Enfield County Girls School, a Female Founder Ambassadorfor Enterprise Enfield (where she recently won a three-year tender to supportwomen in business with HR guidance and support) and an Advisory Board Memberfor Conduct Change. She is about topublish a book next year based on her workplace experiences.
· Enterprise Nation (https://www.enterprisenation.com/) is the UK’s leading small business network and businesssupport provider delivering support to more than 50,000 small businesses everymonth. Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses –through expert advice (including a comprehensive resources library), events, accelerationsupport and networking. This year it launched two high profile business supportinitiatives: the Amazon Small Business Accelerator and the Recovery Advice forBusiness scheme which collectively aim to support more thousands of small firmsimpacted by the pandemic.
· EnterpriseNation’s small business active membership has grown by 34 per cent since March.It now has more than 60,000 members and subscribers, ten per cent of which areprofessional advisers from a range of sectors offering strategic support tosmall firms. The adviser platform now sees hundreds of connections every weekwith small firms reaching out for expert support.
· Enterprise Nation was founded in 2005 by British entrepreneur Emma Jones MBE, alsoco-founder of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain. She is author ofbest-selling business books including Spare Room Startup, Working 5 to 9, Go Global, Start a Business for £99 and the StartUp Kit, Going for Growth. She is also a frequently called-on and regular media commentator on ahuge range of issues which affect the UK’s growing number of SMEs. In 2018 FTSE100 entrepreneur and HomeServe founder Richard Harpin invested in EnterpriseNation with the aim of creating a ‘more entrepreneurial Britain’.
· Winners of the Business Adviser Awards for 2020:
1. Financeand Funding: SerenaHumphrey, The F Word Ltd
2. Sales:James Kent, Your TenderTeam
3. Marketing:Jennifer Corcoran, MySuper Connector
4. Branding and Design: Jamie Farrow, Superstar Designs
5. Leadershipand Management: CeylanBoyce, Academy for Women Entrepreneurs
6. Legal:Ingrid Fernandez, Dec +Dash Legal Consulting
7. IT & Tech: Laura Amenta, Palms Up Club
8. HR:Lisa Seagroatt, HR FitFor Purpose
9. PR:Rhea Freeman, RheaFreeman PR
10. Above andBeyond award (in conjunction with the government-backed Recovery Advice forBusiness scheme): Vhari Russell, The Food Marketing Experts
· Awards Timeline:
28 September– Entries open
26 October –Entries close
28 October –Top 50 shortlist sent to judges for approval
4 November –Top 50 announced and public vote opens
18 November –Public vote closes
25 November –Virtual awards evening