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Interview: Get to know FPM's HR expert

First Practice Management (FPM) Group’s HR Consultant, Sam Cook, is on the road. Following the FPM Roadshows up and down the country, Sam will be on hand to offer HR advice on a one to one basis for free to delegates. 

Sam covers everything from sickness pay to redundancies on a day to day basis. In the run-up to our next roadshow event in Peterborough (register here) we decided to get to know a bit more about his experience in HR... 

Tell us a bit about your HR background?

I’ve worked in a range of different organisations in the private and public sector in generalist HR roles supporting with the full spectrum of HR duties. My particular experience and expertise has been with handling high risk sensitive employee relations cases. I’ve witnessed some extreme cases so nothing phases me now. As a member of the CIPD and West Yorkshire committee I also get involved in local events, CPD sessions, coaching and mentoring. 

What is the best thing about working as a HR Consultant? 

The variety. I’d get quite bored doing the same thing every day so I enjoy not knowing what the next day will hold and working with Practice Managers is great because their role is so wide and varied it is reflected in the cases that arise. Although a lot of people see HR as ‘policy pushing’, it can be a rewarding and valuable contribution to organisations where you see beyond compliance and explore the organisational development aspects. Another great outcome of HR consultancy work is seeing the developments that have taken place whether that be an empowered manager or a happier team. 

What is the most difficult thing about working in HR? 

Not getting too involved. 

What topic comes up the most working on the advice line? 

Annual leave for part timers including bank holidays is always a popular topic along with probationary periods. It is understandable why holiday queries are so prevalent as they are of such importance to employees and there is so much confusion around about the way to calculate allowances. 

Sickness management is always popular too as it is a massive drain on the resources of the already stretched practices.

Explain more about the one to one HR sessions you’ll be doing at the FPM Roadshow...  

The sessions are a great way to get some face-to-face support with any people management issues that are going on in the practice. Whether that’s to put a plan together for a complex situation, just to clarify something about a process or the law, or just to sense check anything you’re currently doing.

Sam will be hosting one to one HR sessions for free for members and non-members at our FPM Roadshows. If you would like to attend and get some advice on any HR issue, register here.

Members can also contact advice@firstpracticemanagement.co.uk where your question will be treated in confidence and will normally be answered (by email) within 2 working days of submission.

 


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