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Keeping our people happy – shrugging off my HR shoulder pads

Anne Allen, UK HR Manager, tells us all about her goal of keeping our people happy, engaged and motivated:

As Xero UK’s HR Manager, part of my role is making sure each and every one of us is happy, engaged and loving the job – quite a tall order, as you’d imagine! But in our recent Xero employee survey 92.2% of the UK team said they feel a great sense of commitment to Xero UK. And 90.6% said they’re committed to going the extra mile. That’s an impressively high engagement level, which is great news for the future of the business.

UK Xero team at MK Expo

UK Xero team at MK Expo (Anne second from right)

We’ve grown rapidly over the past year and the power of fresh, enthusiastic recruits and the energising force of newly employed people has definitely charged the Xero batteries and we’re raring to go!  My job will be to help maintain this amazing level of motivation in the team as we continue to expand and take on more and more talented people.

Putting the theory into practice

I’ve worked in HR for centuries now, in both large and small companies. That said, my HR qualifications, corporate experience and theoretical knowledge are not the most important thing for this role. Theory and qualifications are great, but at Xero it’s all about practical application and making things work with real integrity and passion.

#Ownership of a project and helping to push the company forward is one of the central Xero values. In my case, at the moment, this is about finding the right people for the many jobs we’re creating over the next year. Right now, I’m currently shrugging off my HR Manager’s ‘shoulder pads’ – so eighties anyway – and trying to find a gear that works for me as a person and someone who’s a true advocate and champion of all things Xero.

Out and about in MK

So, ditching my suit and proudly wearing my Xero T Shirt, off I ventured with a hand-picked team to represent at the recent MK Business Expo, Milton Keynes’ largest business conference. We met some great people on the day – in fact, we had people coming up to us saying how much they love Xero’s online accounting software. It was a fantastic chance to meet some local businesses and potential job candidates who’d come along especially to say hello.

Finding the right people for Xero

After so many years spent in corporate HR, I’m really enjoying exploring a more personal approach to working with people and managers. I definitely feel there’s so much potential in helping everyone find the flow at work and making sure rules and regulations don’t get in the way. I certainly don’t want to do anything that roadblocks the natural energy, drive and motivation of our people; they are what truly define the Xero brand.

As I continue our recruitment mission – no shoulder pads though –  I know that Xero’s brand and culture will play a key part in our success. Getting the right people with the right skills quickly and in quantity is going to be quite an adventure. We’re clearly on the right track, though – and the great results from our employee survey have certainly put a smile on this HR Manager’s face.


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