APL Garden Designer Member;
Garden and Landscape Designer Kent Garden and Landscape Designer Kent Garden and Landscape Designer Kent

Telephone: 01892 263863
Email: info@karenmcclure.co.uk

ProLandscaper Mentor Article April 2020

One of the biggest landscaping industry magazines, ProLandscaper, approached us regarding the work that we do with Natwest HR Mentor.  

The article was published in the ProLandscaper April 2020 edition. 

The article was written by Karen to explain the need for a HR support system within your company. At KMGD Karen puts a lot of focus on to her employees wellbeing. By having this HR support from Natwest it means that her employees know they are supported and work in a safe environment whereby if there were any issues, they know there is a platform that they can speak to.  

Our article included quotes from our HR Natwest Mentor, Michelle Dixon and Karen’s PA/Studio Manger, Fiona Northover. 

The article that was written is as below:  

Running your own company often requires you to wear many business hats and there are a number of procedures that you are legally bound to follow.  Besides the bigger picture of good business practice, it is important that your staff feel that they work in a professional environment that puts emphasis on employees feeling protected and looked after.  In order to build a team who feel like they truly belong, they need reassurance from a platform within the company that is set-up for their own security. 

I decided that after taking on fully employed team members, I needed to invest in an HR department.  Following a business seminar on the topic, I found that the most cost-effective way was to secure the services of the Natwest HR Mentor scheme outsourcing a task that is not in my skillset.  I now work alongside our HR Consultant, Michelle Dixon, who shares her expert knowledge and supports our team.    

Michelle explains “At Mentor we provide guidance and resources to help our customers look after the interests of both their business and people. Our comprehensive services enable our customers to stay on top of legal and regulatory changes, maintain compliance and reduce risk while creating a safe, professional and sustainable work environment which keeps evolving with best practices and the digital revolution. It has been great working with Karen McClure in helping her lay the foundations of her business, we know that this can be a daunting time, but getting things right from the start was as important to Karen as it is to us”. 

KMGD is unique in that 50% of our team is design/horticulture and 50% business & administration.  Our clients are supported by both our designers and our business team, resulting in a strong focus on design, landscape and horticulture as well as a huge priority on logistics, work processes, finances, systemising and streamlining.   

Our business team comprises of Fiona Northover (PA and studio manager) and Fiona Campbell (Project Manager), with assistance externally from an accountant, IT company, HR mentor, Business coach and Legal support. 

Fiona Northover comments “My role with Karen started as ad-hoc freelance admin support, we have now evolved to a strong, fully employed team, in addition we are also supported by a few other talented freelancers. Working very hard on business structure in the early years, our focus was to streamline our work-flow processes and tighten up all areas to ensure that clients get the best possible experience. Initiating the HR Mentor Scheme was part of this process. Building on this success, we have welcomed Fiona Campbell to the team, she has had an incredible impact on helping support every element of the business.” 

Investing into the HR Mentor scheme from Natwest means I can provide my team with access to round the clock support and expert advice that not only helps us keep up with these changes, but also ensures all of our team members are treated fairly and equally, allowing my business and team to then grow. 

I firmly believe that when employees are happy in their roles, this has a direct correlation to the service that my clients receive. It’s all about working closely together, valuing each other and playing to everyone’s strengths. The HR Mentor scheme is an umbrella that supports us all. Quite simply – be kind and helpful to all you work with, especially your team. 

I strongly recommend a conversation with HR mentor so that you can explore the positive benefits it will bring to your business, workforce and wellbeing.