Reality HR’s reassurance and emotional support has been immensely valuable and has really brought home the power of working with them, predominantly because they have taken the time to truly understand AJC; what we do and the people who work here. Their knowledge of the business has been the key to solving our problems.” Andrew Cooke, Managing Director

AJC’s challenge

Progressive growth meant that AJC had reached a point where they needed to adopt a strategic approach to HR that was integrated with their ambitious future. This regional leader in the carpentry sub-contracting sector was faced with the challenge of uniting all the individual elements of their current people plan to support successful business growth going forward.

AJC already had a strong sense of just how intrinsically linked their staff were to their business success, but they needed expert guidance to achieve the full impact of a streamlined HR strategy.

Learn more about HR Strategy

As Andrew Cooke, Managing Director, outlines:
We needed to develop some of our managerial staff and encourage them to take on more senior responsibility and a more strategic view, which is one of the key reasons why we brought on Reality HR; to help us educate and train staff to a more highly-skilled level. For example, we identified training needs around negotiation and time management for surveyors. Communication and engagement issues also needed addressing generally.”

Reality HR’s expertise was required to help develop a robust, comprehensive HR strategy for AJC in 2016. Core components included:

• internal communication
• the roll-out of new handbooks and contracts
• performance and management review
• coaching
• compliance
• a review of compensation policy

The strategy evolved through regular meetings and telephone calls, enabling AJC and Reality HR to work closely together; discussing the direction of the business and identifying what plans were needed to achieve the greatest benefit. Reality HR also supported AJC with existing HR issues and developed procedures to prevent re-occurrences.

A 360-degree feedback exercise was carried out by Reality HR to help drive the next stage of AJC’s activity in line with their business development objectives. 360-degree feedback is a valuable process in which employees receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them. This typically includes the employee’s manager, peers, and direct reports.

Insight gained from this exercise gives staff the opportunity to adjust behaviours and develop skills that will enable them to excel at their jobs – therefore improving business performance overall.

Results: clarity and reassurance for a rapidly evolving business

By collaborating with Reality HR, AJC have been enabled to push their business onwards and upwards with renewed focus and peace of mind, by:

• implementing practical HR solutions that find new ways to get the best out of employees e.g. training programmes
• reinforcing existing HR processes based on the strategic business needs
• identifying and mitigating risks HR-related business risks before they become bigger issues
• establishing compliance measures to identify relevant laws, standards and regulations and ensure they are adhered to

Managing Director, Andrew Cooke, summarises the difference that working with Reality HR has made to AJC’s business success:

As soon as we reached out to Reality HR, they helped us perform an HR health check on our paperwork, ensuring all of our contracts were compliant with the correct legislation. Not only did they provide clarity and guidance on HR strategy, Reality HR also helped us manage a difficult situation we were facing, involving a potential dismissal. It was so reassuring to have them on board to hold our hand throughout that process. Reality HR provided us with employment law advice to achieve the right outcome for our company, ensuring the employee was dismissed without any business risk. “That lifeline has been maintained and we have a brilliant working relationship with Reality HR, who are always there to support us and come in to meet with us for both scheduled proactive updates and reactive support as issues arise.

“One of the most beneficial parts of the project was the 360-degree feedback exercise, which was received very positively from everybody’s point of view. Obtaining feedback in this way – from all angles – gave all of us a much clearer understanding of our individual strengths and weaknesses. Both this and the psychometric testing have become pivotal tools in AJC’s development; it’s all been a real eye-opener.

“We know ourselves so much better now and Reality HR really know us – it just works.”

To find our how Reality HR could be supporting your business growth call us on 01256 328 428 or email