Theme: Outsourced HR Support

Meet Peter Cooper and learn about the challenge they faced with their HR.

Peter Cooper Motor Group operates new and prestige used car dealerships, a service centre and fleet business provision across seven sites from Bognor Regis to Christchurch. Founded in 1981 by Peter Cooper, the business has expanded greatly under the leadership of his son Darren and continues to grow organically and through acquisitions.

The group now employees around 250 staff.

As the headcount increases, the challenge is to ensure it can effectively attract and retain employees, driving engagement through day-to-day people management and staff development. All of this must happen while maintaining the family business culture and ethos across multiple sites.

“Where Reality HR have shone is that they really understand the business. Whenever I have a conversation with them, they always talk to me in terms of the Peter Cooper ethos, family values and excellence programme. It’s like talking to one of our team.”

The Action taken by Reality HR

People Management at Peter Cooper Group had previously been the responsibility of a member of the in-house team who worked with directors. However, as the business grew, the team realised that more expert HR advice was needed and decided to draw upon external consultants.

Crucial in the selection of an outsourced HR provider was the ability to interpret the most current employment law and HR guidance and apply it to people management in a way that aligned with the Group’s core values.

The group’s mission statement – to be a successful business which exceeds expectations and builds confidence, loyalty and pride in its staff and customers – is placed at the heart of all actions carried out for the Group by Reality HR. This requires a tailored approach to HR rather than an “out of the box” solution.

Peter Cooper developed an excellence programme based around the word PETER, representing “Professional”, “Excellence”, “Trustworthy”, “Everyone working together” and “Respect”. The Reality HR team, led by HR Consultant Donna Bonfield, work closely with the business’s internal training manager to support in the delivery of this programme.

This involves activities such as manager events, held several times a year, to roll out new processes, and working with Peter Cooper’s training manager to develop and roll out the staff appraisal process.

Drawing on their wide-ranging network of partners, Reality HR teamed up with Footdown to carry out a comprehensive staff survey and will help the senior leadership team interpret results from this exercise. The Reality HR team conduct monthly meetings with directors and assist with day-to-day HR issues and other activities – for exampling helping with the hiring of an in-house HR Assistant, who receives ongoing mentoring from the team.

The Outcome

As well as supporting Peter Cooper Group in delivering the excellence programme, Gary Church and the leadership team can be confident that they are receiving up-to-date, bespoke day-to-day HR advice from a full team of specialists.

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