My big break

first_imgMy big breakOn 11 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Annabel Gatward is HR executive for leisure company Fitness First. She hasworked for the company since 1993, performing roles as varied as receptionistand fitness centre manager. She has worked exclusively in HR since beingpromoted to the post of national development manager in 1996. “At the age of 23, I managed to convince my boss that I could run a20,000sq ft leisure centre in Coventry. We had a fantastic team of 20 full-timeemployees, most of whom were older and far more experienced than me. “I was thrown completely in at the deep end, but I loved it. The teamwe recruited remained unchanged until I was promoted to national developmentmanager a year later. “Without this day-to-day experience of managing a team within thebusiness, I don’t think I would have progressed into the development role atall. I had to learn on the job and was challenged every day. “It taught me that I have a passion for people and a passion for thecompany. “This led on to the role of national development manager, which put meat the helm of the HR function for the entire company and its expansionprogramme. It meant managing and controlling the recruitment of 500 employeeseach year. “We had excellent wage and pension plans in operation, but I saw theneed to set up a full time HR function. I put forward some plans to the boardand was given the go ahead to lay the groundwork for a more developed HR team. “A huge amount of work has had to be done to turn HR into somethingmore strategic within the company. It is now far more of a catalyst for changeas we are involved in all of the organisation’s agendas and decision-makingprocesses.” Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img

first_imgMy big breakOn 11 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Annabel Gatward is HR executive for leisure company Fitness First. She hasworked for the company since 1993, performing roles as varied as receptionistand fitness centre manager. She has worked exclusively in HR since beingpromoted to the post of national development manager in 1996. “At the age of 23, I managed to convince my boss that I could run a20,000sq ft leisure centre in Coventry. We had a fantastic team of 20 full-timeemployees, most of whom were older and far more experienced than me. “I was thrown completely in at the deep end, but I loved it. The teamwe recruited remained unchanged until I was promoted to national developmentmanager a year later. “Without this day-to-day experience of managing a team within thebusiness, I don’t think I would have progressed into the development role atall. I had to learn on the job and was challenged every day. “It taught me that I have a passion for people and a passion for thecompany. “This led on to the role of national development manager, which put meat the helm of the HR function for the entire company and its expansionprogramme. It meant managing and controlling the recruitment of 500 employeeseach year. “We had excellent wage and pension plans in operation, but I saw theneed to set up a full time HR function. I put forward some plans to the boardand was given the go ahead to lay the groundwork for a more developed HR team. “A huge amount of work has had to be done to turn HR into somethingmore strategic within the company. It is now far more of a catalyst for changeas we are involved in all of the organisation’s agendas and decision-makingprocesses.” Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img

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