No matter how big or small your business, the people you employ play a vital role in the success of your venture. Having someone in charge of human resources to help manage employment relations, recruitment and policies can take the strain off business owners and ensure everyone is working towards the same objective: enter Smart Working.
Founded in 2016 by HR specialist Steph Oerton, Smart Working is essentially an outsourced HR department, offering a comprehensive package that combines general HR capabilities with learning and development services. Living locally on Lumb Lane, Steph – originally from Urmston – moved into the area with her family in 2008 after working in Australia for two decades. While Down Under, Steph had a role at a newspaper in Canberra, and it was while working for the paper that her people skills came to the fore.
Steph ascended the customer service ranks into management, going on to take a degree in HR, followed by a masters. She’s worked for government departments and growing businesses, helping companies like Orange and Virgin trains achieve their goals through organisational development and people strategies.
A couple of year ago, Steph decided to set up her own HR business, and so Smart Working was born. Taking an inside-out approach to HR, Smart Working is just that: a clever service that delves under the surface of an issue to remedy the cause, rather than simply treat the symptoms. Issues like staff absenteeism and poor retention can be pricey; in fact, the cost of replacing a good employee is approximately £30,000 – an expense that can be avoided with the right HR practices.
Smart Working covers all the HR basics like recruitment, policies, disciplinary procedures, inductions, handbooks and the like, but sets itself apart by also offering higher-level learning and development services, too. Steph delivers workshops on all kinds of HR-related subjects, from managing change to leadership and coaching skills. She also helps SMEs identify their values and standards, and works with them to implement company-wide practices designed to promote growth.
The sheer variety that comes with working in HR is something that Steph loves. That, and feeling like she’s an important part of many teams. Despite being an outsourced service, Smart Working is dedicated to delivering maximum value and always makes time to give clients that little bit extra. Steph and her associates work with all kinds of businesses – both locally and further afield, from Bredbury to Italy – tailoring each client’s service to suit their bespoke needs.
When she’s not helping businesses with their HR needs, Steph’s also committed to giving back to the community and causes. She recently manned a stall at the Bramhall Festival, selling cakes and running a raffle for charity Love The One, which provides support for India’s most vulnerable children. Introduced to the cause by a colleague, Steph has also helped out on the ground in India, providing pro bono training for staff to launch and run schools and other vital services.
The recent cake stall raised £500 for the charity and Steph’s husband raised £1,400 last year, which is enough to sponsor five children for a year – a remarkable feat of charity. Back home in Bramhall, meanwhile, Steph loves the community atmosphere and enjoys eating out at our many restaurants, as well as training with Atef from AK Fitness – when she isn’t delivering a business webinar or commuting across the country to her clients!
To find out more about how Smart Working’s specialist HR services can help your business, get in touch with Steph and the team using the links below: