Successful HR support network for Barnsley SMEs hosts its tenth event

A Barnsley support network which provides expert advice on human resources to local businesses is holding its tenth free event next week (Tuesday January 15th).

The Barnsley HR Network is organised and funded as part of the Enterprising Barnsley business support programme. It gives small and medium sized enterprises easy access to free specialist advice on HR and currently has about 40 active members. Other companies are invited to join.

Enterprising Barnsley’s HR business consultant Judy Sidebottom said: “Everyone is having to work smarter in these tough economic times and our HR Network aims to help Barnsley businesses of all sizes develop and deliver excellent HR practices by providing free specialist advice and up-to-the-minute briefings.

“Getting it right in HR means happy, more productive staff; getting it wrong can be very expensive in terms of lost time and money.”

The programme of network events is responsive to members’ needs, said Judy, with the event on January 15th focusing on coaching and mentoring staff to improve the performance of individuals and teams; and the following event on April 23rd concentrating on managing change.

Previous events have covered issues such as performance management, pay and rewards, social media policies and pensions. There’s also annual employment law updates to keep abreast of the ever-changing legal requirements for employers. All events are led by professional HR consultants.

The Barnsley HR Network, set up in 2010, includes firms who have just two or three employees, right up to businesses with hundreds of staff. Some of the companies have dedicated HR managers, but, in other cases, it is the managing director, operations manager or finance director, for example, who has responsibility for HR.

Gemma Brennan, director of legal and administrative operations at Barnsley-based printers Print City, which has a workforce of 45, said: “HR is one of my many management responsibilities at Print City and the HR networks have really helped us to develop an effective recruitment strategy as well as implement comprehensive training programmes for all levels of staff.”

John Foster, managing director of Fosters Bakery, Mapplewell, which employs 250, said: “The HR Network events are really helpful.   So many HR events just focus on legal compliance whereas these seek to add value for the business. As well as informative pro-active topics, it’s good to meet managers from other firms facing similar challenges.”

To attend the next Barnsley HR Network event, please register at:

Enterprising Barnsley aims to help Barnsley-based businesses develop and expand – generating economic growth and creating new jobs. Phase one of the programme supported the creation of 630 new jobs between 2009 and 2012. Since the second phase was launched in April 2012, it has helped create 161 jobs. Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

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