Fully dedicated to employees: Jennifer Harper, HR Business Partner at GLS’ Dublin office, knows that if you love what you do, you do it well. This is why she has implemented a wellbeing programme for employees at GLS Ireland.
Happy employees for satisfied customers
Ms Harper, what does an HR Business Partner do?
People are often surprised by how many different tasks fall under the category of ‘human resources’. The main areas are: recruitment, training, payroll, performance management, but also health and safety. This can feel like having many balls in the air at the same time. But I enjoy the fast pace of my job.
And what is your biggest challenge?
One important focus of my work is recruitment and retention of employees. At GLS Ireland, we are looking for talented and reliable employees which are in high demand all over Ireland. It is my job to make sure GLS is able to interest the most suitable employees in the company.
The high demand of skilled labour in Ireland is not necessarily new. What has changed?
Retaining employees is even more challenging now than it used to be. The number of Millennials is growing – by 2025 they will make up 75 per cent of the workforce. Millennials move from job to job more frequently than previous generations. Professional platforms like LinkedIn amplify this trend. It is important that GLS understands the needs of millennials. Only then will we be able to retain them in our business.
Is this why you implemented a wellbeing programme at GLS Ireland?
It’s part of the reason, definitely. The wellbeing programme is an ongoing effort which aims at encouraging employees to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to self-care. We focus on four areas: Body, Nutrition, Mind and Finance.
Can you give some concrete examples?
One component of wellbeing is physical health. We support our employees’ health by offering gym memberships, physical therapy sessions and healthy food. Along with our sponsorship of Triathlon Ireland, we have running events that are open to all employees as well. As someone who is into fitness, I know how important sport is for a person’s overall condition and performance. We also offer counselling about mental health and financial security. Both are directly linked to how satisfied people are with their lives and jobs.
Why is employee satisfaction important for GLS and its customers?
Looking after your employees is essential for any business. We want to ensure we have a healthy workforce so we can provide excellent service to our customers.
But how do you keep employees happy in the long run?
We have to give them long term goals. This is why we created our Payment Matrix. It’s a payment structure broken up into four levels where employees, as they develop skills over time, move up the matrix system, thus reaping the reward of their dedication. It provides a clear career path and attainable prospects.
Now, I’m going to put on my running shoes. We are competing in a virtual inter-depot challenge by tracking our progress – so I have to stay on top of my game!
After receiving a degree in Strategic Human Resource Management from the National College of Ireland, the Dublin-native has taken her talents to GLS. Since 2017, Jennifer Harper has been HR Business Partner at GLS Ireland. Among the 33-year-old’s main responsibilities are GLS’ recruitment efforts and the wellbeing programme for employees.