AM Online

Good people skills vital for success

Human resources within a company play a vital role in ensuring happy staff and smooth relationships between employees and employers.

Melvin Rogers has this responsibility as head of HR at Sytner, AM Employer of the Year, looking after more than 5,000 staff.

Naturally, good people skills are needed for the position. Rogers said: “It requires the confidence and communication skills to deal in a calm and tactful manner with a variety of situations, balancing the needs of the individual employee against the business interests of the organisation.

“You may be required to operate in stressful situations when handling issues such as discipline, redundancy or the personal problems of individual employees, so you would need a measure of resilience and an understanding of the importance of confidentiality,” he added.

Rogers has been at Sytner since 2002, having started his management career at a major high street bank. From there he moved to a role in a privately-owned motor group in the west country.

A typical day involves interviewing applicants and attending meetings about Sytner’s HR strategy and direction. Rogers is also working on developing succession planning and new initiatives to grow talent within the company.

Based at Sytner’s head office in Leicester, Rogers tries to spend at least half of his time in dealerships: “HR needs to be fully engaged in understanding the business if it is to add value,” he said.

The best part of the job for Rogers is seeing new recruits enjoying their roles: becoming successful and climbing the career ladder.

“The worst part of the job is sifting through email. I think the art of conversation is losing its importance as a communication tool,” he added.

His advice for anyone interested in an HR career includes doing professional qualifications awarded by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

However, he said: “Chances of promotion in HR generally depend far more on your personal achievement and potential than on paper qualifications. Many organisations look for experience outside an HR department.

“Understanding the business you work in will be crucial if to being successful.”

Aside from Sytner’s AM award, the company has also been awarded 4th position in the Sunday Times top 20 biggest companies to work for in the UK.

Rogers said such accolades demonstrate how Sytner wants to grow through good HR practices.

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