Adèle MacKinlay is our new Director of Human Resources. Although you may have seen her around campus already (she’s been in her role part-time for the last couple of months) she starts in a full-time capacity today. Aspects went to meet her to find out more about the lady herself and her new role at the University.
For the last 16 years, Adèle has been working in the financial services industry and for the majority of that time for the credit card provider MBNA; Adèle’s last position at MBNA was ‘Chief People Officer’ with responsibility for HR, Facilities, Community, Training and Communications. After MBNA, Adèle helped launch a new division of The Kessler Group, a small consultancy company, in the UK. It was then that she saw the Aston University HR Director position advertised.
‘What first attracted me to Aston was ‘Aston 2012: An Inspirational Place’; now that I am here, I can see that this is very much a living strategy and I firmly believe that people are at the heart of us achieving this strategy.
‘In my view HR is absolutely critical to the delivery of Aston 2012 and beyond. I want HR to be a true partner of the Schools and of the departments to create an environment where students and staff can be successful both as individuals and as part of the wider community.
‘HR isn’t just about policies and procedures. HR is about enabling staff and business areas to implement the people management strategies that will deliver their goals.
‘I firmly believe that if you have a healthy working environment then you have the best chance of achieving strategy and vision to create a really successful organisation. HR is at the core of that.’
So what will be the first thing Adèle implements?
‘There have already been some changes. One of the key things I’m doing is meeting with Schools and departments throughout the University to identify the top two or three things that are making their jobs difficult and doing something about it. I’m very committed to action.
‘For me it is about taking forward what is currently a strong HR delivery to the next level that will see HR truly working in partnership with the different areas within the University.
‘I’m really looking forward to being part of an organisation that will realise its vision and being part of an HR team that looks back in five years and can say that it significantly helped to make that transformation a reality.’
Words by Louise Russell