Assistant HR Manager Clair celebrates 30-years at Ragdale!
It’s a time of celebration here at Ragdale Hall Spa, as we come together (socially distanced, of course!) to recognise a very special work anniversary for HR Assistant Manager, Clair, who has reached the landmark of 30-years as a member of the Ragdale family. Congratulations, Clair!
We recently enjoyed a virtual catch up and a cuppa with Clair, to find out all about her about her time here at Ragdale…
What first attracted you to working at Ragdale?
I started working at Ragdale on 26th January 1991. At the time I was at Sixth Form and College and I wanted a part-time job. I applied to work at Ragdale because they offered free transport from Melton and the surrounding area to the Hall. Also, lots of people my age worked here (I am still friends with a lot of them now and some of our kids are starting to work here now!) so I knew I’d be in good company.
What positions have you held at Ragdale, and what attracted you to apply for your current role in HR?
I started as a part-time Kitchen Porter, before moving to join the Bars team. Once I had finished my secretarial course at Melton College I started a full time job as Trainee Receptionist. Around six months later, a job in the Administration team became available (I remember being interviewed in the cigarette room…fast forward 25+ years, and the interview process is a lot different now!).
With a smaller workforce, Ragdale’s HR department wasn’t as established then as it is now, but as an administrator I supported the Personnel Officer (now the HR and Commercial Director) with day-to-day tasks and soon found myself enrolled in Loughbourgh College to gain my HR qualifications. I then took some time out to start my own family, and came back to work part-time as a member of the HR team. The HR Department has grown so much over the years, and a team of five of us now work to look after 500+ members of the Ragdale family!
What I liked (and still like) about HR is that it gives you the opportunity to look after people – that’s my favourite part of the job – and making sure that people have the best employment experience at Ragdale as they can.
Can you tell us about any memorable moments you’ve had at Ragdale?
A memorable moment would have to be when Aerosmith stayed at Ragdale when they were headlining at Monsters of Rock (or Download, as it’s called now). That was an experience – let’s say no more!
Professionally, the proudest moment for me was when we made the ‘Sunday Times 100 Best Places to Work’ list in 2005. I actually screamed when we got the email to say we had made the top 100!
I have ‘grown up’ (no comments, please!) at Ragdale. Over the years I have made so many friends, some of which are now my ‘best friends’. When I was younger Ragdale gave you a built-in social life – working in hospitality you can’t always go out at the weekend with your ‘other’ friends so you’d go out on a Wednesday night with work friends instead! Of course, there was the odd time I still went out at the weekend and worked a shift with a bit of a sore head! Joking aside though, I do think this helps me when now looking after some of the younger staff, because I’ve been there and done it!
Tell us what a typical day as a member of Ragdale HR looks like?
Alongside the day-to-day job of looking after our lovely big family, we also enjoy organising the staff parties and the social side of things (of course!). This has obviously been even more important during Covid – we have had to be there for the team, organising virtual get-togethers, challenges, creating a weekly staff newsletter and sometimes just being on the end of the phone or meeting up for a walk or a coffee (when we have been able to).
Our job also involves recruitment, making sure everyone is inducted and trained properly, working alongside payroll, supporting the management team in their HR duties, etc. and generally helping to make Ragdale the best place to work!
A bit about you…
I live in Melton, and do lots of running in my own time – I like to take part in Park Run and I am a member of the Stilton Striders Running Club. I also like baking (which is why I run!).
I found I am also a football fan since my son, Sammy, started playing and watching Leicester City. We are season ticket holders now, and we can’t wait to go back. I also help out on the tea bar on a Sunday at Sammy’s football club (Mowbray Rangers).
Tell us why you love working at Ragdale…
Ragdale gives you the opportunity to take opportunities. I have always felt that I could make a difference. If I think something isn’t right or there’s a better way of doing something I know can speak up, and changes happen! From not having a clue what I wanted to do when I left school, Ragdale allowed me to move around and find a career that I love.
Please join us in thanking Clair for 30 wonderful years of long service – the Ragdale Hall family is so lucky to have you.