A human resources expert and local radio presenter, a family man who has spent three years on the road, has returned home to South Wales to set up a company supporting local businesses.
Lee Monroe has spent the past 16 years working for supermarket chain Morrisons, being based over the last three years in Bradford in Yorkshire, Kent and Surrey and more recently North Wales and the English Borders.
The father-of-two has children aged 16 and 13 at his home in Tredegar, where his wife Emma also works full time and looks after his elderly grandmother, and has taken the decision to bring his many years of corporate HR experience to the benefit of local small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
The HR Dept Abergavenny, Brecon, Blaenau Gwent & Cwmbran will offer expert outsourced human resources advice and support at a price which smaller businesses can afford.
Mr Monroe is well-known in the area, having presented shows on community radio station BRfm/BGfm for many years. He currently hosts a Sunday breakfast show from 8am to 10am.
Now he faces a new challenge, to develop a business in the local community and apply his years of HR know-how at a grass roots level with local companies.
“I’ve spent the past three years living out of a suitcase,” he said. “Time flies when you have children and I wanted to make the most of them growing up, so it’s great to get back to South Wales and to be starting up a business here.
“It’s going to take some getting used to but I’m really excited about it and I’m looking forward to working with local SMEs.
“I’ve got so much experience to pass on, especially over the past few years with the head office and regional roles I’ve had, which have involved strategic work and policies and procedures for the 498 stores which Morrisons has across the UK.
“Now I need to apply that knowledge at the grass roots level, helping businesses with their people management, from writing handbooks and contracts right up to recruitment and strategic work.”
The HR Dept Abergavenny, Brecon, Blaenau Gwent & Cwmbran is part of an international company with a network of 75 franchisees providing services in 112 territories in the UK, Ireland and Australia.
Licensees provide high-level experience but at an affordable rate for growing businesses, who need the expertise on hand but have neither the need nor the budget for an in-house HR team.
The company also provides an option for HR practitioners looking for better work-life balance and a new challenge after working in corporate life.
Mr Monroe said that, in a rapidly-developing employment landscape, he was expecting his services to be in high demand in the local business community.
“What I really enjoy is meeting people and helping resolve their issues,” he said. “With new legislation like GDPR bedding in since May, the reviews on equality, the gender pay gap, and then with the Home Office having just published the Brexit Toolkit for employers, there’s a lot for SME owners to think about.
“Companies need to be aware of likely legislation and prepare for it in advance – the world is changing and those businesses which aren’t up to speed are going to struggle.
“HR professionals are available for advice so that, rather than having an additional headache to worry about, business owners can pass responsibility for the people issues over to us. We allow you to look after your business and take care of your people problems.”
Gemma Tumelty, managing director of The HR Dept, said:
“It’s great to see someone of Lee’s calibre and experience offering HR services to SMEs in this part of South Wales. We wish him all the best operating the licence and are sure he will make it a great success.”