Andy
Gray

People & Culture Administrator

LinkedIn

WHO I HELP

All AAB Group team members, from all departments, including new starts who have not yet joined the business.

HOW I HELP

Supporting team members with HR-related matters. Ensuring a smooth onboarding process for new hires.

SECTORS/SUPPORT

Works closely with IT and Internal Finance but supports all departments across the AAB Group.

“THEY SAY YOU SPEND A THIRD OF YOUR LIFE AT WORK SO, IN MY OPINION, THAT TIME SHOULD BE ENJOYABLE.”

Andy Gray is an Administrator within our dedicated People & Culture team. Based in Aberdeen, Andy confidently runs our onboarding process from start to finish. This involves drafting the contracts of employment and issuing them for signing, issuing and reviewing pre-employment checks, and sending out and reviewing other new start paperwork.

Andy also ensures that our new starts are all set up in our People system, liaises with IT to get their equipment set up and arrange their IT induction, communicates appointments internally to the wider Group. He agrees first-day arrangements with the hiring manager, and completes a People & Culture induction on their first day.

Other responsibilities of Andy’s include drafting contractual change letters, processing leavers, benefits, exam passes, salary increases, role changes, changing work patterns/working hours, and updating titles on our internal systems as and when required.

He also manages the HR helpdesk where he picks up and responds to as many tickets as possible. What comes into the helpdesk varies daily, so if Andy isn’t sure of the answer, then he does his best to find it out. In cases where the issue is out of his remit, he will reassign the ticket to the relevant team member who can help.

COLLEAGUES & FRIENDS

“To me, an ideal relationship with a colleague is somebody you can build a relationship with and trust to work closely together – but also somebody that you can have a laugh with at the same time. They say you spend a third of your life at work so, in my opinion, that time should be enjoyable. I’ve worked at other companies where friendship outside of work was discouraged but AAB is the complete opposite. I consider each one of my colleagues a friend.”

RELIABLE, HONEST, & ACCURATE

“I think my colleagues expect me to be reliable, in the sense that I have our new starts under control, and also reliable in the sense that if they ask me to do something, I will get it done in a timely and professional manner. They also expect me to be honest. For example, if I make a mistake then they can trust that I’ll own it and rectify it. Honesty is also important if you feel something is not working, or if somebody asks for your opinion. Another thing that my colleagues expect is for me to be accurate – for example, if somebody in the admin team asks me for a report then the data that I provide should, of course, be correct and as up to date as possible.”

LEARNING FROM COLLEAGUES

“I really enjoy learning from my colleagues. Our team is so varied in terms of age and experience; some of my team members have been in the industry for years and have a wealth of knowledge behind them. Other colleagues have also come in from other industries and have brought in a new perspective to AAB which is always interesting.”

MAKING IT WORK

“Occasionally we will receive a last-minute request for a new start. We are supposed to have at least two weeks’ notice but unfortunately it doesn’t always work like this and, in these situations, we just need to make it work. This might mean that you need to drop other things because this becomes the priority.”

DEALING WITH CHANGE

“The greatest challenge in my role is probably unexpected change. However, I don’t believe that change is something that should be feared because nothing is permanent, except change! I think Blockbusters is a perfect example of why change is so important, you can’t be complacent when it comes to change. You need to welcome it with open arms. If Blockbusters had been able to move over to streaming services, then they might still be in business today. I always make sure I keep an open mind when a new way of working is introduced and listen carefully to what the benefits are.”

EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES

“I am truly excited to see what the future brings for me in terms of my career and the opportunities that are available going forward. I am also hoping to return to university and start my MSc in Human Resource Management part-time later this year.

I’m also excited to see what the future brings for AAB in terms of M&A projects. AAB has already grown so much in the time since I first joined the business and has only continued to do so. I look forward to meeting and working with future colleagues.”

MAKING PEOPLE FEEL VALUED & SUPPORTED

“The AAB Group Value that stands out the most to me is that ‘nothing is more important than our people.’ Compassion should be at the heart of what we do as a People & Culture department. It’s vital to look after our people in the business because, at the end of the day, our people make the business what it is. Our clients rely on our people, so we need to ensure that our people feel supported with whatever they might be going through, whether this is something at work or in their personal life. All it takes is a simple “how are you?” at the start of an email or Teams call to let somebody know that you care.”

STRONG ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS & GENUINE CARE

“I feel the greatest strength I bring to AAB is my organisation. The best example I have is with our new starts: I am always super organised ahead of time with this. However, if I go on annual leave for example, then absolutely everything my colleagues need to know in my absence will be documented in an email.

Another strength I bring is that I genuinely care about my job, and about things going right. Obviously, sometimes things do not go to plan, and it’s important to be able to accept this and move on but if I return from leave and I find out something has happened in my absence, I don’t have the attitude of “well it’s not my problem, I wasn’t here” – I will pick up whatever the issue might be on my return and try to make it right.

I also like to think I am friendly and approachable. Although I work in a support services role, I see myself as somebody who a client could come to. However, in my case, my clients are employees of AAB.”

PROVIDING A ‘WARM WELCOME’

“When I showed a People & Culture Operations Director the video that was taken of me for this website profile, her response was “The video is smashing. What a lovely smile, and so indicative of the warm welcome and response you provide to the business.” This was a really nice compliment to hear.

I also receive a lot of positive feedback in the HR helpdesk for quick turnaround, which I find really motivating. This year alone I have had 32 customer satisfaction responses. 20 of them said ‘AABsolutely Brilliant, treated me as a Human Being’ and 12 said ‘Helped me out and were quick to resolve’.”

MISCONCEPTIONS AROUND HR

“I sometimes feel like HR is a career that is sometimes perceived incorrectly, and some people have the mentality that HR is somehow ‘out to get them’ which is obviously not the case. Nobody in HR wants other employees to see us arrive at the Christmas party and think “here’s the fun police.” Yes, HR might step in and provide guidance or support when something goes wrong, but we are not actively out looking to get people into trouble. Maybe some people have had these kinds of negative experiences in other organisations, but that’s certainly not the case at AAB. I want to be somebody that people feel like they can come to and have an open and honest conversation with, not somebody who they are frightened to come and talk to just because I work in HR.”

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