13 Years of leaving Customers Better Equipped

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News & Updates

This month, Alpine achieved the milestone of 11 years of facilitating strategic resourcing and change management, building organisational capacity that leaves its ‘clients better equipped’ to face their challenges, and realise their potential. Over an 11 week period we are publishing a series of thought leadership and opinion pieces by staff and clients on the importance of mindful resourcing and workforce development. This week’s article by human resources professional, Susan Turnbull, of Help For Heroes, recognises Remembrance Tide and the role that talent management can play in career recovery.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.”
(Laurence Binyon, 1914)

I have now been working with Help for Heroes (www.helpforheroes.org.uk) for over four years – joining the ‘family’ as we like to call it as Head of HR in 2010 – and then in February of this year, moving across to the most rewarding role I have held in my 35 year career – that of Head of Career Recovery.

From the very first day, this journey has been immensely rewarding. Yet it is at this time of year when one is able to recognise exactly how talent management can really make a difference, working in a vibrant, dynamic and results focused ‘charity’– direct practical, support being our aim.

As I watched the Remembrance Service at Whitehall on Sunday I heard that our last three WW1 Veterans died at the ripe old ages of 113, 106 and 103. Given that the servicemen and women we work with today are aged between 23 and 45, ensuring that they have a competitive and purposeful role in life after they leave the armed forces is vital. At Help for Heroes, that is what the team and I do – recovery.

The goodwill of the ‘Corporate UK ‘never fails to surprise me. Last week, I drove up to Sunderland FC with Steve Sutton, a veteran in his late 20s, to support him enrol in their coaching and volunteering programmes. It was then that our mantra of “Holding onto their hope until they are able to hold onto it for themselves” really came into play. Steve is one of many blokes over 20 years old that we are helping to re-start their careers or find a new passion now that their military careers have been prematurely curtailed. He said: ‘I feel so positive about the future now… I am so happy and cannot wait to get cracking on’.

Our clients are everyday heroes in every sense of the word; and are an enormous source of inspiration for myself and the team. To say that I am very passionate about this role would be an understatement! I was reminded of this on Sunday 9 November after giving a reading at my local remembrance service in Horton Heath, Dorset last week – and was thanking the congregation for making donations to the amazing charity I work for.

So what workforce lessons do I draw from this? Well, role satisfaction is crucial to motivation. Good customer service and leaving a positive impact are at the heart of this. And matching your own personal goals and values with an organisation’s really does give you the drive and determination to become the fearless character that we all wish to be. Without doubt it has put the spring back into this 53 year old HR professional.

Susan Turnbull, FCIPD has worked within the field of human resources for over 30 years in both Board and Consultancy based roles – running a FTSE 500 Recruitment Company to re -examine HR on the Front Line. You can contact her via Alpine on: sturnbull@alpine.eu.com


Alpine is a leading provider of interim management, thought leadership and consultancy services. Our core values of integrity and transparency underpin everything we do.

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