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Lou McIntee – Meet the Team

Read Time: 4 Mins | March 25, 2022

Tell us a bit about yourself – where you’re from, family and what your interests and hobbies are outside of work.

I’m from Galashiels originally but moved to Kelso in 1993 due to job relocation.  I have two boys, Ross 19 & Lewis 15 and a stepson Mark aged 31.  I love music and watch a lot of music documentaries and read biographies of film and music stars.  My Dad was a singer in a function band in the 70’s & 80’s so my taste in music has probably been influenced by him a lot.

I fulfilled a life-long dream to visit Memphis in 2017 (for my “special” birthday), and loved soaking up all the amazing music, history and food.  Visiting Beale Street & Graceland were highlights of my trip.

I also love cooking and entertaining friends.  I will go to great lengths to plan a menu for friends coming to dinner and spend the whole day making it all! BBQ pulled pork and Memphis slaw is one of my specialities.

I’ve recently taken up hill walking and am enjoying seeing more of the lovely Scottish Borders, somewhere I’ve lived all my life but never fully appreciated.  I had a short career break prior to starting with Starrett, which gave me the chance to spend more time outdoors.

Lastly, I love to have fun, and I try to incorporate some silliness in my life at least once a day!

Why did you choose a career in HR?

I’ve came to HR later in my career, it found me rather than the other way around.  I feel my previous roles have been leading up to this. I just love people!  Meeting people, helping people, caring for people.  I have done all this in previous roles, but haven’t had a defined HR role before, and that’s what I was looking for when I applied for the role of HR Support at Starrett.

A business is nothing without its people, and I believe in making sure people feel valued and have a voice.  I am looking forward to learning so much more about HR in this role. I feel this is an exciting time in the world of HR, as the workplace is changing and will continue to change, in the wake of COVID.  I have also started studying for the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice which will certainly fill the gaps in my knowledge. 

Tell us a little about your career background and what you did before joining Starrett.

I have always worked in office roles.  I remember as a very young girl I played “offices” rather than playing with dolls! I started off life as an office junior in a mill (which is now Asda in Galashiels!), progressing to office supervisor, then I was made redundant, and moved to Kelso to take up the role of Credit Controller with Plexus Corp (previously Keltek).  I was there for 24 years, then decided to have a break from the office and finance world and I became a carer in a care home.  I loved caring but when the job of PA to the Chief Executive came up at the same care home, I remember thinking “I need to get back into the office”.

What followed was three of the best years of my working life, learning pretty much all aspects of how a care home is run, how to manage a crisis (COVID-1), and how to “wing it”.  We had no IT or HR department in the care home, and I picked up these functions and learned the basics.  This role taught me resilience and resourcefulness, and that there is always a solution to a problem.  I was involved in a lot of change during my time there, and I enjoyed that very much.

What does your new role involve and what attracted you to the job?

My role is to ensure the HR function continues to run smoothly during the period of time Jodie our HR Manager is on maternity leave.  I don’t profess to have a vast knowledge of employment law but am looking forward to learning more about it. 

I am pleased Jodie has some keeping in touch days scheduled in 2022 so that we can ensure key HR projects are delivered on time.

I am on the GDPR & Health & Safety teams in Jodie’s stead, and again this is something that I have not been directly involved in before, but I’m finding it very interesting.

I was attracted to this job because I was looking for a defined HR role, rather than undertaking only part of the HR function in my previous role (ie. recruitment, absence logging, etc).  I am very interested in the health and wellbeing of the workforce and this is something I aim to learn more about during my time at Starrett.

What do you think the most challenging part of the job will be?

As I have not been directly involved in employment law before, it may take some time for me to get up to speed with all the rules and regulations, but I have found our legal advisers a great source of knowledge and I know I can ask them anything.  I have also found everyone here at Starrett extremely helpful (and patient!) when I have a query.

What are your goals for the future?

I want to continue to grow and develop as a person and in my career.  I love to learn new skills, within the workplace and out with. 

Eildon Hills
Elvis Presley

Lastly, what one person dead or alive would you love to meet and why?

Elvis!  There has been so much written about him since he died, only he would be able to tell it how it really was.  I would want to know what it was really like being one of the most famous, idolised men in modern music history.

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