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Member Interview: Bina Briggs, Plain Talking HR - Personalised Service that Puts Simplicity First

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 16 May 2024

Plain Talking HR’s website spells its message out loud and clear. The hazard sign top and centre bears the legend ‘No Jargon!’

And for the last 15 years, this Luton-based HR specialist has been flying the flag for plain talking and simplicity across clients ranging in size from a handful of employees to 200, in industries as diverse as construction (a key focus), medicine, dentistry, accountancy, and many others.

We were delighted to get some time in the diary with owner and co-founder Bina Briggs recently, to interview her about the company’s origins, services, and differentiators.

Corporate background, SME focus

Bina’s background is in corporate HR – she worked for many years for London Luton Airport, and the ‘Plain’ in ‘Plain talking’ is also a wordplay on ‘plane’ – so she understands the workload and processes involved, and why these are often too much for smaller businesses.

“Most small businesses owners and managers are just too busy to deal with the people aspect of their business, let alone to grow and develop those people,” she says.

“But that’s often an immediate compliance risk, which can have legal consequences. Not having the right contracts, company handbooks, policies, or disciplinary processes in place can turn around and bite you, even far into the future.”

“But communication is also essential. People need to be told, clearly and simply - again, no jargon – what the issue is, why it’s a problem, and what the course of action to address it looks like. They might not even realise anything is wrong”

On the team at the top table

In dealing with these challenges day to day, Bina sees herself as an integral member of the client’s senior management team, and again, simplicity and plain talking pay dividends here.

“No business leadership wants to hear flummery,” she explains, “they want it kept simple. But they also need to be confident that I understand their and their employees’ pain-points, and that I am here to make the lives of both easier by dealing with them.”

And her recipe for engaging with even the most difficult situations is, likewise, simple. “First of all, understand what the individual is going through. Make sure the language doesn’t inflame this and keep it plain and accessible. And, most importantly, empathise.”

A solution for every need and budget

The more you talk to Bina, the more you get the impression that her objective is to make dealing with her straightforward, and this also comes through in how the business’s services are arranged and communicated.

With specific HR packages tailored to the size and growth stage of the business, (Essential, Practical, Strategic) plus HR mentoring, industry-specific offerings (construction), and fully bespoke options, this is a highly personalised approach that applies HR interpretively, on a case by case basis.

“We don’t use a call centre, and we don’t work from a script”, Bina explains. “You talk to a HR expert who understands the individual application of the law, not just the laws themselves, and this means we are often able to take actions that bring issues to a resolution much more quickly.”

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of Chamber membership, call our friendly team on (01582) 522448.

Topics: member interview

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