Colleague Spotlight: Meet Chris Petty, Systems Trainer
Chris Petty hasn’t had a Christmas off in 10 years! So in his new role as Systems Trainer he’s thankful that he’s able to do that this year. In this Colleague Spotlight, Chris explains how working in retail lead to him pursuing a career in HR, and why his experience at AdviserPlus is so rewarding.
Can you tell us a little about your background and previous experience?
I started working at AdviserPlus about 3.5 years ago as an HR Assistant supporting managers at Network Rail. During this time, I moved through the ranks to Senior HR Assistant and then to HR Adviser before taking on my current role as System Trainer in the summer of 2021.
I didn’t have a background in HR although I had lots of experience in retail management, dealing with customers and managing teams. I worked in a large music store and each Christmas I’d say to myself ‘This is the last Christmas working in retail – I can’t do this again!’ I was working 9am-9pm and it didn’t suit my family life. Often my days off were in the week, whereas my wife was off at weekends, so I was keen to find a job that suited us better. When considering the avenues I could go down, HR seemed like a great choice because I thought I could link it to the customer service aspect of working in a retail environment. I believe that everyone should have some sort of experience in retail as it develops your ability to speak to people and builds your common sense. So, while I was still working in retail I completed my CIPD level 3 to try and support my transition into HR – I think that would have been hard without some sort of knowledge or experience in HR as my degree was in Music production, so not related at all.
What does your job as Systems Trainer entail?
I’ve only been in post for six months but I started the role at a key point in the development of empower. My role is really varied but mainly I provide training on all of our products, both internally for new starters or for colleagues that need a refresher, and externally for our clients that use our technology as a licensed product. This also involves developing all the training materials including video tutorials and ‘How to’ guides which accompany that.
In terms of our empower technology, I support with lots of different areas from working with the project teams and understanding what the training needs are, to providing hyper care for our clients following the first few weeks of implementation. I take feedback from our clients and ensure that any issues are fed back to our product team. I try and get as involved in product development as I can because I’m the one having face-to-face interactions with our clients and service users, so the more exposure I can get to the system and its development, the stronger my knowledge is to enable me to support them.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I get a lot of satisfaction from knowing the impact that I’m making. I was working as an Adviser on the Network Rail account during the Covid pandemic, so being able to support those managers through a really challenging time, and knowing that the data we provided was being used by the government in their COBRA meetings made me really proud of what we do at AdviserPlus.
In my current role I enjoy being able to support the project teams with testing and training and helping to ensure that processes are as smooth as possible for our clients. I enjoy the variety in the role. I’m not sat at my desk delivering training every day, I get involved in new projects and work with different areas of the business which I find really rewarding.
What do you enjoy most about working for AdviserPlus?
Without a doubt, it’s the people. I haven’t come across anyone I don’t like! It doesn’t matter what team I work with whether it’s the Operations Managers, Data Analysts, Technical Support, Learning Solutions, whatever – it’s just such a great culture across the business. The people are the reason that I like working here and I want to do the best I can to ensure that the business keeps going from strength to strength. Everyone here is so supportive.
If you weren’t working at AdviserPlus, what do you think you’d be doing?
I’d be working with music in some aspect. My ambition would be set up my own music shop, working with instruments, selling music or in a recording studio. I have somewhere between 400 to 500 records at home and five guitars!
Tell us an interesting/ little known fact about yourself?
I went to music college with John Newman, probably best known for the track Love Me Again and his work with Calvin Harris and Rudimental. We both went to Leeds College of Music; I was on the Music Production course and he was on the Pop course. I had no idea what happened to him after I left college, but I was watching a Christmas Top of The Pops one year and I recognised him on there. He’s done quite well for himself!
I recorded a cover version of Street Spirit by Radiohead with him but when I left college I accidentally formatted the hard drive that it was on, so I don’t have the recording of it anymore.