Debra Lee

Debra Lee

Regional Director- North West

Debra Lee is a commercially focused, can-do HR and Business specialist. She has over 20 years HR and operational experience, gained working within the dynamic, fast paced environment of corporate retailing.

Summary

Her most recent corporate roles involved steering the People element of a huge conversion project (137 Netto stores into small Asda Supermarkets in a 6 month period) and latterly as Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion concentrating on Gender, Ethnicity, Age, Disability and Sexual Orientation with the Asda Executive Board. Earlier in her career, she ran a number of Superstores so has experienced managing annual turnover in excess of £60m and leading teams of 15+ managers and 400+ employees, first hand!

A highly self-motivated individual, with excellent relationship management, analytical and judgmental abilities, she inspires others to deliver results, to enable effective delivery of the business strategy. Debra’s specialist skills include: developing diversity initiatives, coaching and developing leaders in handling all people related activities and employee engagement, strategic thinking and developing pragmatic solutions.

She describes her proudest career moment as “electrifying and energising” when she organised a Conference for 650 talented women and launched an internal Women in Leadership Programme in 2013. Asda has since been recognised externally, for Advancing Women in the Workplace, at the Opportunity Now Awards 2014.

Debra mentors young talented female professionals from other sectors. She is passionate about unlocking potential and maximising talent.

Debra gained a BA in Retail Marketing from Manchester Metropolitan University and now lives in Southport, on the North West coast.

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Every team leader can now make decisions in line with the vision

Roy Bowie, Managing Director, GreenBlue Urban

I used to have the view that HR was managing difficult cases and moving people on with occasional recruitment support. But what People Puzzles does is so much more than that. It’s about the development of the business and its people as a whole which has been the biggest eye opener for me.

Janet and People Puzzles have been invaluable to me and my Senior Team.

Dave Henderson, Group CEO, Direct Voice and Data

Janet spent time understanding our business needs and aspirations, then developed a people management strategy which she continues to oversee and deliver. Janet also provides 1-2-1 coaching to the SMT- she is professional, proactive and friendly and we are extremely pleased with the support and advice we have received. Janet is always available and quick to respond, the guidance and assistance given allows us to feel confident we’re approaching any HR matters the right way. I would happily recommend Janet to any business who needs HR support.

Alison only worked for us part-time but had a full-time presence and influence.

Duncan Forbes, Interim CEO, Valleys to Coast

Alison was always a sound, reliable and expert source of practical advice and made things happen. She has a good sense of humour and was very easy to work with. She acted as the sounding board that every Chief Executive needs, supporting the Board to deal with some difficult HR issues. She was a vital source of calm at the outbreak of the COVID pandemic as we grappled with the impact on the organisation and our team. I would strongly recommend her as a strategic HR advisor as she would be an asset to any Executive team, providing effective support and expert advice.

Lynn's approach is refreshing and ensures you get where you want to be much quicker than we would otherwise.

Tony Passmore, CEO, Passmore Group

Lynn has worked as our HR consultant for the last year and has helped us bring structure to our HR systems & processes – she has reviewed all our procedures as well creating new ones and for sure the Company and it’s people have benefited. Her matter of fact approach is refreshing and ensures you get where you want to be much quicker than we would otherwise. She is a hands on ‘do-er’ who gets things done and I recommend her to anyone who needs some real expertise in their HR.

Working with Gill has helped us develop a People Plan which goes beyond compliance

Bernard Sellars, Managing Director, Lindum Packaging

Working with Gill from People Puzzles has helped us develop a People Plan which goes beyond compliance – it has helped us as a team to achieve greater alignment and engagement with the business strategy and goals.

I found the personal development coaching I received from Lynn to be very beneficial.

Alex Calvert, Marketing and PR Account Manager, Intandem Communications Ltd

I found the personal development coaching I received from Lynn to be very beneficial. Lynn helped me to work on some very clear objectives with a good balance of supportiveness and knowing when to challenge and push me out of my comfort zone!

We are now in a strong position from a people perspective, to leverage the next 6 months and beyond

Craig Bennett, CEO, Sigma Group

Paula developed a clear People plan and road map, which has significantly moved us on. She has developed the existing HR team, and has ensured that we have progressed quickly on all the strategic initiatives that we identified. I’m confident that based on the last 6 months, with Paula’s input and contribution, we are now in a strong position from a people perspective, to leverage the next 6 months and beyond.

A very professional team

Chris Morling, Founder & CEO, Money.co.uk

It’s been brilliant to have such knowledgeable consultants help us to empower our people. Stuart and Sophie were incredibly flexible, adapting their services to our business and existing culture. I’d highly recommend People Puzzles.

Shifted my view of HR!

Gavin Pooley, Managing Director, Liquidline

I used to think that HR was all about employment law compliance and managing the administration basics. I didn’t get the hugely positive impact strategic HR could make to the business – I do now!’

Transformed my understanding

Managing Director, B2B Supplies and Support Services

Having Alison on the team is like having another MD/MBA in the business. She has totally transformed my understanding of HR.

Fantastic support!

Kerry Berry, Director, S&K Berry Associates LLP

Lynn has been a fantastic support to us and an ongoing fountain of knowledge. If you have a business and/or staff you need to take care of, you need a Lynn on your team!

Such a detailed process

Sue Ford, Director, Bridge Case Management

Lynn ran a detailed process and I wasn’t allowed to get away with anything – All relevant issues were included and dealt with objectively.

We’ve accomplished a lot!

Joseph Carr, Managing Director, Carrs Pasties

This is an inspiring story and it’s all true. I can’t believe it’s about us! We’ve accomplished a lot over the last 18 months.

Helping us shape the business

Stuart Hill, CEO, WNDirect

Carole has helped me and the business massively and added real value while helping us shape the business.

Vee has now been Albany's HR Director for a year, and has delivered a huge amount for the company

Bertie Kerr, Managing Director, Albany Associates Ltd

Vee started with a baseline study of where we were. She then presented a work plan to deliver over the coming months, and while some priorities have changed it is impressive to look back and see how much has been achieved. She has become a trusted member of the senior team, providing advice and guidance on difficult topics, and is regularly consulted by the staff for her input.

Alison joined Valleys to Coast in March 2019 on an interim basis and 18 months later is still with us!!

Joanne Oak, Chief Executive Officer, Valleys to Coast Housing

Alison has been instrumental working with me to recruit to a permanent role. Alison’s approach has been one of partnership, contributing as part of the strategic leadership team, which has been critically important given the turbulence the organisation has been through. Alison is always available, responsive and I would highly recommend her from expert HR support to

Over the last 3 years, People Puzzles has helped build a very strong people culture at the RVT Group

Phil Dupont, Director, RVT Group

We now have a clear Vision for the Companies 5 Pillars, In-house manager, leadership ‘Power 90’ Training and a rhythm of key meetings throughout each year. This has had a direct contribution to the significant growth of the company in the last 3 years… With this support from People Puzzles continuing, the company continues to grow both financially and culturally for the benefit of all.

Debra Lee is a commercially focused, can-do HR and Business specialist. She has over 20 years HR and operational experience, gained working within the dynamic, fast paced environment of corporate retailing.

Her most recent corporate roles involved steering the People element of a huge conversion project (137 Netto stores into small Asda Supermarkets in a 6 month period) and latterly as Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion concentrating on Gender, Ethnicity, Age, Disability and Sexual Orientation with the Asda Executive Board. Earlier in her career, she ran a number of Superstores so has experienced managing annual turnover in excess of £60m and leading teams of 15+ managers and 400+ employees, first hand!

A highly self-motivated individual, with excellent relationship management, analytical and judgmental abilities, she inspires others to deliver results, to enable effective delivery of the business strategy. Debra’s specialist skills include: developing diversity initiatives, coaching and developing leaders in handling all people related activities and employee engagement, strategic thinking and developing pragmatic solutions.

She describes her proudest career moment as “electrifying and energising” when she organised a Conference for 650 talented women and launched an internal Women in Leadership Programme in 2013. Asda has since been recognised externally, for Advancing Women in the Workplace, at the Opportunity Now Awards 2014.

Debra mentors young talented female professionals from other sectors. She is passionate about unlocking potential and maximising talent.

Debra gained a BA in Retail Marketing from Manchester Metropolitan University and now lives in Southport, on the North West coast.

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