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Getting to know People Coordinator: Leonie Orr

Leonie is our committed, adventurous and fun People and Organisational Development Coordinator. She joined at The Pioneer Group in May 2018 as a temporary HR Administrator and successfully went on to secure a role as a HR trainee.

Progressing to her current position of People and Organisational Development Coordinator, Leonie is hoping to become a People/HR Advisor one day. Assisting with tasks such as recruitment, employee relations and organisational training, Leonie is determined to further her knowledge and boost her confidence to provide others with the best support possible.

To get to know Leonie more, we had a virtual coffee with her, and asked her a few things people may like to know:


What does a typical day at work look like for you and your team?

Being in HR I can truly say that no day looks the same and that’s what I love about being in the People Team. We’re adaptable to different situations and work together to problem solve and support each other and the organisation.

If I had to say what a typical day at work usually looks like in the office, it would be that the first hour or so we are checking our emails and the HR inbox to see if anything is urgent. We have a catch up to understand current projects, allocate any follow ups and prioritise activity.

Whilst we’ve been working from home, we have a team video call at 9am to discuss work and it’s been a really good way of keeping us together in this tough time.

Day to day we can be managing tasks such as answering employee queries, reviewing policies and keeping our HR systems up to date. Currently, we’re looking at ways to keep our Pay and Benefits Review going, so that we can get everyone’s opinion on changes and improvements to ensure we’re getting the best value for our employees.


How does your team help the communities that we work in?

We ensure that The Pioneer Group’s staff are happy and comfortable at work, so they can best serve our communities. We also try help the communities directly when we can. For example, Hayley, our People Advisor, recently spent some time calling some of our vulnerable tenants to make sure they are okay during the lockdown period. We also regularly attend community events highlighting the current jobs we have available, as we always want to encourage those with the right skills to apply for our roles.


What are some personal values that are important to you?

Definitely respect, I am a stickler for manners as they cost nothing. I believe that if people can have a mutual respect for each other then we can all work together and get along better. Honesty is also very important to me; I am the first to put my hand up and say if I’ve made a mistake as I believe that most things can be fixed and, above all else, it’s more important to be forthright.


What motivates you to be your best self?

My family, friends and my team genuinely motivate me to be my best self, I know they’re all rooting for me and I would never want to let them down. I also try to recognise my own achievements, and that motivates me too. Ru Paul has a famous line “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” and I love that as it’s so true.


When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I really wanted to be a makeup artist. I have a Specialist Hair and Media Makeup Degree (I got a first-class honours!) and can knot wigs, put prosthetics on and create a whole cast of your face – to name a few skills, but during my university experience I realised that I didn’t want to make it my career. I worked hard to finish the degree but I knew it wasn’t the career for me. I occasionally still do my friends’ makeup and I love getting glammed up myself, but I enjoy it much more as a hobby!


What is your favourite memory of being involved in your community?

Each Christmas, we used to visit the elderly residents in Falcon Lodge and sing carols there. It was so rewarding and always made Christmas feel more special.


What approach do you take to look after your mental wellbeing?

Since being in lockdown I have really reconnected with my spiritual side. It gives me a space to let go of everyday stresses and just focus on me for a short while, whilst helping me become balanced for the rest of the day. I also find FaceTiming family and friends to be a great help as it’s easy to become absorbed in your own bubble and become quite isolated.


What is one item on your bucket list?

One item on my bucket list is to go to Nashville, Tennessee, I am a lover of country music and it would be an absolute dream to visit there.


Who is an inspirational individual you look up to?

I’m going to cheat and have two! My mum and my nanna; purely because they’re both amazing and are the strongest women I’ve ever met in my life (both physically and mentally). I have a heart condition, so it’s quite easy to get overwhelmed when I have to attend hospital appointments, but my mum had pre-eclampsia when she was pregnant with me and my nanna has had just about every ailment under the sun (we have a running joke about it now!) but they’re both strong and got through it all. They’ve kept our family going and we all have the best times when we’re all together. For me, they are just the epitome of strength. It’s easy to let go and give up, but they never have and that’s probably why I’m as stubborn as they are!


How do you relax outside of work?

Lockdown relaxing is slightly different to ‘regular life’ relaxing! During lockdown I’ve been enjoying getting back into crystals, playing animal crossing on my Switch and just enjoying spending time with my boyfriend as we’re settling into our new house. In the regular world (and before I started my Level 5 CIPD qualification), I enjoyed playing rugby and will look forward to getting back into it when all of this is over. I also definitely like the relaxing at the pub!


What do you enjoy about being part of The Pioneer Group?

The best part of being part of The Pioneer Group is that no matter who you speak to, everyone is so lovely. At the end of the day we all can have a laugh and know that the work we’re doing is helping people around us to live better lives each and every day. Also, everyone brings in doughnuts for birthdays which are my favourite!